As part of my long walk last weekend, I visited the Sustainable Living Festival held at Melbourne’s Federation Square just beside the Yarra River. It was a pretty interesting encounter for me and shows the extent to which environmental and social consciousness has taken root in this cosmopolitan and multi-cultural city. There were also several lessons to be learnt from my walk through the festival which may be useful for event and roadshow organisers in Singapore. They certainly pull out all of the stops to make the experience as thematic and holistic as they come – albeit in a socially responsible manner.
The only thing I can’t bring back though is the weather. Even though it is summer here in Melbourne, the temperature was a nice cool 22 to 23 deg Celcius, and the cool winds and dry weather made it even more comfortable.
Anyway, here goes…
Having an outdoor stage with a band playing seems to be a must to draw crowds. What’s unusual though is that the speakers used are apparently low wattage so that they don’t consume that much energy.
Some of the stalls cover pertinent topics like having the right population sizes that the planet can bear with…
…As well as promoting responsible 3rd world manufacturing practices by discouraging sweat shops. These are mills with poor working conditions where workers are often paid a measly wage in return for their services.
Encouraging the practice of permaculture, which essentially means generating as much of your own food and other needs in a manner as non-interventionist as possible to the natural environment.
Some of the ideas promoted were quite radical. Like this stall here asking womenfolk to make use of re-usable panty shields and other more err…. intimate stuff! There was another stall which offered re-usable diapers for kids – something that certain parents have been practising from what I understand.
The organised talks centering around different themes and subjects were popular. This one was full to the brim and had a TV Crew covering it as part of the news.
Some of the fascinating topics being covered here. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any spaces for me to hear what they have to say but they do look highly relevant in this age of global warming.
Of course, its not always about the serious sombre stuff. There was a play tent for kids to indulge themselves too, in ways which I am sure are environmentally sustainble.
Those who prefer to be outside could cling onto this aluminium built heli-whale, which seem to be an artistically rendered creature right out of one’s imagination.
Of course, adults could play too. There was this bongo drumming session where one learns to make music without thrashing the world.
After all that action, one needs to fuel up. Naturally, it has to be organically produced wines…
Bicycling seems to be a common activity in Melbourne, and this stall here promotes the act of riding everywhere as opposed to driving.
What takes the cake though was this Bike Valet – which was FREE by the way – that showed how important it was to reduce one’s footprint on planet Earth.
After attending the event, I was certainly inspired to do more for my world. Wouldn’t you?
It is always cool to visit these events and be inspired by things we can do. Perhaps it’s human’s nature, we slip back (quickly) into our normal modes after a while.