To change, you’ve got to change yourself

Grumblings (what else?) on the backchannel about some aspects of the Climate Change Festival for example:

Pigsonthewing: “at least one climate-change festival exhibitor is giving away plastic carrier bags” (he mentioned that he thought it was Network West Midlands).

They may be the most environmentally friendly bags available and stuffed full of things that will change people’s perception forever, turning them into eco-warriors, but it doesn’t _look good_ does it?. Always eager to try a bit of proper journalism, I contacted the CCF team and was told very quickly:

“I was disappointed to note that they were giving away materials which looked somewhat unsustainable – mousemats, shiny paper, plastic pens (not plastic bags, however) – and both I and Friends of the Earth challenged them on it. They couldn’t tell us the provenance of their materials, which suggests to me that yes, they probably weren’t great… we ensured that all of our paper was recycled, and printed using the waterless offset printing process. We also obtained an ethical statement from our t-shirt producers. We’re working exceptionally hard to make sure we practice what we preach (in all of our projects, not just this particular festival), and encourage others to do the same. I was not involved with the booking of the stalls for the festival, but as far as I know, producing sustainable materials was not a requirement for all stallholders. This was perhaps an oversight…”

This is where not being a proper journalist falls down —”were there plastic bags or not?” — I’m looking for a contact at NWM to ask (have used their web form but don’t have much confidence), and I don’t have one — so if anyone has please email us or leave a comment.

The only CCF thing I’ve had chance to go to was a superb tour up the Rotunda, some pics here (mostly of the view).

1 comment for “To change, you’ve got to change yourself

  1. Mary Horesh
    6 June 2008 at 8:50 am

    I was on the stall for Birmingham Friends of the Earth and was amazed to see that West Midlands Network were at a Climate Change Festival giving away things that were promoting their childrens website on non recycled paper and giving away free drinks coasters and mouse mats with little environmental credentials. The worse “freebie” was a plastic pen with bubbles that is just going to Birmingham landfill in the next few months.

    That said, I think there are a lot of stalls there that have worked hard on their stalls and to get environmental friendly items and its all about educating the public. So please visit the Climate Change Festival for yourself and you can make your own decision…

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