Inspiring Action for the Planet
Nottingham’s own Green Festival provides the place for everyone to learn, explore and try the latest in everything environmentally friendly and ethical, while having lots of fun in the beautiful setting of the Arboretum Park.
In 2018 the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading climate scientists, warned that there were less than a dozen years to limit climate change for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. The tipping points beyond which we will be unable to regulate the situation are just around the corner.
With this in mind the Green Festival has stepped up a gear to include more education, workshops, information sharing and action to better enable people to understand the issues of concern and to help them and their neighbourhoods bring about the changes required.
We aim to run the event ‘off-grid’. Free live music is powered by solar panels and battery storage equipment, alongside outdoor entertainments and adult & children’s activities and workshops, plus stalls from small green businesses, craft workers, community groups, charities, campaigns, artisan food producers and vegan caterers. Sustainable and energy-saving technologies, transport and information are promoted. We encourage food vendors and stalls to operate with minimal waste and no single use plastic.
2019 saw the launch of a Speakers Area with panels & breakout discussions in the Rose Garden. This was a huge success so additional volunteer support will help developed the initiative for the 2020 event. See the 2019 Speakers Area Program.
Visit Nottingham Green Festival Online for our carefully curated collection of online resources.
Respected medical journal, The Lancet, stated that “Civilisation is in crisis; we can no longer feed our population a healthy diet while balancing planetary resources. If we can eat in a way that works for our planet as well as our bodies, the natural balance will be restored.” This has been challenged by other scientists but there is an argument that a massive reduction in meat consumption supporting a move away from livestock farming could be part of the solution to our planetary dilemmas.
The Green Festival has addressed these issues since the 1980’s, with exclusively vegetarian food, including Veggies Catering Campaign, since day one. With the growing interest and adoption of vegan living, supported in Nottingham by initiatives such as Sneinton Vegan Market, the Green Festival is taking a lead nationally with an all-vegan food policy.
Alongside this, other sustainable issues are advanced by the event, especially regarding single use packaging and plastics. The free tea stall & some caterers use returnable mugs, plastic water bottles are banned in favour of the free water fountain at the Arboretum, funded by the Green Festival. This year stall holders have formed a sustainability working group to share best practice to reduce their impact.
We are aware that personal and community learning and changing are best achieved in a happy positive environment, not by being immobilised by threats of doom. The joyous and relaxed atmosphere of the Green Festival is a perfect event to help people accept serious lifestyle change and look to working within their friendship circles to promote these necessary changes.
We attract a wide spread of local people of all ages, and have made efforts to make the site safer for people with disabilities, despite the increasing crowds. We make provision to serve the many local communities but must always work to improve the event. We organise and prepare for the event throughout the year. Beyond the local and community groups currently involved, in future we hope to include staff, students and societies from our universities and colleges in projects to help educate and inform those attending the event about the urgency of our situation, and offering positive and practical actions that individuals and communities can take.
Nottingham Green Festival is organised by grass roots community based volunteers, not-for-profit and with no statutory funding. The ethical standards and sustainability / environmental / human / animal rights ethos of the FREE one day event are long established, having evolved from the pre-history of Nottingham Peace Festival from which it grew. At the last event, we estimate we had around 5,000 adults and children in attendance. See the 2019 Green Festival Review here.