World Environment Day 2017: Manchester is red, blue and green


World Environment Day falls on the 5th June every year. It’s a day dedicated by the United Nations to promote worldwide awareness and protection of the environment. It’s an opportunity for people to become agents of change and contribute positively to saving the planet.

It’s been celebrated since 1974, with a different host country every year. This year it’s Canada and the theme is connecting people to nature, with the hashtag #WithNature on social media.

Manchester isn’t just red or blue. It’s green. At least, it’s trying to be. Recently-elected mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has appointed an impressive-sounding environment tsar. Alex Ganotis is tasked with making the area a leading green city region and is aiming for carbon neutrality some time between 2030 and 2040.

In the meantime, here are three ways for you to become a little bit greener.

Real Junk Food Project makes gourmet meals out of food waste

Junk food may be bad for you but The Real Junk Food Project isn’t. And it’s good for the environment too, making healthy, nutritious meals out of food that would otherwise go to waste. It’s estimated that one third of all the food we produce gets wasted, so The Real Junk Food Project are not just helping reduce this statistic, but serving you great food too. They host pop-up events in a variety of iconic Manchester locations and serve up three-course feasts where you pay what you feel the meal was worth. All the products they use are from supermarkets, restaurants and a number of other sources which often have perfectly good excess items they need to throw away.  Recent events have included a takeover at Oldham Street favourite The Koffee Pot. The next event is at Gray’s Larder in Chorlton on June 6, with free tickets bookable via Eventbrite.

A medicinal vegan café coming to The Wonder Inn

The chef who claimed he could make aubergine taste better than steak is going even further. Matthew Nutter is taking over the kitchen of the Wonder Inn on Shudehill and serving up a vegan menu with healing properties. Roots Café is Nutter’s second project following the opening of his vegan restaurant The Allotment last year. It will be serving up food combinations which are good for our bodies and the environment  The date is yet to be announced but there’s an Allotment Kitchen Takeover at Common Bar on June 12 if you fancy a taste of Matthew’s vegan delights.

Grow your own and eat it too at Hulme Garden Centre

If you thought garden centres were boring, think again. Hulme Garden Centre is a green oasis less than two miles from the centre of Manchester.  It’s a not-for-profit garden centre and thriving community garden using sustainable practices wherever possible, including growing plants to organic standards in peat-free compost and reusing pots. There’s plenty to enjoy including a homemade boardwalk, beautiful greenery, wild fruits and flowers plus a pond area and sandpit for children. It’s also home to the Oooh La La In The Garden Café, which specialises in gluten-free and vegan-friendly treats.

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