Good Summer for Greens

It's been a busy couple of months for local environmentalists Manchester Friends of the Earth. The second week of June was "Green Transport Week" and the group organised an event for every day to highlight positive alternatives to using the car. On the Monday they arranged a race between commuters on cycles and in cars (in two out of three cases the cyclists won), on Tuesday Sandra Dutson travelled to all 10 town halls delivering a green transport poem, Wednesday the group promoted greener alternatives to petrol and diesel such as chip fat (see also p4), Thursday was highlighting car-sharing and lift-sharing and the theme for Friday was the walking school bus.

At the end of the week, the group also did a couple of stalls including Stockport Environment Fair and the council-organised Bike Festival.

A week later and it was time to promote "Real Food". With copious amounts of organic fruit provided by Unicorn Grocery and Limited Resources and organic flapjacks from On the Eighth Day, the group collected signatures on a petition calling for Tony Blair to reform farming, to stop GM crops in favour of local, organic food.

A couple of Saturdays later, and members of the group went to offer moral support to Val who was lobbying Tony Lloyd MP, again on issues of GM food. Despite sounding positive initially, it soon became clear that Lloyd was not prepared to ask Blair to ban "T25" GM Maize despite concerns of his constituents.

Next up came a day in St. Anne's Square asking people to face up to climate change. Punters had their photo taken and stuck to a card. The cards were then collected and sent off to Bonn where they were used in a massive photo-montage calling upon the world leaders to face up to climate change and agree the Kyoto Protocol.

Finally, the group's got the council to close a road for European Car Free Day (22 Sept), so they're planning for that. If you'd like to get involved, please contact the group as soon as possible.

Manchester Friends of the Earth (0161 834 8221,

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