… IF ONE TOUCHES THE EARTH ONE CANNOT AVOID THE SPIRIT
CARL JUNG, THE VISION SEMINARS (1976, P. 165)
A consciousness of the environment, its spirit, and the issues it faces, is threaded through the development of Jung by the Sea.
This is explored through our workshops, talks and the spaces we work/inhabit.
From the outset, an understanding that the running of our programme should have minimal environmental impact has steered the initiative.
Aware that beneficial change can be carried forward, even through relatively small actions, a set of interrelated principles was established to guide our practice:
Supporting a circular economy through activity such as waste management and recycling
Sustainable materials sourcing
Ongoing review of practices, research and their implications
In addition to mitigations, it is our goal to experience and promote the essential qualities, value and biodiversity of our environment in our work.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE
By prioritising the broad areas outlined, we have been able to reduce the environmental impact of the inaugural event at Polhawn Fort, 2023. Some of these actions are outlined below:
Event planning, communication and programme information dissemination have been paperless where possible. We have made use of web-based information and brochure, as well as online ticketing through Eventbrite and digital CPD certificates.
Our selected conference collaborators, including the designer, caterer, technicians, workshop leaders and vendors, adopt these sustainability principles in their work, with the caterer sourcing biodegradable or reusable plates and cutlery, for example.
We have worked hard to source event materials that can be recycled, reused, up-cycled, or composted. These include reusable natural cotton tote bags; biofilm compostable ‘cellophane’ bags; biodegradable display boards (eliminating laminations); biodegradable conference badge holders made from corn, potato, sugar cane and sugar beet, lanyards made from recycled water bottles, and delegate badges made from wildflower seed paper. Recycled, recyclable and ‘waste’ papers are used wherever possible.
Event caterers Big Pan Parties are a local company who utilise fresh ingredients from a range of local suppliers, supporting the local food economy, reducing food waste and helping to minimise food miles. Advance attendee 'head counting' and menu planning help to reduce potential food waste.
Encouraging guests to reuse water bottles, fresh tap water will be made available throughout the event for refills, providing hydration and working to reduce single-use plastics.
Addressing waste management, materials are selected to enable recycling, and recycling bins will be available in the main area. Elements of the giant Medusa Head sculpture— where it is formed from seaweed, flotsam and sea-degradable materials —will be reclaimed into the sea.
Multiple-use provides a better solution where possible. We therefore ask all delegates to retain any item in their conference pack and plant their wildflower seed badge. For those with no further purpose for these materials, we invite delegates to hand them over to our Front of House Team for reuse.
The location of the venue on a peninsula in rural Cornwall has presented a significant challenge for the use of public transport (limited to taxis!) and the reduction of emissions. In addition, the multi-day event and geographical spread of attendees and their accommodation has created a level of complexity too far for each of the ‘car pool’ apps we have tested. Given the limited capacity of Jung by the Sea, this aspect was initially addressed through information dissemination on journey planning and parking, alongside encouragement to share transport from accommodation locations.
However, due to late notification of a train strike over the event weekend, a more hands-on approach was implemented, with delegates asked to notify JBS of their travel needs or offer of car spaces and routes. These were matched individually. This one-off emergency planning aims to reduce vehicular traffic and indicates a willingness for ridesharing. The next challenge is to find a more sustainable approach for future events.
The development of an On-Demand channel to make available professional recordings of the speaker sessions is planned to provide accessibility and an alternative route for many online attendees from near and far following the in-person conference. This option contributes to the overall reduction of travel emissions.
The location and timing of the event allow for the use of natural light and heat where possible, particularly for social activities, lunches and entertainment (we also have back-up plans!). This provides opportunities for attendees to enjoy the unique environment of land and sea, and supports the reduction of indoor heating and lighting emissions.
PLANTING YOUR SEED PAPER BADGE
Each delegate has been issued with a conference badge printed onto wildflower seed paper. We have tested some seed paper offcuts and these have produced healthy seedlings (see photo below). Planting is easy and can add a little greenery to your space.
You will need (1) your seed paper badge (2) a saucer or similar shallow container (3) a small container for planting (we reused a washed out tomato tin with holes poked through the bottom and some broken crockery for drainage), (4) some peat-free potting compost and (5) water.
Chop the seed paper into small pieces.
Place the paper pieces around the surface of the saucer.
Slowly add the water - until the paper pieces are soaked through.
Add some compost to your container.
Spread out the soaked paper pieces on the compost
Cover the paper with a thin layer of compost.
Place in a sunny, warm spot and remember to water every day.
You should see some seeds sprouting up after a few days.
Each of the actions outlined above has been possible through prioritising our guiding principles and taking action together with our partners, colleagues, volunteers and participants. We are grateful for the support of our community in furthering these goals.
However, we should note that this is a starting point. Assessing the value of these choices has involved navigating complex and incomplete information. For example, in sourcing recyclable materials, it is not always clear where they originated, so their carbon footprint might be greater than envisaged.
As part of our ongoing review of practices, research and their implications, we will revisit and examine our decisions and their environmental impact.
Not everything could be implemented that we would have wanted. However, we will continue this work towards the next event.
Jung by the Sea is a not for profit initiative offering Jungian inspired events, celebrations and CPD in a rural setting, never far from the coast.
The centenary celebration of Jung’s Seminar in Cornwall is the inaugural event, taking place at Polhawn Fort, Cornwall, 2nd-4th June 2023.