Unless you still believe the earth is flat or Neil Armstrong never actually landed on the moon, then you’ll probably reckon the ever-increasing climate catastrophes, droughts and vastly polluted rivers are either ‘fake news’ or something wrapped up in Brexit.
As organisers of the Lymington Seafood Festival we take looking after our planet as seriously as serving up some of the best fish dishes on the south coast. So to put a stake in the ground, we’ve updated our ‘sustainability policy’.
We’re aware the marine and fishing industry needs to pull its squelchy socks up in terms of its environmental credentials – it’s nautical miles behind other sectors in terms of policy and fishing practices. Thankfully, our British fishermen and where our stallholders source their catch from, southern coastal ports, also share our values. But, look around every boatyard and you’ll see an industry addicted to plastic and diesel engines powering every vessel.
Ok, we can’t change that, but we can change the way our event operates and making as little impact on our environment as possible.
Our flyers, posters and event programme – basically any printed materials – are on recycled paper. Where we can, any sponsors materials such as banners or branding is reused, and we try work electronically or being a bit old fashioned and picking up the phone rather than driving around the New Forest meeting suppliers.
For 2019 we are also proud to say that 92% of our stallholders come from within a 40mile radius. We also work with local suppliers, like those who help with the power, parking or music stage. All of this helps reduce the events carbon footprint.
We have asked the chefs in our demo kitchen to consider showcasing dishes that are from sustainable fish stocks, obviously line caught, or hand dived as opposed to those huge trawlers that ‘bean trawl’ or ‘dredge’ seabed’s causing untold damage.
Our stallholders are all working as hard as possible to serve produce in recyclable materials and as they all care too, pretty much all of them source their produce from Red Tractor, LEAF accredited suppliers or hold a New Forest Marque.
Ringwood Brewery will again offer PET plastic beer cups that can be refilled, and our coffee stands are careful to roast beans that are Fair Trade. Of course, we can always do more and the main event waste is a tricky one.
We have tried putting out bins that are labelled ‘paper’, ‘food waste’ ‘plastic’, but with so many people, most enjoying a few drinks it only takes a handful of mistakes and chucking a Paella in with the paper and the plan is ruined. So, the best course of action is via our friends at Veolia who operate a ‘waste to clean energy’ policy.
You can help too. There are dozens of great shopping stands selling everything from vintage crafts to state-of-the-art kitchen knives, so if you’re a lover of retail therapy, please bring a reusable bag. Also, think about how you get to the event. If you’re close enough to walk or cycle please do, it also means you can have an extra drink or two!
Brockenhurst station is well connected with various major towns and from Lymington Station its about a 15min walk. Lymington Town Council has also provided Woodside Park as the main parking option, this helps reduce slow moving traffic around the immediate event site. Woodside is about a 17-20min walk so perfect for working up an appetite!
If we all do our bit, that bit turns into a lot and a lot starts to make a difference!