In addition to its cooperation with a Channel 4 TV 'Green Garden', the UK development charity Christian Aid is unveiling a life-saving eco-house at the Eden Project this spring - to help raise awareness of the impact of climate change on communities worldwide.
From 26 May, visitors to one of the UK’s favourite tourist attractions will be able to step out of the world-famous biomes into the homes of Central American, African and Asian people and experience a little of the reality of trying the survive the daily challenges of a changing climate.
The eco-house created by Christian Aid will be situated in the centre of the Eden Project against the stunning backdrop of the biomes. It is part of the Eden Project’s Climate Revolution programme, which highlights the effects of global warming.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues for millions of the world’s poorest people. Christian Aid’s new Climate Changed campaign calls on individuals, the government and companies across the UK to commit to cutting their carbon footprint as a matter of urgency.
The inspiration for the eco-house comes from Christian Aid partner organisations’ work to help poor communities worldwide adapt to the effects of climate change. Visitors will be invited to walk around the display of four home sections.
In the Latin America house, they will see how communities in Honduras are overcoming the challenges of deforestation and preparing for hurricanes and increasingly heavy tropical storms. Bangladesh and Indonesia are spotlighted in the Asia home, which will look at the implication of rising sea levels and flooding. In the Africa section, the focus is the latest food crisis and drought in Kenya.
The final part of the display focuses on the UK. Christian Aid and the Eden Project are hoping it will inspire people to take action on climate change by reducing their own carbon emissions, adapting their lifestyles and campaigning with Christian Aid for more government action to stop global warming.
Eco-design features around the display will include walls built using sustainable techniques, which not only protect the environment but can also protect their inhabitants during disasters.
The Latin America section features insect-repellent decorative paint taken from local plants, and tree-replanting initiatives. In Asia, visitors can step up into a home raised on stilts to avoid flooding, and see how renewable sources of energy, such as biogas, are used for cooking. The African home features rainwater-collecting schemes and multi-storey tyre gardens, which make the most of scarce resources.
Visitors will also be able to support Christian Aid’s work by ‘purchasing’ a virtual Present Aid gift, some of which are featured in the house, and signing up to the Climate Changed campaign. The eco-house will be at Eden for a limited time period, closing on 3 September 2007.
You can donate right now to Christian Aid Week 2007 online via this link. This year's education materials feature inspiring stories of how poor communities in El Salvador, Senegal and Afghanistan are growing a future in spite of seemingly impossible odds. With a bit more help they can make an even bigger impact.