Three-day event to inspire sustainable living at centre:mk
The first edition of Green Live to inspire sustainable living took place at cente:mk in Milton Keynes 15-17 October. Milton Keynes may not be the first town that comes to mind when you think green living as the first impression many have is of concrete buildings and motorways. However, with an average of 15.42m² of parks per ten inhabitants, red ways built for bicycles, pedestrians and increasingly e-scooter users, Milton Keynes is one of the greenest places in Britain.
It was no surprise therefore to see this brand new event all about green living come to Milton Keynes following its London debut only two weeks ago. In the lead up to COP26, Green Live hosting 80+ sustainable brands and speakers at centre:mk and previously at London’s Westfield, the event aimed to put sustainable living firmly on our agenda.
We visited on Day 2 – while a promising start for a first event, it was a small exhibition taking up just a third of the exhibition space at Middleton Hall in centre:mk. For a first-ever sustainable living event, though it’s a great start. And with a range of sustainable brands and products – from plastic-free toys to zero waste beauty products, from zero low carbon paw print pet food to green banking, there was still plenty on show to inspire green living. Sometimes it can be daunting for the average person to work out how to kick-start green living; events like this provide the perfect opportunity to discover new sustainable products and services ﬁrst hand, meet the people behind them face-to-face, and start taking the first steps to play our part in saving the planet.
While it was hard to choose from so many green products, for us, there were some stand out products whose stalls had the siren’s call to novice sustainable living fans.
One such was Green Wallet, the world’s ethical marketplace which connects conscious consumers with sustainable merchants, with its first green mobile banking service in the works. Bashir Khairy whom we got to meet at the stand is keen to highlight wherever we bank we can’t fully be confident they invest sustainably and we must vote with our wallets.
For pet owners, Yora is the brand to know, with innovative pet food brand, sourcing sustainable ingredients, like insect protein, which is one of the most digestible and nutritious forms of protein on the planet. They are keen to help us reduce our pets’ carbon footprints. The plus side? If you find your dog or cat isn’t too keen on bugs, Yora offers a 100% money back guarantee and asks that you donate the unused bag of food to an animal rescue near you so there is no waste.
Another stand-out brand was the organic, cruelty-free and sustainably sourced natural skincare brand Navitali UK, which offers a range of body butters, face oils, face and body scrubs and lip balms which smell heavenly and are absolutely waste and guilt-free with their ethical and green credentials.
There were also fun products like Wood be Nice with their natural, plastic-free toys and innovative toy brand Capikooa, with their beautifully made balance boards made from ethically and sustainably sourced beech wood and finished to the highest standards with a child-safe, environmentally friendly lacquer.
Of course, there was also e-bikes and e-cars on show with sponsors Citroen‘s brand-new 100% electric AMI and Ë-C4 Ë-C4, as well as co-sponsor Estarli showcasing their full range of e-bikes. Another sponsor Santander had their Santander Cycles on display.
While less tangible but also equally green were sponsors PensionBee offering green investment opportunities for our pensions and Ripple who offer part-ownership of wind farms to power our homes and play our part in a zero-carbon future.
There were also a range of good from ethical fabrics to lifestyle products.
With focus on all aspects of sustainable living, what I felt was missing was more of slow and second-hand fashion. The only exhibitor in this space was Vintage Threads, a London-based vintage and reworked clothing retailer selling only the finest handpicked pieces from around the world. But perhaps more slow fashion options would have been more deadly for my pocket!
Ours was more of a fly-by visit on a busy Saturday so we missed out on the talks from a range of experts on topics from slow fashion to green power. However, the exhibition was enough to give us food for thought about the small steps we can start taking day-to-day to create a better future for not just us, but future generations. I am already looking forward to the next sustainable living event, and with Green Live teaming up with Treepoints and More Trees and pledging to plant a tree for every ticket sold, it feels good to have an immediate positive impact on the environment.