Monday, January 25, 2016

Sustainability Festival at Masdar for Families

As part of Masdar's initiative, Abu Dhabi Sustainability week; Festival at Masdar is taking place since 2014. Each year Festival welcomes the community for an entertaining and educational program against the backdrop of one of the world’s most sustainable cities.

Launched to inspire UAE residents to adopt more sustainable habits, the annual event invites the public to take part in a series of interactive activities that relate to clean energy and sustainability.

This year the festival took place on 22-23 Jan and as a regular visitor to festival I must admit, this year's festival was better with innovative learning and awareness activities. This is one festival, every family with children in UAE should visit to make our next generation eco conscious and get inspired on how can we achieve eco education and eco learning as responsible parents.

Riding PRT @Masdarcity
Visiting Masdar is always exciting, on our every visit we explore some new sustainable features of this iconic sustainable development. I had taken the Masdar tour in last year's festival, but finally this time I got opportunity to ride electric powered PRT (personal rapid transit).

Funfair with science games, recycled art installation

There were different zones for different eco activities. We started with Reading Corner, this year it was introduced to celebrate year of reading. While son and father duo were lost in world of books, I took a walk in recycled and upcycled art installation zone. One of the interactive art installation was messages written (in reply to What Earth needs?) on small card hanged on ropes. This was my take on the same question. "Earth needs our love & efforts on everyday basis to conserve it's beauty & resources" 

At funfair there were many educational games for kids to teach them about carbon capture, recycling, solar power etc After finishing required tasks, kids could win Masdar's signature miniature PRT model.

Workshop on grow your own food
Later on, we queued up for a workshop on growing your own food under the massive wind tower structure. This is one of my favorite structure; it is the traditional, functional local architectural element on massive scale with modern approach.  There were soil, seeding, planting, watering stations to teach kids growing of food step by step. My son planted a small zatar plant. It was a great souvenir from festival to take home.

There were art and crafts zones for children to create meaningful things out of recycled material like egg containers etc. Highlight of the festival according to me was the Eco lab and solar powered car station. In eco lab kids could learn sustainability principles, renewable energy through science experiments. And at solar powered car station, kids were making their own solar powered toycar with help of parents and at the end, they were running it on race track with help of torch. In these zones not only kids but even parents were getting engrossed in those science games. What a great way to spread awareness about clean energy and sustainability in community!

Science experiments at Ecolab and Make solar powered toy car

There was a small marketplace promoting sustainable living solutions, organic produce and eco goods. Journey toys exhibited their wide range of eco toys made of rubber wood and recycled plastic. Green bags had reusable cotton & jute bags on display. Organic foods and cafĂ© had our favorite organic produce. Green Ecostore had wide range of eco products. Dgrade exhibited their clothing made of recycled plastic bottles. Baitzait had amazing range of natural skin care products made locally. The one grabbed my attention was Arabic dessert sand scrub!

Marketplace of sustainable products
This year's festival was a complete package of sustainability awareness, education and hands-on experiments for community. If you missed this year's fantastic festival at Masdar then just set a reminder for next January. I am sure Masdar will bring it back next year even better and more innovative! 

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