Living Green Festival celebrates compassion for people and the planet
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Living Green Festival celebrates compassion for people and the planet

Five years on, Canberra's Living Green Festival looks set to be as eclectic, exciting and engaging as ever.

With its slogan of "a kinder shade of green for the planet, animals and humans", the free event is as committed to vegan ethics as it is to promoting compassion for all.

Living Green festival organisers Tara Ward, Tracey Lofthouse and Jess Ferry.

Living Green festival organisers Tara Ward, Tracey Lofthouse and Jess Ferry.Credit:Rohan Thomson

More than 85 stalls testify to the diversity of the eco-friendly gathering, which puts the focus on everything from Amnesty International to Animal Liberation ACT.

"We've tried to make it accessible to everybody," said Jess Ferry, one of the dedicated organisers.

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That includes children, who are sure to be thrilled by the eight-metre climbing wall, kids' yoga sessions, reading tree and amusements such as face-painting, craft activities and board games.

Furry friends are in for a treat too, with a canine cafe where dogs and their keepers can snack on tasty, healthy, plant-based baked goods.

Ms Ferry promised all the food on sale would be sustainable, low-carbon and delicious.

"I'm planning to eat my way around the festival," she said, listing some of the tempting fare that "blows the stereotypes out of the water".

Among the vegan, lactose-free and gluten-free options are doughnuts, jelly cups, cakes, sausages and burgers.

Much of the cuisine has a multicultural flavour, with Mexican and Malaysian dishes on the menu as well as a non-meat spin on national institutions like Aussie pies and barbecue delights.

"The great thing about the Living Green Festival is that it takes a whole bunch of serious issues like climate change and sustainable living, and offers festival-goers solutions that are fun," Ms Ferry said.

Stalls showcase everything from reincarnated rubbish to state-of-the-art water tanks, with tips on topics as varied as bike maintenance, avoiding electromagnetic signals and using non-toxic cleaning products.

"There's no limit on compassion," Ms Ferry said.

Indeed, the caring ethos extends to wildlife, bees, greyhounds, cats, pigs and deaf dogs, to name a few.

"We also have live music all day, with many younger people playing," Ms Ferry said. "That's pretty cool."

The fifth Living Green Festival takes place at the Albert Hall in Yarralumla, from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

Mary Lynn is a reporter for the Canberra Times and Chronicle

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