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Carbon Active 2015

August 2015 by Dave Coleman

The launch of Carbon Active 2015 as covered by the Manchester Evening News. Click to read more and see the picture gallery.

For the third consecutive year, Carbon Active, our festival promoting Carbon Literacy and The Carbon Literacy Project, took over Halle Square in Manchester Arndale for three days.

Launched on 17th June by Stockport Council Leader and Chair of the GM Low Carbon Hub, Cllr Sue Derbyshire, and Manchester Evening News Editor in Chief Eamonn O’Neal, over 94,000 people passed through the display area, and we had  a number of  VIP visitors including MPs Jeff Smith and Lucy Powell, Afzal Khan MEP, and the very popular Sami [the polar bear].

Carbon Active engages members of the general public in conversations about climate change, through a variety of games and informative activities. At Carbon Active 2015, this generated over 3,030 carbon conversations with Manchester Arndale shoppers and passers-by.

We welcomed back The Carbon Classroom, where pupils from 10 Greater Manchester schools prepared and delivered games and quizzes to teach adults about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The incredibly knowledgeable children attracted shoppers to join in conversation, put their knowledge to the test, and learn something new – yielding more than 1,200 conversations during the three days.

The Manchester Metropolitan University-based MetMunch team presented The Carbon Kitchen: a 4m wide, eye-catching kitchen display, used to stimulate conversations about how to minimise the carbon impacts of everyday kitchen activities and save energy in the home. The eight enthusiastic volunteers also distributed low carbon recipe books produced by their project, presenting a selection of their most delicious and nutritious meals and tips on how to prepare them with little or no energy waste.

The on-the-hour-every-hour Big Carbon Balloon Game was as ever another highlight.  Hosted by our glittery-jacketed gameshow host [the one and only Mr] Charles Lovelock, shoppers were drawn onto the stage and challenged to guess the carbon footprint of different activities/meals/countries for the chance to win prizes whilst learning more about how our everyday choices impact on our climate. In a “Higher! Lower!” sort of manner, the green balloons were released, the relative height they achieved indicating the relative carbon footprint of the activity being discussed. The higher the balloon, the more greenhouse gases that activity releases into the atmosphere.

Members of the public (children and adults) joined the bag decoration activity to decorate and take home our re-usable cotton bags, generously donated by  bag-for-life manufacturers Westford Mill. This was another good opportunity for our wonderful Carbon Active volunteers and partners to engage with the public and initiate valuable carbon conversations as they decorated.

Once again, the hard work everyone put by everyone in to make Carbon Active 2015 happen paid off, and we are immensely grateful for all the efforts our teams of partners and volunteers all put in. Particular thanks go to Manchester Arndale for hosting and sponsoring the event, MetMunch, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Environmental Educational Network (MEEN), May19, Ben Davis, event sponsors Electricity North-West, and all our partners, without whose support the event couldn’t have happened. ….. .

Three successful days of learning, fun, inspiration and solid teamwork to raise awareness and to open up important discussions about climate change.

It’s all part of our mission to create a ‘low carbon culture’ and make living “low carbon” the norm.

Click through the slideshow to see the best moments of Carbon Active 2015.


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