This weekend, for the 7th year running, millions of people all across the UK, got together and enjoyed with their neighbors in the name of The Big Lunch! The awesome campaign (in which I am lucky enough to actually be the Communications Manager for…yes shameful plug!) simply encourages people to sit down on the first Sunday each June and get to know people who live nearby. Some do it to help create more sustainable communities and make new friends, others simply to have a good laugh over some good food.
Yesterday, I popped down to an awesome plant-based Big Lunch nearby which was a 100% vegan friendly party, and full of a lovely mix of like-minded people from all across Cornwall. The event, which was organised by the lovely Sam Grady – a member of the Cornwall Vegans group – enjoyed a great turnout of vegans and non vegans alike all enjoying the sun.
It was especially important to me, as (up until recently) I’ve been the only vegan in my group of friends, and actually don’t know many people in Cornwall. It was a pleasure to chat to others who enjoyed the same lifestyle, and be at a party where I could enjoy everything on the table without asking what was in it!
As Most of you know, in my day job I work at a very inspiring environmental charity – the Eden Project – on a community campaign called The Big Lunch. I’m very passionate about the project, which is all about connecting people and creating a sense of community spirit locally.
I try not to harp on about my job too much, but this weekend I’m working on a very exciting collaboration between The Big Lunch and the awesome Climate Coalition on their For The Love of campaign which I think you lazy green beans might be interested in. All weekend on Twitter we want to get people talking about what they love in their communities, and seek to protect from the effects of climate change. All you need to do is share a photo of what you love about where you live, with the hashtag #fortheloveof.
But what do street parties have to do with sustainability?
The Big Lunch –the UK’s annual get-together for neighbors – encourages people to sit down together on the first Sunday every June to share food and conversation, as a means to promote community spirit. But it’s more than just a street party full of trifles, trestle tables and bunting. People are the key ingredient. Those taking part begin to create friendlier communities in which they share more; from conversation and ideas, to skills and resources.
The UK’s award winning environmental charity and tourist attraction, the Eden project, seeded the idea of The Big Lunch in 2009 with the hope of creating stronger, more sustainable communities. It’s about recognising that, whilst individual responses to environmental issues – such as household recycling and conscious purchasing – are important factors in tackling climate change, the power of collective action cannot be underestimated. When people come together to share ideas, resources and skills, they are in effect becoming more sustainable. The Big Lunch calls it human warming, and last year 4.83 million people got involved to enjoy a taste of it! Continue reading Creating human warming for the love of communities→
Growing up, I always saw my family as rather resourceful. Whilst my Nan grew herbs in her garden and knew how to make cleaning products with water and a bag of lemons; mum shopped around for the best deals and made most of my clothes as a child. My uncle Fred perhaps took it a step too far, and saw resourcefulness as a need to save absolutely everything he came across (including dolls heads in the skip or leaflets in the local library) and hoarded a variety of things “just in case they might be needed one day…”