I specialise in designing and building pedal powered generators to promote energy awareness and sustainability in a fun and engaging way – everything from bicycle powered cinemas and discos to bicycle bubble machines and paint spinners. Harnessing human power in this way means that participants can get first hand (or foot!) experience of how it physically feels to change our chemical energy in to electrical energy, whilst also learning about the different levels needed to power everyday appliances. By understanding energy beyond the plug socket it helps put into perspective the valuable resource that it is and help to change our daily usage and behaviours. Collaborating with Renew Wales is a great way to help spread the energy saving and sustainability message whilst engaging with new communities and organisations.
Why are you drawn to this area of work?
Sustainability in the community is a big interest as it is a great way to empower people to make positive change in the world that directly impacts them and the area they live in. It builds friendships and connections that encourage a shared learning and openness to skill swapping. Uniting different organisations and groups can also help to keep the momentum growing on projects and spur on new ideas. It’s important to have this action and decision making at a grass-roots level in communities so that each person feels that they have the skills and ability to make positive change and are invested in its outcome.
My vision for 2050:
The value of natural resources, energy and sustainability are taught and demonstrated in all schools, both through workshops and activities but also through the building design and energy infrastructure of the schools themselves.
Every community and school would have access to green spaces, local gardens and growing projects that produce seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Plastic packaging would not be used for food and consumer goods where possible, and if absolutely needed it would be locally recyclable through schemes such as Precious Plastic, where the materials can then be used to create equipment and resources for schools. This kind of facility would also be available to be used by community members to design and make, helping community start-ups grow.
Repair Cafes would be a standard event for all communities, helping to fix and repair items as well as teach and pass on valuable skills that stop items ending up in landfill.
All of these to be achieved by funding projects that promote sustainability, but also very importantly by empowering individuals and groups in the local community to believe that their actions can create positive change.