We love our city and our planet. That’s why as well as delivering a fantastic event for thousands of people to enjoy, we want to leave the best impact possible. Being green and kind to our planet is a huge part of delivering a sustainable event. We’re doing a lot to behind the scenes in the event planning and asking our wonderful audience to join us in reducing the negative impacts of a great day out.
What you can do to make Manchester Day as green as possible
- Food and drink
- Remember your refillable water bottle – save money, stay hydrated and help reduce plastic pollution (the Refill app is great for finding coffee shops and other businesses where you can fill up for free).
- Bring a reusable coffee cup – many coffee shops offer a discount or reward
- Our Manchester Day Bars for the first time will have a cup deposit scheme, so you can enjoy your drink guilt-free, knowing that there won’t be any single-use plastic waste.
- Make good food choices… Our Manchester Day street food traders have all signed up to providing sustainable food options including using seasonal, organic and local produce, plus using sustainably-sourced palm oil and providing vegetarian and vegan options. All have pledged to reduce single-use plastic too.
- For bottles and cans that can’t be avoided (we know sometimes you just want a fizzy pop), we have separate bins so that these can be recycled and turned into new products like bags, clothing and cups. (For all other waste we will take it away, sort it and use it to make electricity).
- Travel by public transport (or walk or cycle if you’re close enough)
Our audience members on average travel a 10-mile round trip, so with an audience of around 70,000 people that’s a lot of miles. A couple of ways you can reduce the pollution from travelling into Manchester on 23 June…
- Catch the bus, train or tram
If we all use public transport more we’ll help reduce air pollution as well as traffic. And if you already use public transport, why not encourage your friends and family as well?
- Why not Park and Ride?
Greater Manchester has more than 3,500 park and ride spaces for people who’d like to drive to their local Metrolink stop, train station or bus stop.
- Talk to people about how Manchester Day is trying to be as green as possible, it might just spark an idea for someone else looking to change something in their home or working life. Read on for a few examples.
- Almost everything in the parade is people-powered – pushed, pulled, wheeled, walked, different to many parades which rely on vehicles
- Many of the structures are also reused and repurposed through the years, and artists are asked to think carefully about how the floats are created to ensure they can be deconstructed and recycled as much as possible.
- This often involves finding creative ways to use otherwise redundant materials like the roll ends from a cardboard factory that will find new life as a flock of birds on the big day this year
- Hat making in the Creation Station this year will be using environmentally friendly materials… off cuts of cardboard, paper and paper tape – once you’ve finished enjoying your creation, it can be recycled in a paper recycling bin
- Raising awareness of the climate change emergency: many groups have previously chosen to focus their creations on key issues, such as the Manchester Secondary PRU who created the world on a turtle in 2017, with the message: if we don’t look after world, it’ll become a disappearing act of its own.
- The lead image in 2018 parade was a stranded polar bear reflecting the consequences of climate change
How are we doing at being green?
We were awarded the Creative Green certification (three stars) in July 2017 in recognition of our environmental commitment and action and work to engage with event partners and community participants, and were also a finalist for the ‘Promotion of Environmental Sustainability Award’ at the Manchester Culture Awards 2018. We’re aiming for an even higher Creative Green rating for this year.
Is it just about being green?
No, for us we aim to develop an event that’s wholly sustainable. Being sustainable for us means delivering an event that benefits local communities and the local economy, whilst minimising the negative impact on the environment.
What that means in practice:
- Social impact: Working closely with communities is at the heart of what we do and we continually strive to ensure Manchester Day can have the best possible effects on local communities. Around 60 community groups work with professional artists to create Manchester Day.
- Economic impact: Being careful with our resources in order to achieve this is fundamental to all that we do, where we strive to use local suppliers as much as possible and maximise the impact for the local economy.
- Environmental impact: Whilst we have a number of areas of good practice already, we are continuously reviewing all aspects of our environmental performance in order to continue to improve.
We’ve set targets across all three areas for 2019 and will update here on how we (and you) did.
And let us know if you have any thoughts or ideas on what we’re doing or could do.