Did you know it's London Sustainability Weeks? (The unexpected plural because it lasts two weeks.) Well, Londonist did and, ever game for some worthy fun, we went along to the opening event on Sunday in Greenwich Park.
The London Green Lifestyle Show stretched right across the royal park, with a sea of tents and attractions somewhat akin to a bourgeoisie Glastonbury. Indeed, several chunks of park were devoted to music. Bands with Googlewhack names like Kangaroo Moon, Excentral the Tempest and Swervy World of Stephan Spitz attracted crowds of literally tens. But what we heard was lovely, and filled the park with a rolling ambience of peace and do-goodery.
The show practiced what it preached by meeting all its energy requirements from solar and wind power sources. Pretty much every aspect of environmentalism was covered. Organic food stalls, public transport advice, ethical trading, green home exhibitions. There was also a sturdy focus on what the individual can do to help combat global warming and its associated phenomena. A new species of charity mugger roamed the event, cajoling punters into making environmental pledges, such as using energy-efficient bulbs and, gosh darn it, taking showers instead of baths.
Interspersed among the exhibits were the usual crowd of faith healers, treehuggers and peaceniks, so far to the left that their position baffles Euclidian geometry. If you fancied a mass debate, it wasn't hard to come upon the speakers tent. And if you got bored of green issues, you could visit the (solar-powered) circus, where all of the jokes were 100% recycled.
There was plenty of grub on offer too – all of it sourced locally and organically grown. Londonist reserves judgement on the benefits of organic produce. The decision whether to eat everyday cheap food covered in chemicals or expensive organic food covered in assorted animal poos is one that needs to be chewed over. Having packed no lunch, however, we decided to try some of the fare on offer. A wilting cheese and tomato wrap and a spinach and feta slice were followed by a small bucket of summer fruits - all poo-free and only slightly mouldy. Moderately encouraged, we also stocked up on some organic flapjack for the train home.
We left full of good intentions but have still to read through the half-rainforest of leaflets and brochures we collected.