At the end of October, The Great Sussex Way together with the Chichester Festival Theatre spearheaded a special COP 26 community event. With a nod to the conference in Glasgow, a bagpiper gathered in a large crowd of residents from across the district in Oaklands Park to make a giant human sign spelling out the word ‘Commit’. After an aerial photo had been taken, we wrote down our own commitments to working towards a more sustainable future, on paper leaves cut from old theatre posters. These commitments are now displayed in the Festival Theatre foyer and visitors to the theatre are able to add their own commitments throughout the COP 26 conference.
Danielle says “Our natural environment is our greatest asset. In Chichester we are so lucky to have such a rich and diverse landscape from the harbours which are home to thousands of birds, and even a few seals – to the ‘mountains green’ of the South Downs that inspired William Blake’s hymn, Jerusalem.
COP26, is a brilliant opportunity for us to get inspired to do our bit, so we were really excited to partner with Chichester Festival Theatre to bring our whole community together to make commitments, big and small, to mitigate climate change and protect our environment. I have been blown away by the support from businesses, the media and individuals who are all eager to take part and commit to making a difference.
At TGSW we’re working to support businesses to be more sustainable and help visitors make greener decisions – that’s why we’ve committed to producing a sustainable events guide so visitors can come to our area and have confidence they are supporting, not harming the environment.”
Here are some of the commitments made on the day:
The Great Sussex Way: to produce a sustainable events guide for businesses and organisations in the Chichester District, in association with Chichester University.
Chichester Festival Theatre: to pilot sustainable processes in theatre production through Festival 2022, including increased use of recycling, recyclable and locally sourced materials and the measuring and monitoring of carbon impact; to expand our tree planting programme.
Chichester District Council: to replace two diesel refuse collection vehicles with electric alternatives; to plant 8,000 trees in the upcoming planting season in both urban and rural arrears; to improve the energy efficiency in council-owned buildings by installing low-energy LED lighting and solar PV panels and employing solar thermal power; a campaign to inform residents about energy efficiency measures that they can utilise in their own homes to save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
Here are a selection of the commitments made by residents and other businesses at the event:
- I commit to using food products that don’t contain palm oil.
- I commit to eating less meat.
- I commit to reducing food miles by buying more locally.
- I commit to using less electricity by remembering to switch all my lights out.
- I commit to thinking about the environment when I do my food shopping.
- I commit to not buying single-use plastic / reusing plastic.
- I commit to litter-picking, saving water and spreading the word!
- I commit to shopping more sustainably and buying less fast fashion.
- I commit to sharing lifts when I can to reduce fuel use, or to use public transport.
- I commit to walking to work every day, even in bad weather!
- I commit to using less plastic – more visits to the refill shop and switching to glass milk bottles.
- I commit to using less single use plastic and avoiding using disposable coffee cups. No keep cup, no coffee!
- I commit to not travelling far.
- I commit to buying local, walking more and using less plastic.
- I commit to becoming ever more vegan.
- I commit to cycling more and becoming a one-car household.
- I commit to using beeswax wraps instead of cling film.
- I commit to turning the lights off.
- I commit to finding an alternative to plastic bottles where I can.
- I commit to recycling as much packaging as possible.
- I commit to putting extra jumpers on rather than turning on the heating.
- I commit to being less wasteful when using paper.
- I commit to making all trips to Guildford by train.
- I commit to always picking up litter.
- I commit to only purchasing clothes made ethically and sustainably, or to buy pre-loved.
- I commit to taking more public transport and eating fully veggie.
- I commit to keeping my heating at no more than 19 degrees.
- I commit to getting rid of my gas cooker and moving to electric cooking.
- I commit to wearing reusable masks to waste less.
- I commit to not order books online so as to cut back on van delivery.
- I commit to a totally vegan diet.
- I commit to using a wormery for food waste composting.
- I commit to planting a tree
- I commit to not flying for a year
- I commit to making Chichester Rugby Club more energy efficient