14 Feb Vegan and Zero-Waste Events in the UK
Guest blog written by Emily Durston.
There are many positives to living a less impactful life, not only helping to save and maintain the planet we live on but helping yourself to experience a more peaceful way of life. It allows you to take time to appreciate how the materials and energy that goes into creating our everyday products can impact on the Earth, and brings you closer to nature. However, it can be frustrating if you feel like you aren’t doing as much as you’re ‘supposed’ to, or if you are one are the only person in your immediate circle who is trying to live zero-waste or vegan. One cure for this is to attend an eco-friendly lifestyle or plant-based event with likeminded people, which aims to spread information and positivity about the cause you feel most strongly about. Sometimes, they can be tricky to find, but there is plenty on offer…
The Kinder Living Home Show – 2nd/3rd March 2019
(Image credit - Kinder living)
This multi-faceted show, based in Horsham, is for anyone who is interested in making a change for the better, but may not know where to start. With talks, panels, and interactive workshops, the show offers advice on all areas green; whether you are interested in small, household changes, or want advice on how to create your own clothes out of old, well-loved pieces, you will be able to find help from experts and avid amateurs to improve your own skills. The show is also home to the Horsham Repair Cafe – an incredible service that allows you to bring your own items, technological or otherwise, to be repaired in an effort to enact one of the fundamental principles of living a zero-waste life: re-use. The presence of ‘Seedy Saturday’ at the show is also a must-visit for any green-fingered fiend, it aims to encourage biodiversity through seed swaps between gardeners, as well as giving information on sustainable pest control, and providing growing workshops.
Vegan Campout 2019 – 30th August to 1st September 2019
Proudly the largest vegan camping festival in the world, Vegan Campout is home not just to talks and activism workshops, but to live music, comedy, afterparties, and more vegan food than you have ever seen before. It is also a family-friendly event, with plenty of children’s activities to keep the little ones entertained, when they’re not learning about the planet! With summer festivals, there is always a risk of creating enormous amounts of waste. However, this has been taken into account, and you can enjoy yourself knowing that everything that can be recycled, will be, and anything that can’t will be used to generate power or create coal- replacement fuel. The event also pledged to have no plastic food waste in 2019, so you are free to try as much plant-based deliciousness as you want. It features an excellent line-up of activists, bloggers, musicians and more, to help you learn more about what you can do to spread the message of veganism in your community; 2019 promises Earthling Ed, James Aspey, Matt Pritchard of Dirty Sanchez, and many more.
UK Vegan Fairs and Fests – Varying dates
(Image credit - Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival Facebook)
Across the UK, there are many different vegan-based festivals. From Essex to Edinburgh and everywhere in between, there are events popping up. Often simply referred to as ‘Essex Vegan Festival’ or ‘Witney Vegan Fair’, the easiest way to find these events is to search online for one near you. These festivals offer a multitude of stalls, which sell everything from food to clothing to bath products, often from local creators, which means that if you discover a new favourite you’ll be able to get your hands on it again fairly easily. They are also brilliant for introducing and supporting small businesses, which is not only great for them but is often better for the environment as they tend to use less energy and create less waste in production. To find festivals near you, you can look here or use a search engine.
Vegan Lifestyle Show – 26th October 2019
This Isle of Wight-based show is for anyone interested in trying new products and learning a bit more about how cook great plant-based food. With over 50 stalls displaying vegan food and lifestyle products, it’s an easy way to get to know lots of vegan brands, both national and local to the island. There are also cooking demonstrations from local vegan chefs, who can help take your cooking skills from amateur to professional. Whilst it primarily focuses on food, there are also talks about lifestyle and trying to live a lower impact life, and home products on sale as well as cuisine. For those who usually can’t access events in Mainland UK, this show is a great opportunity.
London VegFest – 26th October 2019
(Image credit - VegFest)
One of the UK’s biggest vegan events, held at Olympia Central, VegFest showcases a huge range of products alongside demos, summits, workshops and celebrity guests. Over 200 stalls of the latest and most exciting vegan products sit alongside specialist caterers offering world-class plant-based cuisine and last year, it attracted around 14,500 guests. It’s a blockbuster of an event that lives up to the beautiful space it is held in. Tickets are available to purchase from August 2019, and it looks as though its 7th year (this event is definitely the ‘seasoned pro’ of festivals) will be as big and exciting as ever. There is space for both a Vegan Health Summit – something which many people don’t consider when switching to plant-based – and a Vegan Activism Summit, which helps those who want to influence their community to find their feet. The combination of food exploration and vegan campaigning makes for an event that will hit the spot for many different types of vegans, whether you have been plant-based for years or are just starting out.
The most important thing when looking for vegan and zero-waste events to attend is to check regularly, as there are lots of new events popping up as veganism continues to grow in the UK. Hopefully, you will be able to find incredible places to visit and meet people who share the same values as you, but if not, you can always start one yourself! Even if it’s just a local meetup of vegans, or a showcase of local zero-waste produce, there is always a way to interact with low-impact living.