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Prince Charles: A Royal Advocate for the Environment
A life in the constant spotlight
The life of Prince Charles has been far from secret, but unfortunately the press has focused much more attention on his personal life than on his environmental passion. The surprisingly green-minded Charles was born November 14, 1948, and has held the title Prince of Wales since 1958. He is heir apparent to the United Kingdom and holds a full list of duties and responsibilities with the title. Prince Charles' first wife, Princess Diana, was a popular celebrity figure, and the focus of much media attention. But while Diana was off on humanitarian missions, Charles was quietly working on projects of his own, centered on improving the environment. His love for environmentalism continues even to this day, and he works with everyone from farmers to politicians in order to raise awareness and improve environmental practices.
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His love for the countryside lead to organic farming and more
Charles is most passionate about organic gardening and farming, a change that arose when he moved to his Highgrove Estate in the English countryside. His love for organic gardening in his new home was such that he co-authored the book Highgrove: An Experiment in Organic Gardening and Farming which was published in 1993. Prince Charles also founded the company Duchy Originals, which sells sustainably produced items ranging from organic groceries to garden furniture. As of 2008 profits were estimated at £6 million, which go to the Prince's various charities.
The Prince is extremely outspoken when it comes to topics that he is against. For example, he has recently denounced genetically modified food as one of the possible downfalls of humanity, and he has no love for wind farms. Whenever Prince Charles has an opinion he has no fear in sharing it.
A love of architecture lead to a new town, Poundbury
Another of Prince Charles' great loves is architecture and city planning, especially green building and urban planning. The Prince is currently retrofitting his own home with green renovations, and buys all of his power from sustainable sources. He also believes in methods of urban planning that focus on high density urban centers with localized shopping, shunning the modern method of city planning that revolves around suburban sprawl and centralized commercial centers. In order to put his beliefs to the test Prince Charles has founded a town on his own land, called Poundbury, which is built based on his beliefs of urban planning. In Poundbury residential areas are high density and there is no zoning in order to encourage shops to open within walking distance of residences, thus negating the needs for a car.
Prince Charles' Efforts to Help the Earth
From mutton to global marketing
In addition to his own business in organic food and sustainable goods Prince Charles also meets regularly with various organic farming organizations around the world to discuss the topic and its future in the global market place. The Prince has also launched a Mutton Renaissance Campaign to resurrect the sheep farming industry in England and make mutton a more attractive meet to people in the UK.
How Prince Charles Practices What he Preaches
Showing the world his carbon footprint
As recently as 2006 the Prince's spokespeople have announced that he will be assessing ways to cut the pollution caused by his own personal travel. As a sign of good faith Charles calculated and made public his own carbon footprint in 2007, along with a list of goals for further reducing it in the future. In 2007 Prince Charles also received the Global Environmental Citizen Award from Harvard Medical School, a very prestigious honor.
Regardless of any personal or political controversies Prince Charles has remained a faithful advocate for the environment and continues to do much for the cause, even going so far as to audit his own carbon footprint in public. Hopefully the actions of Prince Charles will inspire other leaders to not only promote the change, but actually live a green life as well.