Kevin McCloud – the face of Channel 4's dream-home series Grand Designs – presents this year's live show at London ExCeL. It runs from 5 to 13 May.
In response to the global plastic crisis, the "home show on a grand scale" is banning plastic bottles, straws, cups and cutlery. It will instead ask people to fill up reusable cups from water points at the show’s cafes.
Friends of the Earth is the official charity partner of Grand Designs Live 2018. Pop by our stand to get your hands on our fabulously designed reusable coffee cups and bottles. And say hi to the team. We'll be giving advice about going plastic free at home and on the move.
Innovative design can play a huge part in creating alternative solutions that work for people and the environment, which is why we’re excited to be partnering with Grand Designs Live.
Friends of the Earth Executive Director Craig Bennett
How can I get free tickets to Grand Designs Live?
As a special thank you, Grand Designs Live free tickets are available to all our supporters. Claim your free spot now.
Want to become a Friends of the Earth supporter and help us tackle plastic pollution? Join up today.
What is Grand Designs Live?
It's a live version of the hugely successful Channel 4 programme Grand Designs, presented by Kevin McCloud.
The show is split into 6 zones where you can browse the latest trends for the home:
- Kitchens & bathrooms
- Design arcade
It's likely to be the first time you set eyes on many of the items on display. This will almost certainly be true of Kevin's Green Heroes. These are the people behind Kevin McCloud's favourite eco-friendly construction ideas. Past heroes will give live demonstrations of their products.
Watch out for The Smack by Claire Potter Design. This recovered 365 plastic sports drink bottles from a beach clean in Brighton and transformed them into 30 LED jellyfish lights called The Smack – the collective term for jellyfish.
As well as marvelling at the exhibition, you can:
- Get top expert advice for your own grand plans.
- Discover fantastic designs that are easy to recreate.
- Purchase unique and sustainable salvaged pieces for your home.
- Meet Kevin McCloud live on stage at the popular Grand Theatre.
What will Friends of the Earth be doing at Grand Designs Live?
We'll be helping people cut throw-away plastic out of their lives – and asking them to take part in our Plastic Free Friday challenge. We'll be at stand K68 with a selection of beautifully designed reusable coffee cups and bottles for sale. Come over and chat to us about our plastics campaign.
The popular Grand Theatre is one of the main highlights of the London event. We're excited to be taking part in several talks there about clever design and environmental solutions. We'd love to see you at any of these events:
- Plastic Surgery – reducing plastic pollution Wednesday 9 May, 11am-11.45am. Friends of the Earth's Executive Director Craig Bennett presents and co-chairs with Kevin McCloud.
- Detox the Air in Your Home Friday 11 May, 12pm-1pm. Air pollution campaigner Ollie Hayes on what is air pollution and what can we do about it?
- Sourcing Sustainably – can we have it all; ethics and aesthetics? Saturday 12 May, 12pm-12.45pm. Senior campaigner Paul de Zylva presents and participates in a panel discussion. Kevin McCloud chairs.
Why is Grand Designs Live focusing on plastic?
There's huge public support for tackling the plastic that is polluting our soils and seas – harming our dolphins, turtles and other wildlife. Every minute a truck load of our plastic enters the oceans. Sea creatures can get tangled up in it or mistake it for food.
People were already aware of the problem, even before David Attenborough warned Blue Planet II viewers about the plastic pollution building up in the natural environment.
Grand Designs Live wants to help tackle the plastic crisis through inspiring eco-friendly designs, raising awareness and taking action to reduce its own impact.
At this year's show it will cut out all sales of plastic bottles and cutlery, replacing them with biodegradable alternatives. Visitors will be able to purchase refillable coffee cups and bottles from Friends of the Earth at stand K68 – or bring their own reusable drinking vessels. Water points are available at the show’s cafes.
By inviting Friends of the Earth to be its official charity partner, the show is demonstrating its commitment to help end plastic pollution. Together with our supporters – and our strong network of local groups spanning the country – we're campaigning for a complete phase-out of all but the most essential plastics.
What is Friends of the Earth doing about plastic pollution?
When it comes to waste and recycling, we've got a pretty good track record. It was a Friends of the Earth campaign that brought doorstep recycling to every home in the UK. We made recycling not just a household word, but a household habit.
But recycling won't solve the plastic crisis we're facing. Only a small percentage of the plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. The majority has ended up in our soil, sea and general environment. And most plastics can only be recycled a handful of times before they become unusable.
Ultimately the only long-term solution is a complete phase-out of plastic for all but the most essential uses. At the moment, many people are unaware that tiny pieces of plastic can be in products like clothes and cosmetics. And some of these are ending up in our seas.
So we're calling on the government to get serious about non-essential plastic waste. We want to see an action plan covering all plastic-polluting sectors. You can help by signing our petition.
We're also helping people reduce the amount of plastic in their homes – from the bathroom to the garden.
If you'd like to cut down on your plastic legacy, take part in Friends of the Earth's Plastic Free Friday challenge.