Saturday 22nd April celebrates Earth Day, a worldwide campaign raising awareness of the vast environmental and climate challenges we face each and every day living on our pale blue dot.

At bluedot, we’re working closely with our friends at Jodrell Bank exploring how sustainability plays a central role in all our work across the festival and beyond. From being one of the first festivals in the UK to use all LED festoon lighting in our inaugral year, to using a vast 15 acre wildlife refuge as our home at Jodrell Bank, both us and the team at the Observatory work hard to reduce waste and minimise our carbon footprint at the festival.

While we work hard to put sustainability at the heart of festival production, a key part of our overarching public mission is ‘to highlight the fragility of planet Earth.’

Examples for 2017 include:

  • Offering the audience a chance to offset their carbon footprint with a choice to make a ‘Carbon Offset’ donation when they buy their tickets. We invest 100% of this in renewable energy with Energy Revolution, a festival industry collaborative charity.
  • Removing the use of plastic straws, plastic containers and plastic cutlery sold from food traders.
  • Providing all staff with reusable bottles to reduce the number of plastic bottles on site.
  • Initiate car sharing schemes and providing coaches for festival-goers to arrive together.
  • Providing extensive recycling opportunities across the festival site.
  • Offering tent collections for charity and an onsite local food back collection.

This year at bluedot we’re proud to open a brand new science area ‘Planet Field’, focusing on ‘spaceship earth’, our fragile bluedot and the ways in which we look after the only planet we have ever known. Found in Jodrell Bank’s Arboretum, discover the latest thinking and innovation with the Rocky Glaciers team watching Himalayan glaciers melt, join the British Geological Survey to find out what exactly happens when earthquakes shake the planet, or visit The Royal Society of Chemistry’s special exhibit that uses chemistry to make clean water.

Alongside this, we’ve got a vast array of fascinating science exhibits and talks which highlight environmental and climate issues that you can discover this year at bluedot:

The British Antarctic Survey will be at the festival with a model of the new polar ship the RSS Sir David Attenborough. Members of the team of scientists will be on hand with exhibits such as marine creatures and fossils and there’ll be a series of fascinating talks about the project.
• The BBC’s Helen Czerski will present her talk Coasts, Currents, Conflicts and Kings about the oceans and how they impact our everyday lives.
• The Manchester branch of the British Science Association will be at the Planet Field making bee-friendly wildflower seed bombs and highlighting the plight of bees.
• Lecturer in Environmental Sciences at the Open University, Tamsin Edwards will also be at the festival discussing the impact of global warming and sea level rise.
• Head of Climate Impacts Research at the Met Office, Richard Betts will discuss the evidence for human-caused climate change, explain how climate models work, and explore the outlook for the future.
The Met Office will be running cloud-spotting workshops and looking at climate change and how this will impact on UK weather
• The University of Manchester’s Alice Larkin will also explore the impact of climate change in her talk on international travel, fuel emissions, and climate-friendly policies.
The Royal Society of Chemistry will be at the Planet Field with a special exhibit that uses chemistry to make clean water
• A series of family craft activities will take place throughout the festival using recycled or natural materials including items grown from our own arboretum.
Sarah Bridle from the University of Cambridge will explore our food production system and the impact of an increasing population, rising temperatures, and extreme weather events.

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