Looking to the future

Looking to the future

19th July 2023

Faversham’s Lovely World Event: ‘Imaging a Cool Green Future’

On 24 and 25 June the people of Faversham were able to catch a glimpse of what a bright future might look like in which the ‘right’ environmental choices have been made.

At this unique and inspiring event, a ‘Lovely World’, organised and hosted by Swale Friends of the Earth, visitors had the opportunity to see, feel and learn about the positive technologies and policies already in development that are helping tackle the climate crisis. Inspired by the film 2040 and the book by Jonathan Porritt, The World We Made, the event, held at The Alexander Centre in Faversham, delivered a refreshing and tangible message of hope against the doom and gloom that normally surrounds this topic.

Left to right: Eco-friendly wicker coffins presented by Albany Funerals; award-winning British-made air source heat pumps from Kensa and sustainable textile printers, Prinfab

Some of the progressive businesses the Duchy of Cornwall could be working with on their proposed SE Faversham development were among the exhibitors. These enterprises included Severn Trent Connect, who have developed an innovative water recycling plant that prevents sewage entering our waterways; Kensa, award winning British-made ground-source heat pumps; Biohm, who have developed insulation panels from organic and synthetic by-products and waste; Low Carbon Materials, creating a low-carbon concrete alternative to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of buildings; Wild Streets, empowering communities to make their cities greener and healthier; and Notpla, developing and producing innovative seaweed alternatives to single-use plastic packaging.

These businesses all share the Duchy’s ethos of building beautifully and sustainably and individually they represent new and pioneering technologies that are being developed to work towards a cleaner and greener future.

Swale FoE appreciate and are pleased to acknowledge the assistance given by the Duchy of Cornwall in introducing some forward-looking companies to the event.”

Left to right: Human-scale composting solutions promoted by Heart & Soil Community; and bio-based materials from pioneering research and development company Biohm

The event was a huge success, with over 800 visitors across the two days. The packed programme of talks, films, poetry and performances, as well as interactive stands, meant there was something to pique the interest of all ages. In The Garden Room, Heart & Soil Community encouraged visitors to get their hands dirty, studying soil through a large microscope, and held workshops across both days where willing participants helped build a wormery. Badge making and t-shirt printing took place under a shaded canopy in the garden, and at the front of the building children were encouraged to reimagine the street with planting and landscaping ideas.

Pictures from Wildstreets’ workshops. Left: Selection of creations by children asked to reimagine a greener street – view down Preston St. Right: The ‘collective’ vision

The FoE team brought together twenty-seven different organisations and individuals, from commercial and voluntary sectors, to deliver a visionary and inspiring event. Feedback from the exhibitors 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
Notpla, winners of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize in the category ‘Build a Waste-Free World’, find out more at www.notpla.com

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
Installation created from carpet roll tubing in the main hall and a selection of projects created by the School of Architecture at UKC

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.

The Duchy, who introduced some of the businesses that exhibited, thanked the FoE team for initiating and organising such an inspiring event and providing the progressive businesses – some still in their infancy – with the opportunity to promote their technologies, developments, and vision for a sustainable future.