By Robert Lewis, ELT teacher.
Earth Day is an international event in April that aims to highlight the impact that humans have on the environment and how we can reduce the harm inflicted on the natural world we inhabit. The event began in the United States in the 1970s. Since then, the annual celebration has been adopted by people the world over. Manchester, as a major global city, is host to numerous events and initiatives that aim to raise awareness and have a positive practical effect on the environment at both a global and local level. Below are some of the events that are happening for Earth Day this year. Check them out and see how you could get involved.
Platt Fields Market Garden, Platt Fields Park
Platt Fields Park is easily accessible to EEC students, being located near the city centre. The Platt Fields Market Garden is run by Manchester Urban Diggers (MUD), with volunteers helping out by building structures, spreading seeds, harvesting produce and generally supporting food security in the city. The produce, which includes various seasonal fruit and veg, including potatoes and leeks, is grown locally to minimise the pollution that is usually created during the long-distance transportation of produce. You can contact the organisation via their website if you are interested in volunteering – all you need is a little previous gardening experience and a willingness to get your hands dirty. If volunteering isn’t an option, but you like the sound of the project, you can visit on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to buy some of the fresh produce.
The Landing, Stockport
MUD is also involved in the supply of food to The Landing, an urban plant-growing space situated on the roof of Merseyway car park in Stockport, to the south of Manchester. MUD has teamed up with the Michelin Green Star restaurant Where The Light Gets In to supply the fresh fruit and veg to the restaurant’s kitchen. So if cooking isn’t your thing, you can still get involved in helping the planet by eating locally-grown produce. The fact that the plants are grown on the top of an urban structure also helps the local environment by providing plant-life for important insects, such as bees, to employ in their natural activities. The Landing also hosts events such as workshops and creative endeavours to involve the local community and educate them about the benefits of small-scale, local agriculture. Check out their website for the latest events and how you can get involved
A stone’s throw from our college, Hulme is host to one of the city’s most important eco-friendly spots. Hulme Community Garden Centre has all the things you’d expect from a commercially-run garden centre, but with a thriving community of volunteers and a mission to make the planet smile. You can buy the usual gardening tools, plants and pots at a reasonable price. However, the really special thing about it is that you can learn valuable practical skills and meet some great people by becoming a volunteer. Currently, volunteers are involved in woodwork, crafts, customer service and horticulture. So why not enjoy the twin joys of socialising and gardening for Earth Day this year?