5 Ways you could have a more sustainable lifestyle in Guernsey

10th March 2022

Found in: Blog  -  

Author: Locate Guernsey

Being a small island, the environment and sustainability is at the heart of Guernsey’s future plans. We are incredibly focused on protecting our island so that it can be enjoyed for as long as possible. We thought it would be interesting to share some of the sustainable practices taking place in Guernsey to show how islanders are protecting the island for themselves and for the future.

If you are interested in a relocating to Guernsey for a more sustainable lifestyle, please get in touch to find out more.

1. Guernsey Green Finance

In 2019 the States of Guernsey first allocated £300k to We Are Guernsey to set up Guernsey Green Finance – to establish the island as a leader in green and sustainable finance. As responsible citizens of the world, it is Guernsey’s intention to contribute its expertise and experience as a global finance centre through the work of this initiative.

Guernsey Green Finance has assisted with several world-leading products and services, including the world’s first regulated green fund regime, the Guernsey Green Fund, and The International Stock Exchange segment, TISE Sustainable. Guernsey Green Finance has also released multiple research reports on green and sustainable finance and joined international networks including the United Nations Financial Centres for Sustainability.

Guernsey is also home to the annual Sustainable Finance Week, with leading sustainable finance experts from Guernsey and all over the world as guest speakers.

2. Hedge Veg

For around 100 years since the 1870s, tomatoes, which are affectionately known as Guernsey Toms, were picked and exported to England. In the mid-twentieth century, it is estimated that 7% of Guernsey was under glass and nearly half a billion tomatoes were picked and exported, meaning 15% of all tomatoes on the British market at the time came from our little island!

Remnants of our horticultural past still survive today in our rich hedge veg tradition – small roadside stands around the island selling an exciting variety of local produce. As well as spare tomatoes, eggs and flowers being sold on these stalls, occasionally you may even spot chocolate brownies and homemade dog treats!

Unmanned and relying on honesty boxes made from recycled milk churns and jam jars, these stalls highlight Guernsey’s unique charm. Many items on sale are homegrown or handmade products and encourage sustainable packaging, recycling or re-use of jars and containers, for conscience-free shopping!

3. Recycling

Our island community is committed to being as environmentally aware as possible. With the introduction of a new island-wide Waste Management Plan in 2018, Guernsey’s recycling rate is now one of the highest in the world.  Guernsey had initially aimed to hit a 70% recycling rate by 2030, but we had already hit this target by 2019 and by 2020 was at 72%.

Our recycling and waste system is very effective and operates across every business and household in the Island. Kerbside collection makes recycling easy and part of our everyday routine, and with chargeable black waste, Islanders have an added incentive to avoid purchasing non-recyclable goods.

4. Local seaweed

Living on an island means being surrounded by the sea, and seaweed has been handpicked from the beaches of Guernsey to be used as fuel and fertiliser for well over 10,000 years.

Known as vraic in Guernésiais, seaweed continues to be sustainably picked by hand from our beaches to this day. Guernsey Seaweed was set up in 2017 as a fertiliser and then together with local entrepreneur and gin maker, Luke Wheadon, they created the world’s first seaweed hand sanitiser in 2020 to serve the island during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The seaweed product range now extends into superfoods and vegan leather with multiple additional strands to the business being added all the time.

5. Electric vehicles

In Guernsey a typical daily mileage is around 14 – 20 miles, and most people only need to charge up once a week because of our short commutes, making electric vehicles the perfect choice for a small island. In 2015 there were only 221 electric and hybrid cars in Guernsey, but thanks to improved infrastructure, in 2020 there were 931 with numbers steadily increasing ever since.

Both private individuals, businesses and organisations are making the conscious decision to introduce electric vehicles into their fleets to reduce running costs and their own climate impact. This includes the Island’s postal service, Guernsey Post, that recently became the first postal operator to have an entire delivery fleet of electric vehicles.  Fewer emissions means cleaner air for Guernsey and reduces the impact on the environment both here and overseas.

There are four States of Guernsey owned electric vehicle charging sites with businesses also starting to install their own charging points for their customers. For more information, please visit the States of Guernsey website.

If you are interested in a relocating to Guernsey for a more sustainable lifestyle, please get in touch to find out more.

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