Prince Charles is Partying and TreeHugger was There
All Images by B. Alter: the Royal Vegetable Garden
Prince Charles is having a great big green party and TreeHugger was there; along with a few thousand others, to be honest. HRH was holding it in the garden of his house, Clarence House and two neighbouring magnificent historic houses. It was a celebration and appreciation of all things green, done on a royal scale.
A Garden Party To Make A Difference is part of the Prince's START initiative to help people across the UK lead more sustainable lives. For 12 days, and the price of a ticket, the hoi polloi can check out the booths and entertainment and watch some green celeb's get in on the action. So what's to see and do...
The party took place in the gardens of three historic homes: Lancaster House, Clarence House, and Marlborough House. In Lancaster House, the majestic Earth Pavilion was built in contrast to the neo-classical Georgian building. It was modelled after an award-winning building in South Africa, was built out of earth and clay tiles. They were made by tile vaulting; an ancient technique of pressing an earth and clay mix into bricks (using the machine in the bottom right hand corner of the photo) and do not require firing or baking and use very little carbon. The vault shape gives structural strength and keeps it cool inside. This one was built in just two weeks.
At Marlborough House, a gorgeous 18th century brick creation designed by Christopher Wren, there was another ecological construction material on display. This was Polli-Brick structural block; the world's first and only 100% recycled polymer from post consumer bottles. They can be used as curtain walls and roofs because they have incredible thermal and sound insulating characteristics in addition to a good strength to weight ratio. Not widely available yet, but they are being used for a pavilion in Taipei.
Morsbags are carrier bags, made on the spot. There were sewing machines and a down loadable pattern available on site, so visitors could make and take away their own carrier bag. Yards of old drapery material from the Prince's house was available, for a bag with that extra bit of provenance
Prince Charles is very keen to encourage the use of wool as a fashionable and eco-friendly fabric for clothes. It is a natural insulator and is naturally fire retardant and is completely biodegradable. And it retains warmth and is recyclable. These woolly coffins for people and pets were on display...
B&Q; (like Home Depot) was a big sponsor of the event. While we loved these woolly sheep climbing a ladder, as an ad for recycled plastic loft insulation, we couldn't quite get over the giant pigs covered in plastic green grass...
There was barely the time or the energy to check out the Tesla (of course) and the first DAF 44 Shell Fuel-cell car from 1967, and the farmers' market, gardening tips, and food demo's, but more on those tomorrow.