Bradford Cathedral hosted its first annual EcoExtravaganza on Saturday and saw over 200 people visit the stalls, talks and children’s activities, as well as sampling the Fairtrade food on offer.

Stalls included a Fairtrade boutique packed with products available to buy; an information stand from Bradford Council about what can and can’t be recycled; and information all about the activities of the Woodland Trust and Christian Aid.

There were also stalls for Shared Interest, about investing in an ethical way; Plastic Free Bingley about how to free yourself from single-use plastics; and information stands about bee-keeping and the cathedral EcoGroup. Visitors could also read a special eco diary, pick up some plants to brighten up their home and grab some vegan skincare products.

Throughout the day there were also refreshments including Fairtrade teas and coffees; home-made soups and cakes made from locally-sourced ingredients by members of the Cathedral congregation. The children’s activities by Scraptastic were also buzzing throughout the day.

“We’re trying to encourage people to be more creative, rather than just buying packs and being told that they have to make a certain thing in a certain way,” Scraptastic told us. “We use items that would just otherwise go to landfill, whilst allowing people to be more imaginative.”

An interview with Revd Andy Williams about how the Bradford Cathedral EcoGroup came about.

Throughout the day there were also a series of talks, including on how to live plastic free; the work of Shared Interest; bee-keeping with the Revd Canon Prof. Myra Shackley; the work of Sharow with Revd Ruth Newton; and Revd Andy Williams was interviewed about how the solar panels at Bradford Cathedral came into being. There was also a talk about environmentally-themed literature with Dean Jerry Lepine and school pupils from Feversham Academy talking about their work.

Canon Mandy Coutts with Councillor Caroline Firth of Keighley East at Saturday’s EcoExtravaganza.

Elsewhere there was the chance for visitors to create their own healthy drink using the power of the pedals of the smoothie bike, as well as being able to complete the eco-quiz. A series of videos were also available to watch alongside a slideshow of images as an aid to prayer and reflection on the important environmental issues facing up today.

Canon Mandy Coutts said of the event:

“It was a wonderful day shared with people who have a passion for our world and all who live in it. It was inspiring to hear about the many and diverse ways organisations, community groups, the local authority, and places of faith and schools are tackling issues of climate change, fair trade and justice. We can all make a difference. The time has come for us all to play our part in saving this beautiful world God has created. After the EcoExtravaganza I am filled with hope that together we can.”

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