Author: Phil Calado

CAT: Weeks 3 & 4: Farewell to the Hills

I’m on the train home from the Centre for Alternative Technology after finishing the final week of my placement. My four weeks at CAT have been a great experience for many reasons. The people, the work and the amazing natural surroundings have been restorative and given me new energy and perspective. I will miss my morning walk through the ancient woods to the rewilded quarry, the birdsong and the tranquillity of the reservoir.

Throughout my time at CAT I delivered the ZCB talk to a total of 163 people. While the audience figures were on average quite low, I have gained a lot of confidence in delivering aural presentations and public engagement.

CAT Week 2: People and Environment

Hello from sunny/miserably wet/weather-indecisive Powys.

Visitor numbers and hence audience figures for the Zero Carbon Britain (ZCB) talks have been low due to extremes of hot and wet weather. CAT tends to be busiest when it’s a bit cloudy since most families head to the beach on really hot days, and no-one wants to tramp about in the rain (at a mostly outdoor activity centre) when it’s pelting down! In between giving talks I continued to update the ‘Who’s Getting Ready for Zero’ database with new scenarios although progress has been hampered somewhat by an ultra-slow satellite link-up internet connection… At the end of last week my supervisor Paul and I began discussing the idea of doing a ‘Zero Carbon Liverpool’ for a collaborator and expanding the ‘Zero Carbon’ brand out to cities across the UK.

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT): Week 1

I’ve had a rollercoaster ride of a first week at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) situated at the border of the Snowdonia national park in Wales. CAT is an education and visitors centre that aims to demonstrate solutions to sustainability. It was founded in the early 70’s in a disused slate quarry at a time when the scale of environment degradation from human activities was only just beginning to be understood. The early pioneers wanted to develop technology that could be of benefit to humans, nature and the economy. In a similar spirit, during CAT’s existent the quarry has been ‘rewilded’, and now hosts an abundance of wildlife.