Ideas for activities

Take a look at some of the activities you can organise for a #Covid-safe #Sustfest21 below!

Please base your #StaySafe activities on at least one of the Ten Themes for Sustainable Living – (see right sidebar for their rainbow list) did you know they include themes like health & happiness and culture & community?

You could focus on one issue such as going plastic free, saving water, or growing food. Tapping into the interests of the group you’re organising the activities for can be a great way to get people to engage – whether it’s your local residents’ association, women’s group or faith group. Don’t forget to use your imagination for each subject!

Once you’ve decided on your activity or event, click here to register for SustFest21.

Your SustFest21 event – where to start

This image gives you ideas to think about when forming your SustFest21 event

Who is your group or business?

Before you start planning your event, it might help to step back and have a think about you as a group or business.

You could be

  • a local business
  • a well-established community group
  • a faith group
  • a school, nursery, college or other place of education
  • a children’s group – Scouting, Guiding, other
  • a group of neighbours – a street WhatsApp group perhaps
  • a group with a common interest – gardening, book, sewing, woodwork

What does your group need?

  • It may be that your community group hasn’t been very active during the pandemic and needs to pull itself together again.
  • You might want to attract new members.
  • You might have a small local business that needs to reach out to its customers by showing off its sustainable side.
  • It may be that now is the time for you to start on your sustainability journey – whatever your day-to-day activity comprises.
  • You might want to feel part of the wider district’s sustainable activities.

SustFest21 could be just the opportunity you need!

What will you do?

Public or private event? 

  • An event for anyone (public)
  • An event for your group only (private)

What / Where? Remember Covid-safe!

Use the Bioregional One Planet Living rainbow list (see right sidebar) to find an area of sustainability that fits for you.

  • Outdoor self-guided activity for households: think self-guided walks, nature spotting, cycling
  • Indoor activities for households: e.g. environmental film, eco craft, plastic challenge
  • Why not incorporate a sharing opportunity for people to communicate what they have done? A zoom, sharing photos on social media or even a competition
  • Outside event for the public (keep an eye on government guidance)
  • Online workshop, talk or discussion with a sustainable twist

Browse our SustFest21 ideas list below!

Covid-safe Outdoor Activities:

Creative ideas – see Open City website. It’s a london based – but has fantastic #Covid-safe ideas for young people 3-18 years – indoors and outdoors – that you could adapt for your group! Includes techniques such as how to turn household waste into models

Online Tours or Videos of what you do – Cronkshaw Fold Farm in Lancashire have developed a business doing online tours of their farm, or rent out videos of their goats – see their creative ideas here

Individual Outdoor – Organise any outdoor activity that people can do alone, or with their bubble, and arrange an online video chat (e.g. via zoom) to bring people together afterwards to discuss.

Walks – Organise walks to a local destination. Ask people to do the walks individually or in their bubble over a couple of selected days and share photos to social media with a dedicated hashtag e.g. #HarpendenSustFestWalk. Please also include #SustFest21!

Walk the Walk – for charity – Identify a choice of route of e.g. 1 mile, 3 miles, 5 miles, and ask people to get their own sponsors and walk the walk in their own time to raise money for a specified environmental cause or group e.g. World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, etc..

Guided tours – Create socially distanced guided tours (please check you’re up to date with current government guidelines for whether this could be allowed). Provide paper maps/information sheets to guide people to explore local natural habitats or bats at dusk, or bird-song at 4am!

Pebble Hunt – Paint pebbles and place strategically somewhere in lovely outdoor locations – ask people to take photos of their find – and post on your social media page. This encourages people to go to local valued historic or natural locations.

Photography competition – Choose your age group then ask for submission of photos about a specific theme e.g. Batford Springs, or birds, or pollinating insects. 

Photo story competition – You could set a theme such as #growyourown from seed to fruit, or cooking vegan.

Seed Swaps – Choose a place (or market stall) where people can leave and pick-up seeds they have collected for #growyourown. Provide an information fact-sheet to give tips.

Create and share a local trail or map – Ask people to post photos of their journey, or set a question about the trail and ask people to find the solution and submit their answer. Find a fun and interesting way to motivate your local community to enjoy the fresh air and early summer outdoors.

Art Exhibition – Arrange for people to paint a subject/theme submitted during the festival e.g. people in nature, or birds, or community. Share online or if lockdown allows share in your local community hall. Capture the festival in art!

Organise a stall – Grab a spot and share information about your group – either in your own location or at the SustFest Sustainable Markets.

Seed sharing – Leave seeds in one place to encourage people to collect and grow them at home – with online instructions on how to grow them.

Identify Birds/Butterflies/Bees – Organise a day or week for your group to spend an hour in an outdoor space and count and identify the birds, butterflies or bees they see in that one place. Ask people to take photos and submit them online, or arrange a video call after the week is over for people to chat and share their experiences. You could even invite an expert or specialist to talk about it!

WhatsApp group activities – Don’t forget your local community or street WhatsApp group. Check out our Playing Out page to find out what you could do with your neighbours!

Covid-safe Indoor Activities:

Creative ideas – see Open City website. It’s a london based – but has fantastic #Covid-safe ideas for young people 3-18 years – indoors and outdoors – that you could adapt for your group! Includes techniques such as how to turn household waste into models

Climate Conversations: hold a Climate Conversation with your family, bubble, or even online with work colleagues, street group or residents group. See Climate Conversations web page with resources here.

