Last weekend I attended the amazing Festival of Hope at the Eden Project in Cornwall, featuring a dazzling array of campaigners, change-makers and entrepreneurs driving positive change for our planet.
There was plenty to feel hopeful about.
The Core building was buzzing with creativity – music, film, art, exhibits and talks showcasing brilliant ideas and innovations inspired by challenging the status quo and striving for a more sustainable future.
The highlights for me were the talks and exhibits that addressed the issue of plastic pollution, including:
- Surfers Against Sewage CEO, Hugo Tagholm, outlining their #MessageInABottle campaign for a Deposit Return Scheme to incentivise increased plastic bottle recycling rates, and reduce the amount that ends up in the ocean.
- 2 minute beach clean Founder, Martin Dorey, sharing the huge cumulative impact #2minutebeachclean has made globally, and plans for #2minutesolutions to reduce plastic pollution at source.
- City to Sea Founder, Natalie Fee, launching their new Refill app making it easier to refill water bottles on-the-go, and also sharing their amazing success convincing major retailers to #switchthestick from plastic cotton bud stems to paper.
- Paddle Against Plastic‘s Cal Major, sharing tales of her epic challenge circling the Cornish coastline on a paddle board in rough seas and strong winds, to raise awareness about the problems caused by single-use plastic water bottles.
- Surfdome‘s Sustainability Head, Adam Hall, revealing changes to their packaging processes that have eliminated thousands of tonnes of plastic waste annually, whilst simultaneously promoting the #2minutebeachclean message to their customers.
- Ooho!‘s Co-Founders, Pierre-Yves Paslier and Rodrigo García González, demonstrating their innovative edible water bottle, drawing inspiration from nature’s ‘packaging’ by designing a spherical seaweed membrane water container.
There were many, many more inspirational individuals and organisations, all radiating positive energy and passion for their cause, stemming from a shared desire to create a better future.
I came away feeling inspired and uplifted by the simple truth that we all have the power to make an impact by making conscious choices every day, and committing to be the change we want to see in the world.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu.
Images courtesy of Pia Schiele.