Alternatiba Todmorden is the first of 42 Alternatiba festivals planned across Europe this summer.
Organisers say that the movement is spreading fast because people are feeling unhappy and powerless about the state of the planet and feel better if they do something for themselves.
The small group of organisers hope to inspire people to make small changes in their lifestyles by cutting down the amount of things they buy, replace, accidentally waste, and throw away, as well as by using less energy in heating, driving cars and using electronic and mechanical equipment. Making and using things burns energy which gives out carbon dioxide which warms the atmosphere more and more, say the group.
The festival begins on Sunday, May 3, starting at 10.45am when the town Mayor is set to open it at Todmorden Town Hall. “Reduce, re-use and recycle is a good slogan to keep in mind in daily life,” said Janet Rogers, one of the organisers. “Also, eating food which has taken less energy to produce and transport, will lower our energy consumption and therefore our CO2 emmissions.”
Around 7.2kg of products we buy take up to 60kg of resources and energy to make - for example a CD takes about 1.6kg of resources and a 1.6 tonne car uses 70 tonnes of resources, according to a Friends of the Earth report.
“We don’t have to feel powerless to do something good,” says Janet. “We can all buy a bit less, drive with less accelerator and brake, eat a bit less meat and dairy and a few more vegetables to lower our CO2 emmissions and if all of us do it, it will make an important difference.”
The festival will be spread right across Todmorden town centre in some brand new venues as well as the familiar ones.
Pollination Street will have a pop-up tent village of real climate-change alternatives including electric cars and alternative house-building methods; and Todmorden Town Hall will be jam-packed with talks, debates, stalls, sustainable local food, a conference and workshops, plus some childrens’ activities.
Todmorden campaigner Joe Mobbs was among the 12,000-strong crowd at the original Alernatiba event in France.