Today, Saturday 22nd April, is Earth Day, a global campaign to raise awareness of the environmental and climate challenges that we all face as citizens of planet earth.
Here at Jodrell Bank, we’re very proud of our green credentials and sustainability plays a central role in all our work. In fact, with 35 acres of protected gardens and arboretum, we’re the most biodiverse part of the University of Manchester’s entire estate.
Sustainability is also at the heart of our annual festival of discovery, Bluedot, where we designate an impressive 15 acre wildlife refuge on site throughout the entire three day event. The festival was also the first of its kind in the UK to use all LED festoon lighting and we work hard to reduce waste and keep our carbon footprint and fuel emissions as low as we can.
More great examples of the festival’s work in sustainability include:
- Offering festival-goers a chance to offset their carbon footprint with a choice to make a ‘Carbon Offset’ donation when they buy their tickets. We invest 100% of this in renewable energy with Energy Revolution, a festival industry collaborative charity.
- Actions to remove the use of plastic straws, containers and cutlery sold from food traders
- Providing all staff with reusable drinks bottles in order to reduce the number of plastic bottles on site
- Initiating car sharing schemes and providing coaches for festival-goers to arrive together
- Providing extensive recycling opportunities across the festival site
- Offering tent collections for charity and providing an on-site food bank collection point
While we work hard to put sustainability at the heart of festival production, a key part of Bluedot’s overarching public mission is ‘to highlight the fragility of planet Earth.’
And so, today is also the perfect opportunity to tell you about some of the fascinating science exhibits and talks which highlight environmental and climate issues that you can discover at this year’s festival:
- The British Antarctic Survey will be at the festival with a model of the new polar ship the RSS Sir David Attenborough. Members of the team of scientists will be on hand with exhibits such as marine creatures and fossils and there’ll be a series of fascinating talks about the project.
- The BBC’s Helen Czerski will present her talk Coasts, Currents, Conflicts and Kings about the oceans and how they impact our everyday lives.
- The Manchester branch of the British Science Association will be at the Planet Field making bee-friendly wildflower seed bombs and highlighting the plight of bees.
- Lecturer in Environmental Sciences at the Open University, Tamsin Edwards will also be at the festival discussing the impact of global warming and sea level rise.
- Head of Climate Impacts Research at the Met Office, Richard Betts will discuss the evidence for human-caused climate change, explain how climate models work, and explore the outlook for the future.
- The Met Office will be running cloud-spotting workshops and looking at climate change and how this will impact on UK weather
- The University of Manchester’s Alice Larkin will also explore the impact of climate change in her talk on international travel, fuel emissions, and climate-friendly policies.
- The Royal Society of Chemistry will be at the Planet Field with a special exhibit that uses chemistry to make clean water
- A series of family craft activities will take place throughout the festival using recycled or natural materials including items grown from our own arboretum.
- Sarah Bridle from the University of Cambridge will explore our food production system and the impact of an increasing population, rising temperatures, and extreme weather events.