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Reasons to be Cheerful!

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

During the weekend of July 24/25, over 800 visitors to Faversham were able to catch a glimpse of a bright future world, where the right environmental choices have been made.

Lovely World was a unique and ambitious event, initiated and organised by Swale Friends of the Earth. Visitors could see, feel and learn about positive technologies and policies already in development, as well as behaviours and actions around the world, that are helping to tackle the climate emergency. Taking inspiration from the film 2040 (screened at QE Grammar School earlier in July) and The World We Made, a book by Jonathan Porritt, the event delivered a refreshing and tangible message of hope.

The exhibition was a take-over at the Alexander Centre for the entire weekend.

A packed programme of talks, films, poetry and performances, as well as interactive stands, meant there was something to pique the interest of everyone. Visitors could study soil using a binocular microscope and build a wormery. Badge making and textile printing took place in the garden, and children were encouraged to re-imagine the street with greening and landscaping ideas, which were fed into a new app. A clothes swap encouraged people to consider other ways to change their wardrobe, avoiding fast fashion. Students of local secondary schools volunteered in various roles throughout the weekend.

Twenty-seven partners displayed and explained technologies and processes, from waste to energy, green spaces to fashion, which reduce pressure on the environment. Please see Our Partners for links and details of each one.

Here are some comments from Visitors:

- Such a great exhibition. It was a thrill to help Prinfab showcase an example of our pioneering work locally.

- I really enjoyed the animations. Thought provoking. It was an incredible event

- You have done such a marvellous job bringing this event together. Thank you all.

- Teacher from Abbey School - Thank you to all our staff and students who took part in this fantastic event!

Comments from Teachers and Students Volunteers on what inspired them at Lovely World:

- Teachers:

1) I will plant more lavender for the bees! Most importantly I am rethinking how I teach about climate change and the environment as part of my subject.

2) The students would happily volunteer again- they enjoyed being a part of it all - and they learned a lot from the experience. Their enthusiasm to make a difference has increased and they are talking positively about what impact they can personally have going forwards.

- There are so many contacts who we have the potential to work with in the future

- The creative parts that people could take part in - and the conversations with people there

- The swap 3 items of clothing for 3 new items and the model made out of carpet tubes

- The inspiring talks that were being given - and the beekeeping display

- The wealth of knowledge of the people there - More gardening and eco-projects at school

- I really enjoyed volunteering - I was also able also fully enjoy and appreciate the event. I learned so much and now have a new appreciation of our world's potential.

Feedback from Partners was extremely positive - encouraged by meeting like-minded people and companies with the shared vision of transforming the quality of our environment and our lives for the better:

“This was a great event to take part in, there was lots of good engagement with the stand from passers-by, especially the under-5s, and some really useful connections made with other people exhibiting and presenting. Whoever organised the weather did a great job too, thank you!” Jai Sandhu, Wildstreets

“I believe the most efficient way to change is through education, and creating awareness, so thanks for spreading the word.” Lucy Romo, Notpla

“It was a pleasure speaking at Friends of the Earth’s Lovely World event over the weekend and hearing from so many engaged and enthusiastic attendees. We hope that we were able to give both inspiration to the next generation of the potential weird and wonderful resources to be unlocked from sewage, and also hope to the wider community that better sewage management practices are possible.” Lara Day, Severn Trent Connect

Many exhibitors expressed interest in the event being carried forward nationally to other areas of the country, driven by the incentive that knowledge is power. When people possess the knowledge and abilities to change, change will happen.

We need that change now: While the intent of this project has been single-mindedly to encourage a positive mindset, none of us imagines that the climate emergency is being addressed seriously by those currently in power.

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