Jill Watson, chair of #SustFest21
About #SustFest21 #StaySafe
Sunday 23 May to Sunday 6 June
This award-winning festival is back - and it needs your help. Across St Albans, Harpenden and villages, it is organised by a partnership between environmental charity Sustainable St Albans and St.Albans Friends of the Earth, and sponsored by Octopus Electric Vehicles. #SustFest21 #StaySafe takes place from Sunday 23 May to Sunday 6th June 2021. It aims to inspire community, business, schools, faith groups and residents, to organise events to highlight environmental issues - from Zero Waste to Natural Habitats - and to get local people doing practical things towards sustainable living.
"Look after Nature and Nature Will Look After You"
It is a difficult time and lockdown brings many challenges, but we are determined to keep the environment in mind with a festival that takes account of the pandemic, and puts people's physical and mental health high on the agenda. A #Covid-safe #SustFest21 brings a focus to local residents who lead the way in making our district more sustainable.
Covid-Safe, Flexible Festival - for lockdown changes
We plan to have a Covid-safe festival, encouraging activities that can work during a lockdown. We have a new online events listings that is flexible, so groups can change their events as lockdown rules change.
We have ideas for Covid-safe local activities, to encourage residents to go #PlasticFree, or to grow their own food. Online films and talks will explore the #ClimateCrisis and environmental topics. Kids activities, including virtual events, will raise awareness about local natural habitats, birds, bees and insects. Businesses can encourage people to #ShopLocal and faith groups can share ideas to create #Eco buildings. Some events can be run with social distancing.
Global Climate Change Conference in Glasgow #COP26
This is the year that the UK hosts the global Climate Change Conference - and is a great opportunity for us to let our leaders know that local communities want change to keep our planet safe and sustainble.
If #Lockdown allows, there will be a St Albans Sustainable Market on the first and last day of the festival.
What we are fund-raising for
We are grateful for the grant from the National Lottery, and sponsorship from Octopus Electric Vehicles. We now need to raise £2,000 to help pay for our communications; promote the festival, create the online brochure, and tell residents all about the festival - to make sure they come along to events and activities.
What if we reach our goal?
If we reach our goal we can go on to create an interactive campaign with residents to link up to the Climate Change conference #COP26. If, by any lucky chance (!) we have funds to spare they will be used by the charity Sustainable St Albans for future community engagement work on environmental sustainability.
The Festival has an impact on local Environmental Sustainability
The festival has proved itself to be vital work that has helped thousands of local people engage in activities and events that influence change towards environmental sustainability - whether switching to green energy, joining a local conservation group, growing their own food, reducing single-use plastics or learning how to reduce their carbon footprint in everyday life.
At the end of the 2019 festival our successful petition led to the St Albans District Council declaring a Climate Emergency - and they have now published their first Climate Crisis and Sustainability Action Plan.