I’m back in Cornwall after an amazingly inspiring (and amazing hot and sweaty..) week in London. It was great to catch up with my London office girls and get a change of scenery to mix up my working week, but the highlight had to be a night spent at the Observer Ethical Awards courtesy of the lovely people at Ecover!
This year marked the 10th year of the awards, which are all about celebrating the people, organisations and campaigners who are leading the way to ensure we have an ethical future. The categories for the awards ranged from Campaigner of the year and Community energy project award, to Ethical product of the decade!! Longstanding supporter of the awards, Ecover, sponsored the young green champions category; presenting the winner with a £6,000 bursary to continue and build on their great work.
As my first event appearance presenting A Lazy Girl Goes Green, I was naturally nervous. It’s easy to write about my attempts to live more sustainably and ethically from afar, but standing among aspiring campaigners and industry champions could appear quite intimidating. As I ascended the steps of the graceful Victoria and Albert Museum, alongside some seriously stylist chicks; I wondered if I belonged in such a different world to my own.
But inside, the event was buzzing with excited chatter and nervous energy. The room was full of like-minded people who really cared about what was going, and were genuinely excited for those who had been recognized for the work they had been doing this past year.
Past the endless bubbly top ups (yes, I perhaps did drink a bit too much) and the shameless celeb spotting (in which I knew no one) it was really nice to meet such lovely people.
We filled up on some delicious canapes and desserts – which I was very happy to see had vegan options – and I was very careful to bite my tongue and not point out that if it was truly ethical it would be 100% vegan! I was on my best vegan behavior…
I must admit though, not being a slick city dweller myself, the food was delicious and beautiful but rather pretentious. I would say a menu which claims to be ethical is quite ambitious, and I wondered how confident it was to define itself as such. But as the occasion was of celebration, not of being grouchy and pedantic, I told myself to be quiet and carried on nibbling!
The awards themselves were the highlight of the night, and some of the winners films had me in tears of emotion as I saw the love, energy and raw passion people have put into making the world a more ethical and beautiful place. I was particularly proud of my home county of Devon, which saw 3 nominations and 2 winners in the form of the Dartmoor Pony Sanctuary (nominated), Plymouth Energy Community and Riverford Organic Farm!
Jenna and Rachael continued to point out a few sustainability stars, whilst I vowed to brush up on my celebrity knowledge! But who cared who attended the event, when the stars of the show were hands down the people who won the awards.
I did, however, become unreasonably excited about the prospect of an “ethical” goody bag at the end, and I barely waited to sit down on the tube back to Kings Cross before I delved in. I know in my heart I should have been a little more weary about a bag filled to the brim full of stuff, but frankly, it was all lovely and vegan friendly stuff, so I’m keeping it all with pride! But just to be a little more graceful than I left that night – tipsy and clutching my bag with excitement – I won’t show off the contents here. Keep an eye out for reviews of some of the goodies soon though!
And finally…the deserving winners:
Ecover young green champions, sponsored by Ecover – Andover Trees United
Lifetime achievement award – Yoko Ono
Campaigner of the year – Emma Watson
Community energy project award, sponsored by National Grid – Plymouth Energy Community
Sustainable style, in partnership with Eco Age – Nudie Jeans
Film and television, in partnership with Bafta – Coronation Street
Ethical wildlife – The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park And World Animal Protection UK
Green Briton of the year – Anna Watson
Ethical product of the decade – The organic veg box, by Riverford
Arts and culture – Festival of Thrift