Birmingham Sustainability Spring Fair
Birmingham Sustainability Spring Fair
This case study was developed as part of SWM's support for the Birmingham Environmental Partnership.
Birmingham City Council
The Sustainability Spring Fair was an 'eco-market' with everything green on sale from organic carrots to electric cars. Birmingham's most 'Green' activist encouraged Birmingham's families to grow their own fruit and vegetables, and buy local produce, ethical produce and energy saving devises to make their lifestyles more sustainable. A great day out for all the family, attractions included:
- Bio-diesel stage bus with music and entertainment
- Fair-trade and ethical market
- Locally sourced food market with the Co-op
- Eco gadget market and Birmingham Energy Savers pledge tend
- Grow your own food network market with Birmingham Allotments
- Scrap store marquee with a supervised workshop for children
- 'Love Where You Live' campaign. Keeping your neighbourhood clean and tidy
- Electric vehicle road show
There was also a Sustainability Forum which was open to the Public.
The aim of this event was to raise awareness of the many ways in which people can integrate environmentally friendly behaviour into their lifestyles and reduce their carbon footprint.
Challenges included the use of effective promotion to target a widespread audience, and organising the logistics and procurement of the entire infrastructure contained within the event. Setting up such a large, prestigious event in a short time frame from January to March was also a challenge.
The event was promoted widely through several websites to ensure that many people were targeted.
Strong working relationships established over recent years across the public, private and third sectors also ensured Birmingham was working towards becoming a sustainable city.
Over 50 partners were involved in the organisation of the different events and the limited budget was supported by levering sponsorship from partner organisations such as the Co-Op, Amey and E.ON.
- The event attracted over 5,000 people.
- Major sponsors, the Midland Coop and the Coop Group, along with a wide range of local ethical entrepreneurs had stalls selling goods such as fair-trade jewellery and crafts from charities supporting projects in developing countries.
- Local food and drink suppliers kept shoppers well energised, whilst entertainers, artists and musicians from across Birmingham showcased their talent on a biodiesel powered stage.
- A local theatre company launched "Blood, Sweat and Chocolate", a play especially written for the event to highlight child trafficking. Additionally, 'Love Food Hate Waste' demonstrated how best to make the most of leftover food to cut down waste.
- Other tents included the Scrap Store where children were able to play and make face masks, costumes and dens out of unwanted, donated scrap materials supervised by Birmingham Play Care Network.
- In the Energy Tent, Birmingham Energy Savers worked alongside E.ON, Severn Trent Water Authority, Amey PLC and the University of Birmingham to encourage people to cut their energy bills through simple behaviour changes and supplied free energy saving devices for their homes.
- 50 people pledged to become involved in the Green Deal by being Early Adopters, Community Champions or Assessors.
The event location was a magnet for shoppers and tourists alike as it gave people the opportunity to shop, seek advice, be entertained and understand what Climate Week is and how living a more sustainable lifestyle can benefit everyone.
It is encouraging to see the promotion of eco-friendly activities that target such a widespread audience whilst covering all the main sustainability issues. Creating a Sustainability Forum is also a great way to engage the public.
For further information please email Barbara Street or telephone 0121 464 9166.