Covid-safe #SustFest successfully raises awareness of the climate crisis
- Credit: #SustFest
The 2021 St Albans Sustainability Festival will have a lasting impact on the district, organisers have claimed.
The fortnight of 170 events included food waste sessions with local chefs demonstrating recipes from the ‘Love Your Leftovers’ cookbook, a talk by Delicious and Real on eating parts others throw away and Herts WasteAware explaining what happens to your food waste once the lorries remove it.
Festival chair Jill Watson said: “Local people’s events were incredibly successful in raising awareness to ensure that we all keep climate and environmental issues in mind and continue to take actions to reduce our carbon footprint – both individually and in local policy making going forward.”
Harpenden resident Nuri Wyeth, who attended the climate change talk given by Professor Kate Jeffery, said: “Her message really hit home. I knew a bit about the climate crisis, but her words gave me the push I needed to think about changes I could actually make to lower my own carbon footprint.
"I signed up to the St Albans Count Us In campaign and I’ve now changed my energy tariff to a green energy company. A talk on recycling also made me really understand that we have to cut packaging – I will be buying more fruit and veg from the markets now.”
Many outdoor activities offered socially distanced outdoor activities; the Ver Valley Society’s walks showcased the annual spectacle of mayflies swarming above the River Ver, RSPB St Albans evening walk spotted a yellowhammer, red fox and a barn owl, Breeze cycling for novices, and Herts Middlesex Butterfly Conservation walk identified butterflies in Heartwood Forest.
Children enjoyed wildlife events including bug hunting with All Saints Church, pond dipping in the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust Garden in Verulamium Park and the Harpenden Scavenger Trail. Thousands of school pupils, Woodcraft Folk, Scouting, and Girlguiding members organised activities including Crabtree Junior’s Nearly New Clothes sale, and rewilding at Beaumont School.
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St Albans Quakers bric-a-brac sale raised £148 for a bee charity.
Naomi Randles from the group said: “Holding the event was very valuable for the members of our Quaker Meeting as many of them had not been back to the Meeting House or spoken with others live since March 2020.”
Find out more about the St Albans Count Us In campaign at https://sustfest.org