Talks about a special interest – This, for example, could be about how to make your community building/church/mosque/school/business/house more environmentally sustainable. Find several speakers to talk for a short session (no more than 5/10 mins each) and host an online event (for example via zoom). You could include a group discussion at the end.

Talks with national speakers – Online events offer us the chance to expand our reach and invite national speakers to talk to us about environmental concerns. Whether this is about improving eco-education for schools, or how we can divest our money from fossil fuels, about reducing energy use in the home, or plastic free initiatives etc.

Music – Create a song about the environment and share it online, publicly or via closed video chat. Gather up several musicians who will play environmentally themed music and have an online music session. If lockdown allows you might be able to do this at a local community venue!

Use the fruits of summer – Supply some good recipes for cooking with summer fruits, and ask your group to send photos of their jams and chutneys – great for gifts!

Plastic Waste at Home event – Organise a group effort to collect all the plastic in your rubbish for one week and get contributors to take photos of what they have collected. Then have an online video chat to bring everyone together to discuss, asking everyone to contact the customer services departments of the brands with the most common products.

Write-in to the Glasgow Climate Change Conference – Organise a write-in to the UK representatives at the conference…think about a particular focus relevant to your interests.

‘How-to’ online workshop events – If your group has a special interest such as crafts, making bird boxes, or repairing clothes you can run a short workshop on a video call with one or two people running a demonstration. Remember that it is harder for beginners to pick things up from an online workshop!

Collective activities – You could arrange for people to contribute to a collective effort. For example making blanket squares that can be picked up/or dropped off in order to create blankets. Or contribute other items for people in need such as the homeless, or refugees in need.

Film show – Screen an environmental film online or share a link to a film (see Waterbear for ideas) and hold an online discussion via video call afterwards.

Cooking online – Encourage people to eat sustainably with a range of vegan cookery demos! You’ll need to set up your phone to film this, or ask someone in your household/ bubble to film you.

Quiz – Arrange an environment-themed quiz online. You can charge (e.g. using Eventbrite) and donate the takings to a favourite environmental charity. Or make it harder and keep the focus local.

Organise a ‘Write-in’ – Choose a date to get everyone in your group to write a letter to a bank or pension provider, asking them which fossil fuel companies they invest in – and suggest they divest and re-invest in renewables. Provide a template letter and email it out.

Covid-safe Children’s Activities:

Sustainable Lockdown ideas – Find out more on the Sustainable St Albans website and tag us on social media! Tag us on Instagram with @SustainableStA, Facebook @SustainableStAlbans and Twitter @SustFest21.

Scavenger Hunt – Kids at Home – Create a list of things to find at home – it could be basic ingredients for cooking a carrot cake, or craft items to make an insect house, or implements for sowing some seeds. What might people have at home?

Treasure Hunt – This could work for adults too! Create an outdoor treasure hunt with a theme for kids or adults. Draw a simple map with places to visit and collect (or photograph) natural items e.g. oak tree, bird hide, heron, fish, butterflies, growing veg…what could the treasure be? (think #Covidsafe)

Kids Write-in to the Glasgow Climate Change Conference – Organise a children’s write-in – or pictures – to send to the UK delegation.

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Business Activities:

  • Join in with SustFest21!
  • Your event can be public for your customers or private for your business only.

We have a whole page dedicated to businesses and ideas for business involvement in SustFest21. Visit our SustFest21 businesses page now.

Other activities

Keep in mind for the future when we’re all able to join together again:

  • Organise a group walk in nature
  • Get a environmental speaker along to your meeting
  • Sing about nature in your choir
  • Plastic free week in the office
  • Repair event in your local community
  • Second-hand/re-use sale
  • Environmental film showing – with neighbours or for the public
  • Art event or photo exhibition about the environment
  • Music, poetry, story-writing or book group session linked to an eco theme
  • Create a Festival veggie menu for your cafe, pub or restaurant
  • Open up an eco-friendly house or building to inspire others
  • Organise a litter pick in your street/area
  • Organise an evening of board games – NO mobiles allowed – encourage conversations!
  • Take a children’s group on a bug hunt
  • Hold a repair event in your local community
  • Organise an allotment open day
  • Arrange a bike ride – for families or adults
  • Organise a talk on climate change
  • Make a community bug hotel
  • Fashion event using second hand clothes
  • Arrange a car-free day
  • Organise a family-friendly bike ride
  • Hold a meeting to reduce energy in your group’s building/get some energy meters
  • Trip to a nature reserve
  • Arrange vegetarian/vegan cooking demos
  • Solar energy information day
  • Build sculptures out of waste materials
  • Organise a public talk on climate change
  • Hold a seed swap or plant sale
  • Teach others a relevant skill you have through a class or workshop
  • Hold a supermarket “mass unwrap”
  • Hold a Plastic Free picnic
  • Children’s eco crafting session
  • Fashion event using second hand clothes
  • Encourage people to shop local

Don’t forget to share what you’ll be doing on social media with #SustFest21 and tag us on Twitter with @SustFest21, Instagram @SustainableStA and Facebook @SustainableStAlbans.