CHAMFEST environmentally friendly festival
Chamonix Mont-Blanc 21st May 2018
CHAMFEST, the new boutique lifestyle festival for all the family that opens the summer season in Chamonix Mont-Blanc the weekend of 15th, 16th and 17th June, celebrates all there is to love about Chamonix - particularly its beautiful natural environment - so is an appropriately ecologically conscious event. Throughout the three days of this fresh eco-friendly festival, there will be educative presentations on how best to respect the precious mountain landscape, as well as recycling games and workshops for kids.
Chamonix sits at the foot of Western Europe’s highest peak, Mont-Blanc, with its valley possessing numerous alpine glaciers including France’s largest, La Mer de Glace, so nowhere witnesses climate change more immediately. CHAMFEST is conceived, created and organised by Jo Saw, co-director of Chamonix valley specialist tour operator Chamonix All Year, whose tagline “we love Chamonix” is a mantra the company has used for 15 years. “A big part of CHAMFEST focuses on celebrating our beautiful mountains and we want to make sure that they are here to be enjoyed for generations to come,” says Jo. “We are conscious of the environmental problems that mountain resorts are facing and the fact that Chamonix is not immune to these. Across the 3-day festival, we'll be bringing in experts to help us and you to understand the positive steps that we can take to minimise our collective impact on the environment and reserve this beautiful valley for future generations.”
During periods of high atmospheric pressure, Chamonix Mont-Blanc and the surrounding Arve Valley suffer from problems linked to air pollution, due to the physical geography combined with traffic and consumption. Inspire is a non-profit environmental organisation from the Mont-Blanc region that works for a better respect of air quality, climate and public health. Inspire will kick off the CHAMFEST programme of environmental awareness talks on the morning of Friday 15th June, with a presentation giving tips and practical information on how to reduce emissions in the areas where we have a direct input: our homes, our travel and our consumption.
Also on Friday local filmmaker and co-founder of Seven Twenty Productions, Rachel Bradley will give a talk on the issues surrounding the Bornean pygmy elephant, whose rainforest habitat is rapidly disappearing. This smallest elephant species in the world is heading towards extinction, much like the pygmy rhinoceros, declared extinct last year. Rachel has been raising awareness of the pygmy elephants’ plight and has travelled to Borneo to aid the cause.
On Saturday 16th June Chamoniard alpine geographer and geomorphologist Sylvain Coutterand will be talking about glacial retreat and climate change, the subject of his book Atlas des glaciers disparus (Atlas of vanished glaciers), published by Chamonix-based publisher Editions Guérin. Sylvain will be signing copies of his book after his talk.
The leaders of SITOM, the waste management authority for the Mont-Blanc region, will inform young and old about waste management, providing information on sorting trash, reducing waste, composting and recycling on Friday 15th June and Saturday 16th June from their stall in the festival village. SITOM will also have a booth travelling around the CHAMFEST site to meet festival-goers with games for children and documentation on waste management.
On Sunday 17th June, an environmental literary round table will be hosted by naturalist and guide Gilbert Cochet, discussing his latest book Ré-ensauvageons la France (Make France Wild Again) with local naturalist and photographer Daniel Rodrigues, who made the film Origines - La faune venue du froid (Origins - The fauna coming from the cold).
AirBeeSeed encourages consumption that provides environmental solutions and will be collecting cigarette butts for recycling throughout CHAMFEST. Manu from AirBeeSeed will discuss the work of his organisation, which promotes environmental solutions to some of the problems that can come out of consumerism, in a talk on Sunday 17th June. Throughout CHAMFEST AirBeeSeed will have a stand in the festival village, where you can find out more about the Keep Chamonix Clean recycling programme for cigarette butts.
There will be some green fun on the cabaret-themed Sunday 17th June from the eco-disco experience on offer from Solar Sound System, a fabulous retro-futuristic DJ booth from Lausanne in neighbouring Switzerland, which has DJs spinning vinyl on decks that are totally powered by solar panels and bicycle generators.
In the CHAMFEST village for all three days of this environmentally friendly festival, will be EcoInstall who are passionate about helping their clients reduce emissions and increase the efficiency of their fireplaces and stoves. EcoInstall offers a wide range of solutions from particulate filters, efficient wood stoves and fireplace inserts, to gas fireplaces and pellet stoves. They can also provide the latest information on best practices in using wood fuel as a clean sustainable means of heating energy, as well as demonstrations of their eco-pellet BBQ that creates no emissions.
Also in the CHAMFEST village throughout the festival will be Sport Spirit Cycles, the Les Houches specialist cycle shop that stocks a wide range of electric bikes, alongside non-electric cycles. Owner Fréd Helluin has been interested in electric bikes as an alternative to cars since 2006 and now has a partnership with French brand Moustache who offer good quality bikes, both road and mountain, with reliable batteries which are pleasant and efficient to ride, which will be available to try from his stand.
For the comfort of all festival goers, Terra Mater will install biodegradable dry waste toilets throughout the CHAMFEST site. Their composting system guarantees unlimited use without any odours, whatever the outside temperature or exposure, and Terra Mater will have an information stall in the village.
The activities hosted by La Compagnie des Guides during CHAMFEST - an inflatable climbing wall and treasure hunts - are free, with the possibility of making a donation to their Caisse de Secours charity, which aids the families of injured or lost mountain guides. CHAMFEST will also be supporting the charitable association for the PGHM mountain rescue team, called Crampons des Cimes. The PGHM is the high mountain branch of the local military police and is the central emergency service which organises all mountain rescues. Crampons des Cimes offers support in the personal or professional lives of the gendarmes who make up the PGHM. When ordering and buying CHAMFEST tickets online, you can choose the option to donate to one of these good causes: CHAMFEST will collect these monies on behalf of both the Caisse de Secours and Crampons des Cimes and all donations will be split equally between them when the festival is over.
CHAMFEST has teamed up with Cham Eco Endurance, the charity behind the Evergreen Endurance triathlon committed to supporting projects local to the Chamonix valley that combat its unique environmental problems, to offer visitors the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions generated by their trip to Chamonix for the festival. When booking tickets and researching going to CHAMFEST at https://chamfest.fr/en/festival-info/eco-friendly-festival/ using the carbon calculator on the page, the carbon potentially emitted by the journey to Chamonix is calculated and can then be offset by contributing to one of the Cham Eco Endurance environmental projects in progress.
The brilliant Globule Radio, a radio station produced and presented by children, will be on-air at 90.5FM throughout the festival broadcasting as CHAMFEST Radio, so environmentally conscious festival fans and goers can tune-in to listen to the festival’s ecological awareness as presented by local youngsters.
CHAMFEST is an environmentally conscious and eco-friendly festival: activity providers and catering suppliers will use biodegradable packaging for products used and all food consumed on site and all drinks partners will be supplying reusable cups, to minimise the waste the event produces. CHAMFEST is also a family friendly festival that is considerate of its neighbours, thus the festival will close at 10PM every evening to ensure there is no disturbance.