I've never been to a presentation held in an empty/stripped out office space, with temporary construction lighting mixed with fairy lights and complemented with fine dining canapés. Well, last night I did, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
As part of the Leeds Indie Food Festival, the Real Junk Food Project have been feeding bellies not bins right in the heart of Leeds throughout the month of May.
Working with East Street Arts, they've taken over an empty retail unit for a month to create a Junk Food Emporium - a Pay As You Feel supermarket offering surplus food that would otherwise go to waste.
Last week Zero Waste Leeds and the Real Junk Food Project held an event for people in Leeds who are interested in how we can move towards being a zero waste city with guest speakers Gavin Ellis, from Hubbub, and Dr Henry Irving from Leeds Beckett University.
Gavins’ not for profit enterprise, Hubbub, looks for creative solutions to pressing environmental issues. Their positive and playful campaigns are designed to inspire people to make greener lifestyle choices. They concentrate on things people are passionate about and are relevant day-to-day, like fashion, food, homes and neighbourhoods. He gave two specific examples of campaigns that went viral on social media. The cigarette ballot bin and Pumpkin Rescue. The Ballot Bin taps into people’s competitive nature by asking emotive questions like ‘Trump or Brexit?’ or ‘who will go further in the Euros – England or Wales’. Smokers then vote by putting their stubs in the appropriate bin rather than the floor! The Pumpkin Rescue pointed out that pumpkins are also for eating not just carving (!) with Hubbub providing free resources for communities to run a Pumpkin Rescue events.
Dr Henry Irving is Senior Lecturer in Public History at Leeds Beckett University - with research interests that include recycling campaigns in Leeds during the Second World War. His presentation gave interesting insights into to the war effort, which interestingly also had a tongue in cheek slant to them.
The nibbles and drinks, offered on a Pay As You Feel basis, were great with all money going to the Real Junk Food Project.
The project is still there until the 31st May so if you want to do something positive over half term pop in and get your food for the week; The Real Junk Food Project, 34-38 Boar Lane, LS1 5DA
Head of Sustainability