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Inspiration and change champions (Festival of Hope Part III)

Sometimes everyone needs inspiration and a dose of hope. This post shares a number of quotes and directs readers to some pretty inspirational organisations and individuals featured at the Eden Project's Festival of Hope, 2016.


Festival of Hope: Inspiration and change champions

The Eden Project Mediterranean biome

"It’s about lighting candles, not cursing the darkness." (Martin Wright, Forum for the Future)

The introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge has seen an 85% reduction in bag use! 6 billion fewer plastic bags were given out in 6 months. This is the equivalent of 3 million pelicans, or 300 blue whales. (Hugo Tagholm, CEO, Surfers against Sewage)

"Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want." – Anna Lappe


Martin Wright, Forum for the Future explored how ‘a new kind of environmentalism is telling us to do more, not to do less’. We need to innovate, to explore new ways of working together and of thinking; new ways of living with new technologies. As humans we naturally aspire to new things, and "this is bringing environmentalism more into synch with human nature." One example is a micro-grid software solution in Kenya: according to SteamaCo, "my aim is to … make people see light at night, where once there was darkness."

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy." – Rabindranath Tagore


"We live in challenging times… but I want to suggest that in this world of challenging facts, we need to turn these negatives into positive facts." (Jon Khoo, Co-innovation Partner, Interface)

  • 640,000 tonnes fishing waste dumped annually: What could be the common thread that could link oceans, communities and carpets? Net-Works empowers communities by turning waste into opportunity:

  • Over 100 tonnes of nets have been collected through this programme, giving over 900 families access to banking for the first time. The target is for 1 billion m2 of coastline to be protected by 2020.
  • Marine plastic has seen recycling collaboration between Adidas and Parley, Selfridges and Project Ocean.

"The People have the Power. All we have to do is awaken the Power in the People." – John Lennon


#switchthestick is a national campaign to convince large organisations to switch from plastic ear buds to paper. These single-use plastics are really common along shorelines and riverbanks. Johnson & Johnson and Waitrose have announced they’ll switch, and Tesco announced very recently that they will switch by end 2017! Waitrose alone is an estimated 20 tonnes of plastic saved.

"People power works." – Natalie Fee, City to Sea


"Over the last 70 years there have been more scientific inventions than the rest of time combined. We’re living at a period where science is discovering invisible worlds… Our nature is the curious beast. We can only thrive by questioning, by understanding, by making sense of this beautiful world." (Sir Tim Smit, Co-founder of the Eden Project)

It takes 7 litres of water and 1 full glass of oil to produce each plastic bottle, and we use on average 150 bottles per person per year. Introducing... the Ooho! This is an edible water bottle made of seaweed, which can grow up to 2 metres per day. "It’s an exciting experience just to try, which for sustainable solutions is important" (Pierre Paslier & Rodrigo García Gonzáles, Skipping Rocs Lab)


Toast Ale, beer made from bread. Founded as part of the FeedBack initiative

“The more I mended, the more I began to see that mending and fixing things is actually an act of rebellion.” – Jen Gale, ‘My Make Do and Mend Life’ blog

15 million tonnes of food waste is created in the UK each year, and bread is the worst offender. 44% of all bread produced in UK is thrown away: that’s 24 million slices wasted. Toast Ale is a new company making beer out of unwanted bread!


Previous section:

Part II: Calls to action


About the author – Catrin Darsley, UEA Environmental Officer

I started working in UEA’s Sustainability Team in February 2015, and am enjoying celebrating the challenge of a low carbon lifestyle despite the pressures of our modern society. From vegan baking experiments to UK exploration, I continue to get excited about the huge amount of possibility within low-impact choices!