Earthfest 2017 at Marina Barrage
Earthfest | Marina Barrage | 12 February 2017
Earth friendly food, eco-products, interactive learning, environmental education and clothing swaps were some of the many activities which were abound at the Marina Barrage on 12 February 2017.
The 2nd edition of Earthfest 2017, co-organised by Michael Broadhead & volunteers together with Marina Barrage. With tickets sold out 3 weeks before the event and 6000 people expected, the fest was a strong indication of growing support for the environmental movement, here in Singapore.
I had a chance to take a tour with Michael Broadhead, who explained the reason for organising Earthfest and showed us the various sustainable features adopted to minimise the event’s environmental footprint.
“With tickets sold out 3 weeks before the event and 6000 people expected, the fest was a strong indication of growing support for the environmental movement, here in Singapore.”
– Micheal Broadhead, Earthfest Founder
Earthfest was founded by Michael in an effort to provide a platform for eco–conscious businesses and organisations to be highlighted. Michael explained that many eco- businesses are small, and do not have the marketing budget or influence of larger MNC’s, and so end up not being noticed. Earthfest is trying to change this by providing a platform for them to highlight what they have to offer.
A holistic approach was adopted by Michael and his volunteers by combining environmental education with experience.
Experience via animal adoption (top) at Earthfest 2017.
Environmental education at Earthfest 2017.
Sustainable Initiatives at Earthfest 2017
Eating - Plant-based, eco-friendly food, mouth-watering food was offered by vendors. Insert Veganburg hotdog
Adopting – Responsible pet ownership, its all about respecting our environment and all species that reside within it.
Making – Makerfaire where attendees could get hands on experience on upcycling disused items into something meaningful, and purchase them.
Swapping – Swapping opportunities for books, DVDs & clothing to give attendees the opportunity to grasp the advantages of re-using.
Shopping – Eco-conscious consumerism where organic products, and urban farmed vegetables, amongst a whole slew of other products, were made available.
Voting – Yes, that right, voting! Ideas to improve the environment were pitched at a pitching session. The best idea was voted in by the people and a $1000 award was given by The Awesome Foundation.
However, events in itself are resource and waste intensive, so how did Earthfest organisers manage this?
Here are some initiatives that were adopted to reduce resource use & waste.
Attendees were requested to bring their own
•Plate and Cutlery – sinks were provided for washing up.
Recycling Bins (left) and a processing point (top) where food waste and biodegradable cutlery had to be cut up before being sent for composting.
Banners used at the event were re-used from the previous year’s event. In order to do this, organisers refrained from printing the year on the banner.
Volunteers had badges on display to distinguish themselves and these badges were recycled from last year’s event. In addition, the badges were upcycled.
Wooden pallets were used for display and these were borrowed from a local company and will be returned after the event.
“Wooden pallets were used for display and these were borrowed from a local company and will be returned after the event.”
- Michael Broadhead
Ideas environment were pitched at a pitching session (left). Clothing Swap by Swaphaholic with Founder Raye Padit (middle). Wooden pallets which were borrowed and returned after event (right).
Professional posters were not printed for the event. Instead, displays were printed on regular scrap paper and pasted on the wooden pallets. All of which will go for recycling after the event. Cost savings and resource savings.
For cutlery that had to be provided by food stalls, these were biodegradable grade cutlery. All cutlery and food waste were segregated by attendees and sent for composting.
Namecard and flyer free event. Paper use was further reduced by getting vendors to cooperate in not circulating flyers and namecards. Did they? Yes! I tried asking around, and many said they were not handing out namecards.
Many of these sustainable initiatives can be adopted and modified for other events. Going green doesn’t always have to be 1.Expansive, 2. Difficult, or 3. Boring.
Event-Goers who brought their own plates (left). Micheal Broadhead & myself with the plate I brought (middle). Notice the badge on Micheal which was re-used from last year’s Earthfest 2016. Arty8Gallery upcycles bottle caps into crafts (right).