Running a Green Fair or Eco Event is a great way to introduce, encourage and support people in your local community with ideas and tips on reducing their carbon footprint and waste. It's also an opportunity to showcase local producers and retailers and highlight local sustainability initiatives.
Many people understand they need to make changes to their lifestyles but often don’t know where to start or which will have the biggest impact. A Green Fair aims to answer some of their questions and leave them feeling equipped to take action.
This particular model is designed as a relaxed drop-in event. You can choose from a variety of topics and also tailor the event to your local community. A useful list of topics can be found in this accompanying guide. The guide is also helpful to direct people to for further information after the event and contains links to useful resources.
What does a Green Fair Eco Event look like?
The set up is very simple. All that's needed is a hall and some display tables. Volunteers look after different information stands, and people are encouraged to browse, look at ideas, chat and ask questions. A good time slot is around two hours. The volunteers for the information stands should be people who know a reasonable amount about the subject but they do not need to be experts! There is lots of information for all the topics in this supporting document. Enthusiasm and cheerfulness go a long way.
Below is a list of broad topics that are easily manageable for people starting out. You might also want to consider the type of community you live in. The needs and concerns of a rural community for example will be different to those in an inner city.
- Eating Sustainably and reducing Food Waste
- Eco Cleaning and Household swaps
- Eco Personal Hygiene
- Clothing and the Impact of Fast Fashion
- Green Energy, heating and insulation, energy efficient appliances
- Recycling and Repurposing
- Reducing Plastic Waste
- Composting and an Eco Friendly Garden
- How to use your car less
You may wish to ask your local council to help with the stand on re-cycling. This event is an excellent opportunity for them to meet with local residents and hear their questions. Don't forget to also talk about the things that can still be recycled but not at kerbside. Local councillors and MP's are also good people to invite along as it can help them understand how important these issues are to local people.
Other local organisations you could invite
Letting people know about local initiatives they can get involved in can be really helpful in building engagement in your local community.
- Traidcraft / Oxfam / Cafod Charity Shop to bring along Fairtrade products to sell
- Local Real Nappy Network
- Repair Café
- Upcycling group
- Local Climate Action Group
- The National Cycle Network
- Local Zero Waste Shop (useful for household & personal hygiene swaps)
- Local milk delivery company for swapping to glass bottles/plastic free veg boxes
- Local Farm Shop
- Local veg box or egg delivery scheme
- Allotment Society
- Litter picking / beach cleaning groups
- Local car share schemes
- Nature and Tree Planting groups
Don't forget to advertise your event in plenty of time and signpost the event on the day. A Green Fair can be beneficial to local businesses so ask for their support in advertising. Local churches, schools, community groups and social media groups are all good advertising opportunities.
Printing handouts is costly, not very environmentally friendly and tricky when you don’t know how many visitors to expect. You'll find all the information for the stands in this supporting document and you can direct visitors here. You could also encourage visitors to take photos of information sheets on their phones.
Feedback & Follow Up
It’s always helpful to collect feedback after all your hard work. Collect comments on Post-It notes (which are fully compostable) so you can see what people enjoyed or found useful. This can also help in planning possible follow up events such as a Clothes Swap or Repair Cafe for example.
Finally, if you are running an event, drop the name of the village/town in the comment section below. It would be great to have a list of where other events have been held. Our first event attracted well over 250 people to our village hall & was just what people were looking for. Good luck & thank you!