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Sustainability Fair Shows Being Green Matters

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Sustainability Fair – Tuesday, 26th February, Geoffrey Manton Building, MMU

Words by Graham Murray

Tuesday’s sustainability fair in Geoffrey Manton’s atrium showed what it really means to be green, with the theme of being aware of one’s impact on the environment ever recurruing. The event featured various stalls from oxfam, to a bike-powered-smoothie-making stall! The event gave being green a friendly face.
Featured at the fair was the environment team, spearheading their plan for carbon literacy – simply keeping people aware of their direct impact on the environment. They also gave the public a chance to find out their carbon footprint, which was in the form of a small competition. Find out more about their message and carbon literacy on their website here. Also at the fair was tankcoffee. With their motto ‘Trade not aid” – they seek to provide proper coffee with subtle nuances of flavours, and narrow the gap between the coffee lover and the coffee grower through fair trade. Student-led climate
change campaigners, People and Planet, also had a stall at the fair. Tara Clarke of People and Planet said, the Oxford-based charity’s message was to get people inspired. People and Planet are associated with 155 universities across the country. They are currently holding campaigns about Fossil Fuels.
Oxfam also made an appearance at the fair with their swap-shop stall. The idea is based around the fact that a recent statistic stated that women only use around 30% of their wardrobes! The swap-shop stall uses the idea that people bring along an old piece of clothing and exchange it for something new. A charity shop taking on a recession influenced approach.
The event was certainly a success, and helped spread the message of being green in a friendly and fun way. Organiser of the event, employability intern Sophie Chivers, said:
“The Sustainability Fair was designed to raise student awareness to the issues around sustainability and green living. We got students to measure their carbon footprint, swap old clothes for new, and learn how to become self-sufficient. We also wanted to link with Fairtrade Fortnight, so we had a direct trade coffee stall and fair trade banana smoothies!”

About the author / 

aAh!

aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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  1. Nicholas Adamson-Jones 8th April 2013 at 1:44 am -  Reply

    Hello, my name is Nick and I want to organize a Sustainable World Fair.

    This event would be like a regular sustainability fair, except instead of happening in just one community, it would happen in communities all over the world, at the same time.

    One weekend for the planet to celebrate all of the ways people are making the world a better, more sustainable place!

    If this sounds like something your group would like to participate in I would love your help.

    Here’s what the event might look like…

    The global fair would be comprised of local sustainability fairs, held in communities all over the world, all happening on the same weekend.

    Each local fair would be a unique, independently organized and hosted event; yet all every fair would be united through common cause and simultaneous occurrence.

    I imagine each local fair featuring some mixture of the following:

    * local sustainability projects and innovations where individuals, groups and companies showcase their sustainability initiatives and ideas

    * local musicians and entertainment

    * local, sustainable food options

    * workshops and lectures on locally important sustainability issues

    * local artists and artisans selling their products

    * activities and games for kids and adults

    To put all of this together will take a lot of planning, networking and work. So far I have tried to map out the following major steps in the project:

    1. R&D:
    * Create a guide/how to manual that shows interested communities how to organize and host a local fair
    * create a promotional package that shows interested communities and the relevant governing bodies why they should participate
    * create a comprehensive business model to help secure funds

    2. Networking and Fundraising:
    * establish a core group of enough participating communities to launch the global event
    * secure funds through a mixture of corporate sponsors, philanthropic organizations, government and non-governmental organizations and private individuals.
    3. Advertising:
    * agree on a date for the event (mid September has the advantage of agreeable climate in both hemispheres, coinciding with harvest season in the northern hemisphere and at the start of the school year in many countries)
    * promote the event as largely as possible in as many places around the world
    * create a website to display all the participating local fairs and provide live streaming of the events
    * get more communities on board

    4. Setup
    * help participating communities organize their events

    5. Showtime
    * Have the largest party with a purpose on the planet

    To start off the R&D process I want to open the idea up to a discussion.

    To facilitate this I’ve created a forum:

    http://sustainabilityfair.boards.net

    I believe that the only way for a project like this to become reality is if a lot of people know about it and want it to happen.

    Im a strong believe in the power of the people and crowd sourcing.

    If you feel this is an idea that should happen, and know a person or group who might feel the same way, then please share this idea by inviting people to the forum, or sending them to the public proposal on my site:

    http://earthcareinstitute.ca/party-with-the-planet/

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Sincerely,

    Nicholas Adamson-Jones
    earthcareinstitute.ca
    416-889-8803

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