Green Capital 2015 – Four Events To Look Forward To

Bristol 2015 - European Green Capital


On 1st January 2015, Bristol becomes European Green Capital. Jess Connett picks out the her highlights for  Bristol’s greenest and most exciting year ever.

2015 is going to be a big year for Bristol

As you’ve probably heard by now, 2015 is going to be a big year for Bristol. There are going to be events, parties and festivals coming out of our ears – all with the aim of making the whole city less polluted, and to increase the quality of life for each and every citizen.

Green issues are hot topics: a report published in 2014 estimated that the UK only has enough oil, coal and gas supplies to last another thirteen years. We all need to make changes to our lifestyles now – like relying less on our cars – for the sake of our children, and our children’s children. Green Capital is designed as a kick up the butt to make us all think about our impact on the planet, and pledge to make a change.

There are going to be hundreds of things going on, from conferences to street parties – so check out the Green Capital website for the latest (and a really cool floating animation of Bristol).

Here’s our pick of the events we’re looking forward to most:

Greentech Camp

This camp for 9-17 year olds will show young people how technology can improve our lives, increase sustainability and be applied to meet green goals. This will be an opportunity to attend lots of different workshops with up-and-coming tech companies, give young people the chance to see some cutting edge technology in action, and provide loads of opportunities to give feedback and get involved.

It’s basically a must-do for anyone interested in technology and green issues and it’ll be held (we think) in early March. Check the webpage for updates.

The Bristol Whales

Between July and September 2015, Bristol is going to get its very own city pets – life sized sculptures of Blue Whales, the biggest animal on the planet. It’s going to be created by artists, designers, and us – Bristol’s citizens. The whales will be woven from Somerset willow and the ocean they are swimming in will all be made out of old bits of plastic (over 70,000 plastic bottles collected from the Bath Half Marathon and Bristol 10k race) to highlight the issues of waste, pollutants in the sea, and the impact humans have on animals. The willow will biodegrade over time, but the bottles won’t.

The Bristol whales will be displayed in Millennium Square, by At Bristol Science Centre. You can visit them for free.  Here’s some more information.

Youth Summit

This will be held at the Colston Hall on 20th April, and will be a golden opportunity for young people to tell the city how they really feel about green issues. We’re promised a packed day of workshops, debates and TED talks from influential young people (although there’s no news yet on whether Down & Out in Bristol With Plastic, one of our worthiest 24 under 24, will be involved). It all sounds really exciting.

This will be followed by a rally on Earth Day (April 22nd), which promises to ‘send a message from the young people of Bristol to the world.’ The voices of young people will be heard all around the city and the globe, so get your placards out and lets make a noise!

200 swings

We don’t know officially if this one is happening yet (the planning application has only just been sent to the Council, so it could take months to get a definite yes or no), but if it does it’ll be awesome. Luke Jerram, who created the Bristol Waterslide and the ‘Play Me I’m Yours’ pianos which were in town a few years ago, has a brilliant new idea to get Bristolians out and about, enjoying their city. He plans to install up to 200 swings – on buildings, in trees and in playgrounds – and even on the cranes by the docks. Fingers crossed this happens because I’ll be first in the queue.

So those are our picks – and we’re looking forward to some really good events! Let us know if you’re going to any of these events – are there any good ones we missed? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.