Which one thing are
The theme of this year’s Green Festival is Do One Thing, so here HANNAH GRAY finds out what some Peterborough residents of pledged to do, and the simple things we can all do at home.
BEING green doesn’t have to be about big gestures – that is one of the key messages coming out from this year’s Green Festival.
Linking to the festival’s theme of Do One Thing, city residents are being encouraged to find small ways to help the environment.
From switching off the TV rather than leaving it on standby, to buying organic food, there are a host of things we can all do, that together would make a huge difference.
At the Green Festival launch event on Saturday, visitors could have their photographs taken at a comedy seaside-style photo booth and make pledges of the small ways in which they would help the environment.
Among those doing so were Millie and Keith Airey from Oundle.
Millie pledged to choose products with less packaging.
She said: “I hate waste and I think it’s so wasteful, the amount of packaging they put on stuff, when they use packaging inside packaging.
“Admittedly you do need some sometimes but some things are really ridiculous.”
Keith pledged not to leave the TV on standby.
“It tends to end up on standby when I fall asleep in front of it,” he said. “It’s other things on standby as well, when you think ‘I’ll come back to that so I won’t switch it off’.”
Heart Breakfast Show host Kev Lawrence, who was compering the launch event, also joined in, again pledging to buy products with less packaging.
He said: “All the pledges there are important to me, as the whole ethos of thinking greener and thinking smarter about how we live our lives is vital.
“I think it’s important for everyone to try and think about how to do their bit.
“It winds me up when you’re in the supermarket and you see the smallest of products wrapped up to get people to buy them.
“If we buy less of them, it might get the manufacturers to make less of them.”
Ciara Baker (15), who was volunteering with Green Festival organisers Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) pledged to cycle or walk more.
She said: “I picked that one because I always get my parents to drive me around and I think it would be healthier if I walked, and better for the environment.”
PECT employee Janine Starling used the opportunity to commit to sorting out her water supply at home by setting up a water butt.
She said: “I have got a water butt in my garden but it’s not connected. I’ve been really lazy about it and I haven’t sorted it out so this will remind me to do it.
“Also because I’ve just planted a lot of vegetables in my garden it will help me to water those.” The top 10 easiest and best ways to do one thing Change the way you shop. Show your support for businesses that care with your shopping choices.
There are three key strands to this – buying organic, buying local and making sure it’s green and ethical.
Buying organic eliminates chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and buying local reduces harmful food miles. Ethical products ensure companies think about how things are made, and the people making them. Look
out for: Organic wines such as Cono Sur, veg boxes from Riverford Organic, products that have the Fairtrade mark, and eco-friendly cleaning products, such as those made by Ecover. Get involved with your local environment.
Volunteering or becoming a member of a local environmental organisation is a great way to “do your bit”.
Volunteer for the Wildlife Trust – www.wildlifebcnp.org/ activities-volunteering.htm
Become a member of the Wildlife Trust – www. wildlifebcnp.org/supportusmember.htm
Support the Woodland Trust – www.woodlandtrust.org. uk/en/support-us/Pages/savewoods.aspx
Volunteer for Rail World – www.railworld.net/ volunteering.php
Volunteer for Peterborough Conservation Volunteers – www.p-c-v.co.uk
Help create an urban community green space at the Green Backyard in London Road – www.thegreenbackyard.com Visit green local spaces
Check out the Wildlife Trust website for reserves locally:
Don’t forget Nene Park – it’s on the doorstep and provides many opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors: www.nenepark-trust.org.uk Get back to nature.
Go along to the Green Festival finale on Sunday, June 6 for the BBC Spring Watch Really Wild Day Out.
It’s a chance to learn a bit more about local wildlife and help Nene Park Trust survey the different species in Ferry Meadows. Find out more about BBC Spring Watch at www.bbc. co.uk/springwatch
With the wider countryside fragmenting and climate change taking its toll, gardens are becoming increasingly vital.
While an individual garden may be small, up to a quarter of a city’s area is made up of gardens. So, when viewed together they form a large patchwork which bridges together urban green areas with nature reserves and wider rural landscapes.
Make sure your garden is as wildlife friendly as possible: www.wildlifetrusts.org Re-use
There are lots of opportunities to put this “do one thing” into practice over the course of the Green Festival this year. Today is officially re-use day, with two events dedicated to using our planet’s resources wisely.
The first, a Swish, is designed for ladies that love fashion. If you have nearly new clothes and accessories that never leave the wardrobe and you’d like to swap them for stuff you’ll wear, this is the event for you.
The event costs £5 to attend and is being held at Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall, starting at 6pm. Included in the ticket price is a glass of delicious organic wine from Green Festival sponsor Cono Sur. The same evening introduces a first for Peterborough – the beer-drinking, Call-ofDuty playing, armwrestling brother of the Swish... Cadge-IT.
This swap shop for boys is free, will be held at the Brewery Tap, and also kicks off at 6pm.
pledge: Millie and Keith Airey making their green promises at the Green Festival