Platinum Jubilee: how to celebrate it sustainably
In September 2015, The Queen Elizabeth II overtook Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch. On 6th February this year, she became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service.
To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, events and initiatives have been taking place across the UK throughout the year, culminating in a four day bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June.
If you are planning to join the celebration, read below to learn more about the main sustainability-focused events going on and other things you can do to be more eco-friendly during the Platinum Jubilee.
Get involved in the Queen’s Green Canopy
The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a unique, UK-wide, tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee by inviting people to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee.” Everyone from individuals and schools to villages, towns and cities was encouraged to plant trees from October 2021, when the tree planting season begins, through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022.
With a focus on planting sustainably, the QGC encourages the planting to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations. As well as inviting the planting of new trees, the QGC will dedicate a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identify 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.
Find out more about how you can get involved here.
Have fun at the Platinum Jubilee Pageant
The Platinum Jubilee Pageant is an event that will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, and costume to celebrate Her Majesty’s dedication and love of the natural world.
The event invites children from across the UK to play a part in the ‘River of Hope’ procession. Forming an important part of the Pageant, the procession will include two hundred silk flags which will process down The Mall, between Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square, emulating a moving river.
With a focus on climate change, primary and secondary school children are invited to create a picture of their hopes and aspirations for the planet over the next 70 years. A selection of 200 of these creations will be transferred onto the silk flags, which will be carried by secondary school pupils and then shown up and down the country on screens as part of the Jubilee celebrations.
Don’t drive during the Platinum Jubilee: take the Elizabeth Line instead
Named in honour of Her Majesty, the Elizabeth line opened on Tuesday, 24 May, offering a new passenger service that stretches more than 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west through central tunnels across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
The Elizabeth line is part of the UK’s plan to help meet London’s growing population, which is expected to reach 10 million by 2030. It will increase central London’s rail capacity by 10%, making it easier for people to use public transport and helping reduce carbon emissions produced by the transport sector.
Take the opportunity to try it and reduce your carbon footprint during the Jubilee Weekend: Crossrail estimates it will use about 32g of CO2 per passenger-kilometre, compared to about 41g for domestic rail and 170g for single-occupancy cars.
Make your own decorations and hire a local reusable party kit
If you are organising a party, you’ll also need decorations. However, these can often be made out of plastic and create a lot of waste.
During this Jubilee Weekend, switch to eco-friendly alternatives: you can make them yourself, for example, by making your own bunting from old sheets and clothes, or you can look for recyclable, reusable or biodegradable decorations.
To avoid unnecessary waste from single-use tableware, ask neighbours to bring their own plates or picnic sets or hire a party kit in your local area.