Sustainability Festival 2021 – 23 May – 6 June 14 May 2021
St Albans District’s Sustainability Festival is back this May with a packed two weeks of over 100 Covid-safe events to encourage everyone to live more sustainably and connect with nature. Many events are free but some do need booking – so get your diary out now!
An “umbrella” festival
Born in 2015, the Sustainability Festival is the brainchild of two local community volunteer organisations, Sustainable St Albans and St Albans Friends of the Earth. Its brilliance is to harness the energy of the wonderful community groups, schools, faith groups and local businesses that make up the fabric of St Albans. They all run activities or events during the festival, co-ordinated around one central aim – to encourage the residents of St Albans to live more sustainably and get closer to nature. The result is a hugely varied programme of events.
This year, the festival kicks off with the St Albans Sustainable Market on Sunday 23rd May. Over 60 stalls will gather in the heart of the city, selling sustainable clothing, plastic-free swaps, natural beauty products and delicious food. There will also be a number of community group stalls – come along to chat with local wildlife organisations and campaign groups about their work and ideas.
African Textiles, Amani Kitchen, Bake n BBQ, Balmy, Bee and Wild, Better Planet, Butterfly World, Botox Bikes, Cards from Janet, CEE Bill, Chaatit, Chilli Gold, Chiltern Pet Products, Churros Garcia, Dark Skies, Darya’s Kitchen, Discover Blue, Eat Whole Foods, Edgy Threads, Enterprise E Car Club, Evolvy DIY Skincare, Farr Brew, Fiona Booy Ceramics, Food Smiles, Forever Living Products, Good Edit, Greek Sandwich, Green Movement UoH, Greenpeace, Grow Community Sopwell, Hedgehog Sanctuary, Herts Fostering Services, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Hippie Shack, Jackie Vine Jewellery, Jefferson Crafts, Lussmans, Makes Scents Studio, Mama Bamboo, Mama Cynth’s , Mate Bike, Millin’s Bakes, OC Gear, Papa Paella, Pebble Art, Peddling Pizza, Peekaboo Studios, Peru Sabor, Phase Out Plastic, Plastic Conscious Mama, Population Matters, Rolling Burritos, Riverford, RSPB, Rudi’s Chilli Jams, Sustainable St Albans, Solar Streets, South Indian Food, St Albans Beekeepers, St Albans Footpath Society, Stroodles Drinking Straws, The Gallery, The Garden Box co, The Momo Hut, The Repair Shed, The Rustic Bakehouse, Tikauo, Tommy and Lottie, Trade and Retail, Twenty Outfits, , Upaya, Upcycled UK, Vegan Candles, Vegan Guru, Vida Eco Shop, Wilderhood Watch, Wilder St Albans, Working4wildlife (Plantlife) and WUKA.
A second Sustainable Market takes place on Sunday 6th June.
So much to join in with
The following fortnight, 23 May to 6th June, sees dozens of events of all kinds including self-guided trails all over the district, films, craft sessions, online workshops and talks. From local trees to hedgehogs, reusable nappies to yoga, solar panels to cycle rides there is something for everyone to enjoy whatever your age or interests.
In person and online
The testing times of the pandemic have brought new opportunities to the Sustainability Festival. Alongside the in-person events across the district – such as guided walks to see the May Fly dancing over the River Ver with the Ver Valley Society and chances to tour community gardens to learn about grow-you-own with Incredible Edibles or wildlife gardening with the CDA – this year’s talks and debates have moved from local village halls to online.
Don’t miss these speakers
Well-known names and authoritative speakers feature at a number of talks, including leader of the Liberal Democrat party, Ed Davey, veteran campaigner, Jonathon Porritt (hosted by Butterfly World 2.0), and Prof Kate Jeffery, Director of the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, UCL (talk organised by Redbourn Parish Council).
Sustainable Fashion and Food
Panel discussions have also moved to Zoom for 2021. Sustainable Fashion is the topic of 27th May’s event “Shopping with a Conscience” put together by Luxe Leopard Lifestyles. A discussion by panellists, including Lauren Bravo, about shopping mindfully will be followed by a showcase of sustainable and preloved clothing from sustainable businesses such as Lowie, Lofte, Tommy & Lottie and the Pre Loved Edit.
Foodie events in the fortnight include cookery demos such as “Al Fresco Kitchen Garden Cooking” with The Cobbled Kitchen and “Cooking with the Parts that Others Throw Away” with Delicious and Real. Journalist, Becky Alexander, discusses “How to Make Your Lunch more Eco-Friendly” while Greenpeace invite you to join their SustFest Plant Pledge – you pledge to eat a plant-based diet for the duration of the festival and they will support you with daily recipes and blogs.
If you fancy trying some new techniques, Eat Wholefoods will be showing you how to make vegan cheese and oat milk or why not join the Herts Asian Women’s Association at their community garden and learn how to grow and use ginger and fenugreek?
Full programme online
The full programme with links for event bookings is available to browse at www.sustfest.org, where both a pdf and “swipeable” tablet-friendly versions are available.
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