This year Climate Action Day took place on 6th November and was organised by XR Waltham Forest and kindly hosted by St John's Church (E11). The number of stalls having more than tripled compared to last year, the day certainly lived up to expectations!
The organisers managed to strike just the right balance of light-hearted atmosphere you may find at festivals, mixed with more serious, much needed action, such as letter-writing to MPs and decision-makers. The high and constant footfall throughout the day was proof that visitors genuinely took an interest not just in the event, but also wanted to get involved to some extent, or at the very least "do their bit" for Planet Earth! And rightly so.
People stopped both at Transition Leytonstone's stall and at hubRen's cargo bike – a proud first outing in full swing! Visitors asked questions about the HEET Project and the many ways they could explore to better insulate their homes. In addition, the Community Fridge provided free food samples throughout the event, which proved very effective when raising awareness on food waste. On the whole, people were keen to find out more, to make new connections, and sometimes open up conversations that could otherwise prove difficult in a different setting... But as the space was inclusive by design, it felt safe for anyone to bring up anything they needed to share. And so there was a lot of listening, questioning, bemoaning, grunting, laughing, huffing, despairing, explaining, understanding, reassuring... All in mutual trust. Reassuringly, visitors, stall holders and stall types, both in the churchyard and inside the church, reflected our local community's diversity – could that be a healthy sign we were subconsciously mimicking Mother Nature's biodiversity? There was a lot to take away from the day too, whether you were a 5-year old or a permaculture teacher.
Amongst the tables and gazebo’s arranged in the round outside the church, the unique form of hubRen’s cargo bike display space, complete with hanging pot plant of kale seedling, made a curiously eye-catching sight. People stopped to wonder, talk and to share their climate feelings, writing them down onto scrap paper to add to the compost caddy, to be composted into rich soil for future abundance and growth. Many beautiful conversations and new connections were made, Amy looks forward to bringing the hub out again soon and is eager to connect with any organisations or spaces that would welcome the hub as a warm and friendly conversation initiator. Head on over to https://www.hubren.org/ to get in touch.
Towards the end of the day, Transition Leytonstone were invited to give an informal talk which, in the spirit of permaculture, saw people who had never met before share ideas on local projects and open avenues for more collaboration in future. Climate Action happening right there. And it's only the beginning!