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The greener side of life

Learn how you can be more environmentally friendly this March at the third annual Green Light Festival. Attracting over two thousand visitors in its first two years, organisers are hoping to exceed this number as Leicester gears up to combat climate change and live more sustainably. 

Photo credit Jessie Cooke

Filled with fun and practical environmental-based activities, this year’s festival will feature three key themes: sustainable communities, sustainable arts and fashion and skill sharing. A number of talks, discussions, films and information stalls will be centred on these topics.

In addition to the activities there will also be food and music for people to enjoy as well as crèche facilities for young families to take advantage of.

The festival will be held on March 16, 2013 at De Montfort University’s Queen’s Building – home to the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development. It is organised by Transition Leicester with the assistance of volunteers from the local community and De Montfort University’s students and features as a key event in Leicester City Council’s ‘A Low Carbon City Programme’.

Festival co-organiser Chris Shaw said: “We think that living sustainably offers a great chance to not only help the planet and cut our consumption of fossil fuels, but to improve the quality of life in our local communities. We’re organising Green Light once again to celebrate all the great work that’s happening in Leicester and to inspire people to get active in their communities, at work and in their everyday lives.

Photo credit: David Weight

Our choice of the three themes was made with the aim of showcasing practical examples of how local communities are building resilience and gearing up for climate change as well as trying to demonstrate that fashion doesn’t have to cost the earth. The eco- fashion show will be the catwalk with an environmental twist and lots of fun.”

Andrew Reeves from Transition Leicester explains the thinking behind skill sharing. He said: “Transition Leicester has helped set up a skill sharing group in the city and we want to extend the concept into the Green Light Festival. Quite literally, skill sharing is all about one person with a skill sharing it with another. For example, I might have a range of gardening skills that I can pass on quite quickly whereas you might be a dab hand at repairing old shoes.

We will invite all participants to this year’s festival to share a skill with others and all stall holders and presenters will be asked to share a skill with their audience. The focus will be on skills for sustainable living, so we hope that people will leave the festival with some ideas about how to put environmentalism and sustainability into practice in their every day lives.”

Photo Credit: Jessie Cooke

It has been over 20 years since Leicester was designated an Environment City and in September this year the city council revealed a new programme of action which will hopefully assist in helping the city to meet its ambitious target of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 50 per cent from the baseline year of 1990. This includes on-going work with schools and colleges to switch to solar panels, providing affordable installations for the local community and encouraging use of alternative methods of transport such as cycling.

Green Light will take place from 10am to 6pm, with workshops starting at 1pm. To read more about the festival and find out about how you can get involved visit