COP26: Chichester residents commit to saving the planet

Local residents came together today (October 26) to make a commitment to protect the environment ahead of COP26.

The eco-conscious residents made a human sign spelling out the word 'commit' at Oaklands Park to encourage each other to do their bit for the environment.

The event was hosted by Chichester Festival Theatre and The Great Sussex Way, and people taking part were encouraged to make their own commitments, big or small, for how they were going to work towards a more sustainable future.

Georgina Rae, head of planning and projects at Chichester Festival Theatre, said: “We really wanted to do something that would help Chichester make a nod to COP26 and show our support for the goals of COP26.

Chichester residents came together to spell the word 'commit' as a nod towards the COP26 conference taking place this weekend. Picture by Dan Hill

“We wanted something that wasn’t just a photograph but it actually supports action and supports us making a commitment, hence the word ‘commit’.

“I have committed to using less plastic, making more visits to the refill shop and swapping my milk bottles to glass milk bottles which I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, so I’m going to make this event the reason that I do that.”

Click here to see photos of the event.

Danielle Dunfield, CEO of The Great Sussex Way, committed to ‘take the train for all trips up to Guildford rather than drive."

She added: "I think ditching the car is an immediate reduction in carbon footprint".

Chichester Festival Youth Theatre members, Ella, 18, and Spencer, 15, are passionate about helping the environment and have been trying to make the theatre more sustainable by reusing set pieces in their shows and planting trees in local parks.

Ella said: “It’s a cliche, but there really isn’t a planet B.”

Her commitment to help the environment is ‘to shop, fashion-wise, more sustainably and not buy directly from big brands’.

Spencer added: “It’s important for us to do our little bit.

“I buy a lot of food, so I want to be careful not to be buying single use plastic foods, by making my own lunches or by using sustainable things.”

Diana Beale, 68, from Chidham, also took part in the creation of the human sign and made a commitment of her own. She said: “I’ve been desperately worried about climate change for my whole life, and it’s make or break time at the moment.”

She is planning on helping the environment by spreading the word: “My commitment is to talk, make a noise, and even teach myself to do social media properly.”

The commitments, written on leaves cut out of recycled posters, will be displayed in the Festival Theatre foyer from October 31 to November 12 while the COP26 summit takes place in Glasgow.

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