Green is the New Black: This is Not a Drill

Green is the new black – but this conference is not just about what you’re wearing. Speakers are moving towards a greener planet and want you to join them.

Green is the New Black’s Conscious Festival is an annual conference hosted in a different city each year, which invites speakers to give group talks on subjects surrounding the environment and our role in protecting it.

The event is usually enjoyed in person, with edutainment booths, workshops and live entertainment – all designed to support guests in making greener choices to change their lives and save our planet. 

Of course, things had to be slightly different in 2020.

Viewers listened to the speakers in video squares on the screen, a chat box was available on the right-hand-side and offered the audience a chance to directly speak with them, with a question time at the end of each talk. 

Speakers

As the conference was virtual, no nibbles were offered around as guests networked, but the subject of food did come up.

Jerome Pagnier called in from Barcelona and discussed that following the Covid-19 outbreak, many people are rethinking their eating habits and that this is an opportunity for the food revolution against the meat and dairy industry. 

“We have great brands out there,” he explained, after giving his vegan testimonial. 

Later, the talk turned to capitalism vs the climate and lead speaker Andrew Simms declared: “A decade on from the financial crisis, and in a health crisis, the rule book has been ripped up,” and this certainly offers room for change. 

Assad Rehman quoted Nicola Sturgeon’s “Climate crisis biggest failure” speech and Geoff Lye pointed out: “Climate change has been creeping up on us for decades,” yet we have not made a satisfactory effort to move onto renewable energy. Now the Covid-19 crisis has hit, this might be the tipping point. 

As Pratibha Vuppuluri said: “There’s more money in addressing climate change, than there is in not.”

The conference concluded the day before non-essential shops across the UK reopened and the fast fashion industry was held to account. 

“Here I give you this tip,” said Aditi Mayer: “Think of your closet as an art gallery.”

CleanTech News asked what should customers buy when the shops reopen? The chat box exploded with “electric cars” and “bicycles” and that consumers should financially support businesses that are committed to equity and justice. 

The message

The 2019 event was hosted in Singapore and attendees for this online event were all disappointed at being unable to network in person and browse the pop-up booths whilst enjoying the live music and art displays. 

Yet ironically, as all attendees are supporters of lowering the levels of carbon emissions into our atmosphere, the online festival has had a positive impact on the planet. 

Instead of everyone sitting four seats apart in a lecture theatre, wearing masks, the guests spoke from their bedrooms or offices, others from taxis or stairwells or gardens. No children accidentally made an appearance in the background, although one speaker was caught in a thunderstorm. 

Many thanks to the organisers for adapting to the circumstances and all the speakers who joined us from their homes across the world.

This planet is at a unique point to save the environment. See you in 2021…

Helen Adams

Helen Adams is an Editor and Senior Writer for CleanTech News. A keen journalist, Helen developed an appreciation for the need for change in the battle against climate change after travelling and is passionate to communicate this through her work at CleanTech News. Now studying for her NCTJ Journalism MA, Helen wants to champion clean developments using her writing. Presently, Helen is developing her data journalism, video-making and podcasting skills which she is looking forward to incorporating into her role as Editor.