Over 28,000 people from Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and London attended the first Pop Up Eco Living Festival in Cambridge
Saturday September 22nd, 2018
Welcome and Founders Message
FULL CAPACITY/SOLD OUT: A full day of free drop in and pre-registered eco-activities, workshops, 'how to' low-waste and sustainability talks were at full capacity delivered by our amazing team of zero waste and eco living facilitators and experts at both the CBRE Lion Yard Retail Centre venue (located in the city centre of Cambridge attached to the Grand Arcade) and the recently re-opened University Museum of Zoology within the David Attenborough Building, just a short walk from the retail centres.
Included in the festival was 12 Pop Up Eco Stalls representing start-up eco businesses who sold a variety of upcycled, low waste and ethical products as alternative goods to a general retail audience.
WE MADE HISTORY ON SEPTEMBER 22ND, 2018: The Eco Living Festival Cambridge made history by being the first Eco Festival to be held within a commercial retail centre in the world. We are so grateful to CBRE/Asset Management Lion Yard Shopping Centre for such a successful partnership and thinking outside the box with us, and allowing audiences who would normally not engage with eco-focused nor environmentally focused products, services nor education, be able to access the vital information and awareness they needed in a familiar setting. All consumption must change, so our 10 Eco alternative companies were able to demonstrate and sell a variety of green product options to thousands of shoppers that day. We also grabbed the opportunity to inhabit a free vacant shop in a prime location within the centre, offered to us by the Lion Yard Management , gave it a face lift and used it to host the series of sold out Recycling and Sustainable living workshops.
FREE PUBLIC ACCESSIBILITY TO SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION: Accessibility and information with a good dose of creativity and fun, these are the elements which will inspire a greater uptake in consumer behaviour change, an advocacy I began 3 years ago whilst studying for an MSc in Sustainability at the Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge.
LESS PREACHING AND BUST THE ZERO WASTE HYPE : The general population (comprising of the largest segment of the consumer market) do not respond well to preaching and guilt-tripping. People just shut down and feel bad, we don't want that! We want fire in the belly and motivation this will ignite a wider green consumption revolution, which is happening. Most people just want to feel helpful and know that their small contribution, in whatever way helps fight environmental pollution. The plight and scale of Ocean Plastic is no longer a hidden subject, we are not in the people's time and power and each of us taking action, no matter how small is what will empower all. Its our planet after all we have to look after her.
GOING FORWARD: We can all achieve a low waste lifestyle by being realistic and conscious about our purchasing choices and habits. Its not complicated, the more we choose biodegradable, recyclable, compostable and ethical products and services the bigger the market will respond. Its plain stupidity of purpose that products are still made in 2018 which are not recyclable, so end up incinerated or part of the plastic pollution destroying marine life in the ocean and polluting beaches around the world. A universal environmental change of law is so needed around this, not country by country.
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER NOT JUST ONE GENERATION - The key to shifting to a more sustainable minded society - is inclusion regardless of age, gender, generation, ethnicity, cultural or religious background, or geographical location. We are all human beings inhabiting one planet we have messed up in 60 years. That's not even a blink of the eye in Universal time. However, time is what we don't have a lot of, if environmental awareness followed by knowledge and action of behaviour change isn't ingrained in this, the past, and future generations.
ACTION IN REAL TIME: As global awareness and the acknowledgment of environmental pollution increases ( due to our collective addiction to single use consumption and dispose) then just throw it away) we must act by taking conscious action. Simply choosing and consuming no single-use plastic anything, swapping household and personal products which do not biodegrade or cannot be recycled, with products that do will make a significant difference. Similarly how we purchase and dispose of our food and its packaging decide on modes of transport that are electric and low emission, and generally see that there are thousands of better alternatives the do not further hurt our planet and its inhabitants to quicker we can reverse some of damage done in just 60 short years by two generations.
Shaheera- Caroline Asante
Founder & Director of Programming
Eco Living Festival - Pop Up in Cambridge September 2018
Next stop: London 2019
Accessibility and knowledge with a good dose of creatively and fun, these are the elements that will inspire greater consumer environmental behaviour change, empowering not preaching, engaging not telling off
“It takes tremendous courage and determination to be the first to try something new. We are proud to support Shaheera and the first Eco Living Festival, let’s rally around good ideas and people who want to make positive environmental changes for everyone”
“We all have a responsibility and part to play through our actions and choices to leave a smaller footprint behind us within our communities, and help create a healthier planet for our children and great grandchildren to inherit. We believe the Eco Living Festival is a great first step”
Through the Eco Living Festival we shift from climate change dialogue to low and zero waste consumer engagement and rightly so, we must include everybody and move conversations out of public policy agendas and lecture rooms
TEAM | ADVISORY | CONTRIBUTORS