Since we initially decided to do the Sustainable Chester Fair we have been inundated with various messages so we thought that this would be the ideal platform to give some answers ahead of the fair on Saturday.
Why have you organised the Fair?
Friends of the Earth have actively been campaigning in the region for many years. From door step recycling, to climate action, to protecting our bees, the last couple of years we have been really focusing on Straw Free and Plastic Free Chester along with Refill.
We felt Chester has been doing some great work through various community and campaign groups and we wanted an opportunity to celebrate everything Chester & Cheshire West has been doing to make the area more sustainable.
What projects are you working on now?
We have an Incredible Edible project at Industry in Handbridge that needs help and we are going to be starting a 10xGreenerCH1 project any day, on Saturday we’ll have a stall to raise awareness so have a chat with them.
Although Cheshire West and Cheshire Council have issued a Climate Emergency, they have a long way to go to put any actions into practice, so lots of work for groups is needed to support any initiatives in the region. We still have the threat of Fracking in our region (speak to Frack Free Everywhere if you need to know more about this).
We have achieved Plastic Free Chester status with Surfers Against Sewage, with around 40 businesses signed up to the campaign and many schools looking to achieve Plastic Free School status.
Despite our recent success, we completely understand we still need to do more. We are now completing regular litter picks in the region and have just completed our first outside the area, at Talacre Beach with Chester Zoo Volunteers.
We now have ambitions to work with the whole region so watch out Ellesmere Port/Frodsham/Helsby, we want to work and support community projects and push to get these regions to Plastic Free status.
If you live in any these areas and are interested let us know, we are looking for project leaders.
What does it mean to be Sustainable?
The Sustainable Development Goals are the United Nations blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it’s important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030.
We want to make people think more about these goals. We are constantly being bombarded by various campaigns on plastics, climate change, food waste etc…. We wanted to show everyone how we can do something and which businesses we need to lobby to support the goals. We can’t change the world in one day, but hopefully everyone will go away with some practical ideas of what they can do.
We have tried to fit the event around some of these goals, although I did find we have some overlap.
Climate Action Zone
Climate change is caused by human activities and is threatening the way we live and the future of our planet. By addressing climate change we can build a sustainable world for everyone. But we need to act now. You can get tips and ideas from the following stalls at our fair.
Life on Land
Forests cover nearly 31 per cent of our planet’s land area. From the air we breathe, to the water we drink, to the food we eat, forests sustain us.
Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood.
Almost 75% of the world’s poor are affected directly by land degradation. Forests are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects?
And of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8% are extinct and 22% are at risk of extinction.
Biodiversity and the ecosystem services it underpins can also be the basis for climate change.
Friends of the Earth are calling for the UK to double its free cover and we need your support for our campaign. Tell your MP you need the Government to act.
Trees should be our natural defence against climate change, absorbing carbon emissions, as well as providing a home for wildlife. The UK has some of the lowest levels of woodland in Europe. It’s time to ask for #MoreTreesPlease.
Life Below Water
Over 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihood
Oceans provide key natural resources including food, medicines, biofuels and other products. They help with the breakdown and removal of waste and pollution, and their coastal ecosystems act as buffers to reduce damage from storms, maintaining healthy oceans supports climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
We have all been taken aback by the Blue Planet Effect. Since the show aired we’ve had huge support around our plastic free campaigning and spoken to some wonderful children in schools around the region. I wish we could bottle the enthusiasm of our youth and give it to all of us grown ups….
We must stop the amount of plastic going into our oceans. On our recent letter pick to Talacre Beach we found lots of plastic forks and polystyrene cones from the local chip shop, lolly or cotton bud sticks, straws and loads of balloons.
We have some fantastic groups coming along to the fair supporting this goal from trees to parks to wildlife.
Responsible Production and Consumption
If we don’t act to change our consumption and production patterns, we will cause irreversible damage to our environment.
We no longer have the 3 r’s but 4
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Where you can, refuse single use plastic, say no to a straw and take your reusable containers with you. Go into our own Zero Waste Shop, Just Footprints and come away without any plastic packaging.
