The LAPN Events and Locations Working Group met in Portlaoise in January 2011, to discuss its plans for 2011, create synergies, share resources among the group and build upon the successes of 2010.
The group includes: Sharon Carroll, Galway City Council (Sharon.Carroll@galwaycity.ie); Michéal OCoileáin, Kerry County Council (email@example.com); Pauline McDonagh, Limerick County Council ; Sinead Fox, Cavan County Council (firstname.lastname@example.org); Mary Stack, Cork County Council (Mary.email@example.com); and Sinéad Ní Mhainnín, Galway County Council (snimhain@GalwayCoCo.ie). The Working Group is faciliated by the Clean Technology Centre, as part of the LAPN.
In Galway there is a plan to green the Galway Arts Festival in 2011. It is an annual 2 week event that runs in July. There are 6 main venues (these will be the focus of the key LAPN work this year) and the local committee and council are very interested in the proposal. As it is an annual event there is a desire to start this year and then build on the work each year. Some areas of the city have already been active in greening their localities.
In Kerry, there are a number of festivals around the county this year but the main focus would be the Dingle Food Festival in October. The festival includes 50 food serving venues around the town as well as dedicated food markets. Disposable food packaging would be a primary target as well as waste segregation and the development of usable data. Work will also continue in Killarney National Park.
In Limerick and Clare the main work already done relates to Thomond Park and the Cliffs of Moher and reusable and compostable packaging has been a focus for these.
In Cavan, there were many good experiences and findings from the 2010 Green Fleadh – An Fleadh Ghlais. The local authority is hoping for some new ideas in 2011 to build upon them. Committee commitment was of huge importance from the beginning and this commitment was put in action from the start with regard to paper and leaflet use. In addition to waste there was a big push to reduce leaks as well as issuing hippo bags for toilets. Over 60 businesses were involved. A lot of PR was generated – radio, tv, local papers. The launch was a very important kick off and gave the green initiatives a public profile – made them real too. All involved then signed up to a charter (commitment to greening the fleadh) and these business were then given support.
The fleadh was carbon neutral and this was achieved by off setting the carbon impact by planting oak trees.
In Cork The Midelton Food Festival was the focus for 2010. It is well established and though it is just a 1 day festival there is usually about 15,000 people there. 100 stall holders participate and in recent years there has been an environmental awareness campaign with specific adverts about travel to and from the festival. They also have a puppeteer who provides information about waste during the festival. There are environmental messages all over the festival especially at the waste stations and this worked really well in the past.
The main focus areas to date have been:
2. Awareness raising
3. Stall holders
In 2011 further plans relate to new work in Fota Island Wildlife Park. Much of the experiences form the Cliffs of Moher may well be transferable. This has been a great benefit.
In Galway County other activities are also planned regarding small localised festivals all year long where litter is a problem for the towns involved. A set of guidelines for festival organisers to reduce the impact would be a very useful tool for this kind of event.
The group is also hoping to build upon the experiences of the greening of the Wexford Arts Festival in 2010.
James Hogan, CTC, outlined the work done on developing a green events guide for Failte Ireland, and on the greening of the Wexford Festival of Opera. Based on this and ongoing work, it was decided by the Working Group that a concerted effort would be put into the development of guidelines and norms, which could be applicable to events throughout the country.