Saturday, June 6, 2015

Reflections in Orange & Green

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Yesterday, 5th June, was World Environment Day. It was also the Grand Opening of the new Orangery (‘Orangeriet’) in the Town Park here in Borås.

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Besides housing a café/restaurant, this glasshouse is supposed to serve as information centre for things to do with environmental sustainability and recycling.

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I’ve not yet seen the inside. (I’ll go back and explore on some ordinary day when it’s less crowded!) But most of the furniture, like tables and chairs, are supposed to have been collected from the town’s own storage rooms and ‘upcycled’ for a new life.

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So far, so good… But according to an article in the local paper, not every aspect of the planning fits as well with the enviromental ideas. For example, one big “ooops” that seems to have been discovered only shortly before opening, is that the restaurant kitchen is too small and lacks enough storage space. This means they will need very frequent deliveries instead; which will mean an increased flow of vehicles driving into the park.

(Before, there was only a small kiosk in the park, for hot dogs and ice-cream, and only open in summer. The new place is supposed to be a fully licensed restaurant, open all year round and also late in the evenings. One might think that someone, somewhere along the long way of planning, should have given a thought to the not-so-environmentally-friendly implications of that…)

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Anyway, it was a great day for the opening ceremony. After weeks of mostly grey and rainy weather, at last we got a sunny day and almost summer-like temperature. So quite a few people turned up to enjoy this event.

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I’m afraid I did not find the musical entertainment all that environmentally friendly – the volume was loud enough to make me “feel the earth move under my feet”… Remember that old Carole King song? No, they weren’t singing that… I don’t know what they were singing, I had to stick my fingers in my ears and flee. Actually I even left the park; and did not approach it again until perhaps half an hour or so later… Just in time, as it happened, for my camera to catch those balloons flying off (2nd photo) – and a speaker-voice assuring me that these were of course bio-degradable ones. (But even so - and even though I got a good photo out of it! - I have to say a balloon-release does not strike me as the best way of celebrating this kind of event?) 

Weekend Reflections

 

15 comments:

  1. The photo of the balloons floating away is fantastic!

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    1. Yes I was lucky to capture it, particulary as I did not know in advance that they were going to do it but just happened to be there just as they let them go!

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  2. my very first though while looking at the photos was the did NOT let go those balloons.. most states here it is against the law but most do it anyway... that said i love the building and the idea behind it and am really anxious to see what the up-cycle furniture is like. i to would have fled with fingers in my ears.

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    1. I can see why in a beach area like Florida it makes even more sense not to allow it, Sandra.

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  3. It made a good photograph but releasing all those balloons isn't very good for the environment.

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    1. I agree, Adrian. It did look very festive, and biodegradable they might be, but for a celebration specifically to do with environmental protection I still found it an odd choice.

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  4. Hello,

    Lovely photos and very thought provoking post.

    All over the world people talk of environment day but no one really means anything. Slogans don't get the result. People want to get publicity by rhetoric and slogans.

    I can see this in my town Kochi, India. Our leaders talk of Clean India and pose for photos and give TV interviews. Nothing happens afterwards. People are not enthused. The reason for this is that the government agencies which are entrusted with the work of cleaning don't do their part and people throw garbage anywhere they want. The authorities blame the public and the public blames the authorities.

    Best wishes

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    1. Alas I suspect that's true in varying degrees across the whole globe, Joseph. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  5. Shame on me - I looked at the picture with the balloons and thought "beautiful!"... only after reading what you wrote about it did I think of the negative impact on the environment...
    You're so right about the (mis-)planning of the kitchen. One would certainly have expected the experts to think of that before.
    Noise pollution apparently never entered the mind of those planning the opening day with the band!
    It will be interesting to see the Orangery from the inside.

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    1. Your reaction comes close to my own, Meike... I did not know they were going to let the balloons off like that. When I first came to the park, they were holding them like in the first picture, and I assumed they were to be given to the children attending the event. Then I went away from the park for a while and happened to come back just as they were letting the balloons fly. My first instinct was to capture the moment with the camera (which I was already holding) because it really looked very festive. Then came the speaker-voice assuring us that of course they were biodegradable. That reminded me that the whole event was supposed to be environment-related in the first place. And then the balloons did not seem like the best idea. A bit like saying that it doesn't matter if you throw litter on the ground or in the water, if only it is of the kind that nature "eventually" manages to break down...

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  6. Unfortunately everything we do pollutes in one way or another. My lifestyle involving so many airmiles earned me a great deal of criticism from some environmentalists. I live alone in a family house. I drive an older car. I think I do a lot to be environmentally friendly but in reality a lot slips by that isn't. Unfortunately everything we do impacts to a far greater extent than it needs to but somehow most of us just don't put enough effort into reducing it.

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    1. You are right of course, Graham, and each and every one is guilty of contributing to pollution in one way or another.In any other context I'm not sure I'd have given it all that much thought - it was the fact that this was an official opening of an enviromental information centre (and on World Enviroment Day and all) that set me wondering!

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  7. really fantastic event... amazing photos

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