Sustainability is at the heart of West Bay Discovery Centre. We try to operate in a way that is kind to the environment. We aren’t perfect and we will continue to look at ways that we can reduce our carbon emissions and energy consumption, reduce our plastic usage and encourage everyone to refill and recycle.
West Bay Discovery Centre aims to raise awareness and inspire visitors and volunteers to take action to reduce their carbon footprint, help mitigate the causes of climate change and to maintain the diversity of the wildlife and natural habitats.
We recognise the environmental impacts of tourism. We work closely with local community groups including Litter Free Coast & Seas, West Bay Beach Group, Five Things Clear and Clean Jurassic Coast to encourage our visitors to leave only footprints in the sand and help us protect our natural environment.
Our environment policy sets out the standards to be maintained and a range of future targets.
What have we already done ?
- We purchase 100% renewable electricity and have introduced policies to monitor and control energy usage.
- Temperature controls are carefully set to minimise energy usage, but still provide comfort for staff and visitors.
- Lights and other equipment are only switched on only when required.
- LED lighting has been installed.
- Wherever possible we avoid activities that gives rise to waste.
- Waste from our exhibitions is minimal, many items being borrowed from the local community.
- Paper, card, plastic bottles, glass and cans are recycled.
- We promote local beach cleaning events and many of our volunteers take part.
West Bay Discovery Centre runs frequent campaigns to inform the public about waste and related pollution issues, particularly as they impact on wildlife and marine habitats. Examples are the “Washed Ashore” and “Turning the Tide” seasonal exhibitions.
- Buses, walking and cycling are promoted on our website.
- A significant proportion of the items stocked in our small gift shop have been produced by local craftspeople and artisans.
- The items sold are well-made and designed and offer fair value for money for our customers.
- We select items that are sold in minimal packaging.
- Plastic and non-recyclable materials are avoided where possible and are being phased out.
- External areas are maintained without the use of artificial fertilisers or pesticides.
- Plants are chosen that benefit birds, bees and other insects or are native to the area.
What are we doing next?
- Swapping our cleaning products for environmentally considerate ones and refilled locally to reduce plastic packaging, and replacing throw-away cleaning cloths with reusable, washable ones.
- producing additional interactive information on the effect of Climate Change.
- joining Plastic Free Bridport and promoting the reduction of single use plastics in the town.
- Developing fun activities for children and their families to encourage them to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviours.
- Working with local organisations
Plastic Free Bridport
We support the fantastic local community initiative of obtaining plastic free status for Bridport. Our plastic usage in the Centre was already minimal, but having carried out a plastic audit we have identified a few other items that can be swopped for plastic free alternatives. We will also be running an exhibition called “Turning the Tide” in 2021 looking at the issues of plastics in our seas.