In­ver­cargill Eco Fest looks to ex­pand

The Southland Times - - NEWS - DAVE NICOLL

The Eco Fest in In­ver­cargill could be ex­pand­ing as more peo­ple be­come in­volved in the en­vi­ron­men­tal fes­ti­val.

About 100 peo­ple at­tended the fes­ti­val, which was held at the In­ver­cargill Work­ing­men’s Club on Satur­day.

On dis­play were re­sources for peo­ple to live more sus­tain­ably, as well as crafts and goods made from re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als.

Eco Fest or­gan­iser Jenny Camp­bell said the fes­ti­val had grown con­sid­er­ably, with about 30 stalls set up in the Corinthian Con­ven­tion Cen­tre up­stairs at the club. This year the fes­ti­val themes had been ex­panded and new stall­hold­ers were at the event, cre­at­ing a dif­fer­ent dy­namic, Camp­bell said.

Peo­ple gen­er­ally had a bet­ter per­spec­tive of how they looked at the en­vi­ron­ment, she said.

Next year, the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee would look to keep up with the di­verse lineup of stalls and work­shops, Camp­bell said.

Work­shops were held on bee­keep­ing, land­scap­ing and us­ing scrap ma­te­ri­als, and youth-led or­gan­i­sa­tion Gen­er­a­tion Zero spoke to peo­ple about the pro­posed Zero Car­bon Act.

The event, which was pre­vi­ously run by the In­ver­cargill En­vi­ron­ment Cen­tre, which has closed, was now be­ing sup­ported by the South­land branch of For­est & Bird, Camp­bell said.

With a change in com­mit­tee mem­bers, younger vol­un­teers had come on board and given the fes­ti­val a nudge in the right di­rec­tion, she said.

Camp­bell thinks the pop­u­lar­ity of the fes­ti­val was grow­ing be­cause peo­ple who had con­cerns about liv­ing in an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly way were start­ing to take ac­tion, she said.

Two peo­ple who had come down from Dunedin were vis­it­ing the fes­ti­val to get ideas for set­ting up a sim­i­lar event in their city.

More peo­ple were look­ing at ways to pro­duce their own food, re­cy­cle or save en­ergy, Camp­bell said.

The most pop­u­lar at­trac­tion of the day was Ezra the don­key, who was giv­ing chil­dren rides in the car park, she said.

Sev­eral peo­ple had been in­ter­ested in the work­shop on bee­keep­ing, with some trav­el­ling from as far away as Te Anau to at­tend, she said.

KAVINDA HERATH/STUFF

Ge­off Scott and Noel Peterson at­tend the Spring Eco Fest at the In­ver­cargill Work­ing­men’s Club on Satur­day.

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