"It's not easy being green."
Yes it is. It's trivial. Change my search engine to Forestle and every search saves a footprint of forest somewhere; every flight can be carbon balanced with a small extra purchase. Green can be bought like McDonalds or Google, so I can sleep at night, maintain my hectic schedule and still have a decadent holiday somewhere warm.
The Luminous Green
series, brought to life by our friends at FoAM
, tries to look at Green in a different light: what can it improve in my life. It is not about wearing hair shirts and denying myself fresh food, living in a hardly heated stone house with only two vegetarian pigs for warmth and social comfort. And it is certainly not about working out which colours to paint something with to make me feel ever so green as I continue to race around in ever decreasing circles looking for a parking space for my hybrid car. Luminous Green attempts to bridge that gap by asking what sort of real effective green improvements in our lives can actually make a difference where we are and in what we are doing.
In 2008 we looked around our space here and saw water, industrial waste, a lot of sunshine and wind. As winter fell upon us we constructed with a group of friends a steam heated Jakuzzi, harbour water pumped by the wind and filtered naturally, heated with steam boilers powered by broken pallets. As the outside temperature fell, a water temperature around 40 degrees warmed us to the core. The main danger was slipping on ice around the pool as we got out.
As 2009 descended upon us with all the glories of a Cultural Capital, we carried on investigating the possibilities of our space. Replacing our power sources with wind would be senseless: we weld and use a lot of electronics. Cutting these down would not improve anything. But picking up on the sunshine, water, and warmth around us, we solved the problem of our tarmac surrounds with hanging gardens, fruits and vegetables enjoying the stored heat of the concrete walls and drinking up wind-pumped harbour water complete with its algae enrichment.
We will never be self sufficient with the tiny plot around us, any other imagination would be self-deceiving, but with these gardens we have not only added some extra foods and fresh herbs, but also added a level of pleasurable shade and growth, frivolity and beauty, to these surrounds with their austere industrial harbour beauty.