Reduce the amount of stuff you buy. Can you lend that electrical item from a friend for that one job. Could your broken item be fixed. Could you buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
Buy Reusable, rather than single use. Get a reusable coffee cup, a flannel instead of face wipes, give up cotton wool and kitchen roll. Choose glass, paper, stainless steel, wood, ceramic and bamboo over plastic.
Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse. Pay attention to the entire life cycle of items you bring into your life, from source to manufacturing to distribution to disposal. Don’t forget metal and glass can be recycled forever, plastic can’t and only 7% of total plastic packaging is actually being recycled.
From our Plastic and Straw Free campaigns to reducing food waste and moving away from fast fashion. You will find out about many of these areas at our fair. Visit our Plastic Free Pioneer stall, stock up on reusable items from many of the Zero Waste businesses. Then visit the Pavilion and ask Meg Pirie about slow fashion and make reusable Wax Wraps with Mary. We also have Mary Hill who can link you back to nature with her Woodland Crowns.
Good Health and Wellbeing
Spending $1 billion in immunisation coverage can save 1 million children’s lives each year.
Ensuring healthy lives for all requires a strong commitment, but the benefits outweigh the cost. Healthy people are the foundation for healthy economies.
Start by looking after your own health and those of your family. Take action through schools, clubs, teams and organisations to promote better health for all. Hold government accountable to their commitments to improve people’s access to health and health care.
We have lots of stalls offering holistic treatments today or get yourself a healthy juice from Kriss at ExSqueezeMe.
What else is going on…?
We have Activities for the children throughout the day, speaker sessions, no need to book these.
11.30 Hidden Hedgehogs – Hedgehog Stall near Pavilion
Our Hedgehogs are endangered and it’s very hard to find them these days. Whoever finds the most of our Pine Cone Hedgehogs around the park will win a prize.
12.30 Picnic Time with your family – in the park (Or Pavilion if the weather stays like it is at the moment)
Bring a Picnic and then make sure all your waste is placed in our special bins so we can sort and recycle as much as possible from the event.
1.30 Chill time – see info board at the Pavilion
2.15 Story Time – Duffy’s Lucky Escape – Pavilion
Time for a rest after lunch, come along while Kat the Turtle tells the story of her friend Duffy.
3.00 The Bees need Bombs – Pavilion
Come along and make some seed Bombs for the bees with the Friends of the Earth Bees, perhaps get a waggle on with the waggle dance.
Creative Zone – The Pavilion
Mary of Cowslip Studio – Makes Woodland Crowns
Bookable sessions – 11.15 & 2.15
Mary Makes Zero Waste – Bees Wax Wrap Making Workshop
Only £5.00 per wrap, including all the materials and the skills to go away and make your own.
Macramé Madness – Helen from FoE – one bookable session to make a hanging basket – £10 including material with all proceeds to FoE.
11.30 Rethinking Transport for Vibrant, Livable Streets in Chester – Matt Jones
In this talk Matt will discuss how the way we travel shapes the city the around us and the need for modal shift away from cars and towards walking, cycling and public transport.
12.00 Miténgo Coffee – Henry Sidsaph
Henry will talk about his business, by buying Miténgo Coffee you can make a direct contribution to tree planting and forest conservation in Malawi.
1.30 The role of craft making communities in creating a sustainable model for development in less developed countries – Matthew Sutton
2.00 Plastic Free Chester/ Plastic Free Schools – Helen Tandy and Christian Dunn
What we have been doing with business and schools and how can you help turn CWAC even more plastic free.
2.30 ForEST the story so far, of Chester’s own ‘Supertrees’ – Steve Hughes
Supertrees Steve, will provide an update of the exciting project in Chester.
3.00 Chester Westlands – Christian Dunn
In this talk you’ll find out what makes wetlands the superheroes of the natural world, and learn about current plans to build the Chester Wetland Centre in the Countess of Chester Countryside Park.
BOOK TICKETS HERE.