In collaboration with Boston Spa Parish Council, this summer's Party in the Park, Big Festival celebrations in Stables Lane had a more sustainable theme.
Local businesses took up the challenge again this year after last summer's success, to reduce their reliance on avoidable, oil based plastic packaging, using instead plant-based alternatives (which have a lower carbon footprint). Thank you to Salt, Homegrown Hospitality, Yorkshire Dales Ice Creams, Pan Sushi and JRM Catering.
Furthermore, this packaging, along with food waste, was collected separately from the usual recycling, so that this waste could be turned back into compost (what is called a truly 'circular economy').
Although we still have some way to go to get the waste management side of the event right, it's great news that local businesses and the community are starting to understand that there are more sustainable packaging alternatives available, especially as single-use plastic cutlery, plates, bowls, trays, and polystyrene cups and lids, will be banned here in England from October 2023.
The Community Green Group also put on a stand in the Park, focusing around kids activities and nature, which went down very well with parents (especially as most activities were provided free of charge).
Stand organiser, Adrian Balcombe, said that "it was really good to see new and familiar members of our local communities engage in the initiatives we as a group are trying to deliver".
These are to:
- Reduce our carbon emissions,
- Increase biodiversity,
- Reduce waste and increase recycling (which includes our Big Bike Fix).
He went on to say, "the kids loved the recycled tin can alley, tombola (with plastic-free kids prizes and donated gifts), colouring, dot pictures, origami flowers, nature bracelets, leaf and flower bingo, and bug hunt around the Park. We also had the opportunity to share all the money-saving and energy-saving tips, sustainable technologies and food waste reduction ideas with families, especially at this challenging time for us all".
Thank you to all our volunteers, local businesses, Parish Councillors, Friends of Stables Lane, Big Festival organisers and the community for all their support with our 'lets leave a lighter footprint' initiative.
Discouraging the use of avoidable single-use, oil based plastics is something we all wish to see. If we can also reuse packaging, this reduces the amount of waste created too. In circumstances where reuse can be a challenge and waste can be managed appropriately, then plant-based packaging is another affordable, lower carbon solution made from a renewable, sustainable resource.
Working with Boston Spa Parish Council and local businesses, the Community Green Group continues our journey to become a Plastic Free Community. If you know of another event that currently uses single use plastics, then please get in touch as we'd love to support another event as part of this journey.
We would also be interested in helping other local councils follow in Boston Spa Parish Council's footsteps.