As today is Prince Charles’ 67th birthday, I have decided to take a look at just some of the work that goes to prove that the first-in-line to the throne will make a remarkable King one day. Charles has done a wonderful job at not only caring for his people but also the world we live in. The eco-friendly prince has many, many projects past and present to help sustain the planet, let us take a look at a few of them:
DB5 Aston Martin
Prince Charles’ 38-year-old DB5 Aston Martin is powered by a wine and cheese derived bioethanol. Think that wine could be put to better use? You may be part of the problem as the surplus of wine being produced in Europe is so large wineries have ended up with too many grapes to cultivate and not enough customers….so go ahead have another glass, we aren’t going to run out! The 2008 surplus of wine worked out to 18.5 million hectolitres (1 hectolitre= 100 litres).
This resulted in a Gloucester-based winery selling 8,000 litres of surplus white wine to a local biofuel producer, Green Fuels, for 1 British pound per litre (that is really cheap!) and it was turned into ethanol. At the same time, Aston Martin was in talks with Prince Charles about running the car more environmentally friendly and thus his wine powered car came into play.
After work on the Aston’s carburettors to allow more fuel to the engine, Charles’ car can now run on a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent petrol.
Located over 250 acres of the land that is part of the Duchy of Cornwall, Poundbury is Prince Charles’ brainchild. In an attempt to create an alternative way to which the government and local councils go about building communities, Poundbury’s goal is to maintain the environment, architecture and the traditional British village. Architect Leon Krier has helped Charles’ vision of a place where people have a priority over cars come to life.
Construction started in 1993 with a total of four development phases to take place over 25 years. The end result is expected for 2025 and will see a total population of 6000 in 2500 homes.
The no zoning laws in effect allow for a mix of businesses and homes to all be located in one area increasing the ease of foot travel and reducing the need for cars.
HRH Prince Charles’ Guesthouse
When Charles first visited Transylvania in 1988, he fell in love with the legacy of the area saying he was “totally overwhelmed by its unique beauty and its extraordinarily rich heritage.” The property now owned by Charles was previously owned by a ‘judge’ who was overseeing the manufacture and the village. Charles’ preservation of nature and culture through sustainable tourism brings in travellers from all around looking to escape from the world as no radios or televisions are located in the rooms.
The guesthouse operates through the highest quality of green initiatives through maintaining a sustainable future for the people of rural Transylvania when renovating the building belonging to the guesthouse while allowing residents to maintain their traditional way of life.
All food is also locally resourced from on-site and close by. The guesthouse runs off its vegetable garden and orchard, the rare ‘Black Transylvanian Bare Necked’ chicken is bred for eggs and meat. The village’s cow and sheep produce milk, yoghurt and cheeses and honey comes from local hives. Trout is raised locally and all jams and preserves are made in the guesthouse’s kitchen.
You can book here, but please take me along for the trip! I could use a technology detox!
International Sustainability Unit
Formed in 2010, the International Sustainability Unit was started by Prince Charles to address critical challenges to development and the environment. The unit works to find consensus on how to deal with key environmental challenges that face the world, like food security, the depletion of Natural Capital and ecosystem resilience. I.S.U builds on the success of The Prince’s Rainforest Project that works to find a solution to tropical deforestation.
Sustainable Urbanisation has given I.S.U international recognization as they build relationships through broad consultation with key actors from governments, the private sector and civil society.
You can learn more about their work at www.pcfisu.org.
Prince Charles was recognised as the Lifetime Achievement Winner at the 7th International Green Awards in November 2012. His work has inspired others and he has brought it into his own household.
Just some of the efforts that are taken include three-quarters of energy for office and domestic use that come from renewable sources, half of this is from on-site sources. At Highgrove, those numbers are at 90% of energy from renewable sources and 60% is generated on-site. Solar photovoltaic panels have been installed at Clarence House and Highgrove and biomass boilers at Highgrove, Birkhall and Llqynywermod use sustainably-managed wood to replace fossil fuels.
These just touch on the many projects he has taken on. His efforts are a great reminder to us all that we only get one earth to live on and we should all do our part to take care of it for generations to come.
Photo Credit: poundbury.org.uk, transylvaniancastle.com/viscri.html,