GlasGLOW Tackles the Climate Crisis

This year’s GlasGLOW event took inspiration from the COP26 conference happening on the other side of the city and donned a climate change theme. The event has been successfully running for three years in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens.

The theme is presented to guests via metaphors and imagery.

GlasGLOW sign at the Botanic Gardens. Photo by Jenna Thomson

Loudspeakers announce that you are a reporter sent to investigate the disappearance of ‘Gloop Corp’s’ CEO and what is behind the new mutated plants and animals found in ‘Glasglopolis’ as well as questioning if the ‘gloop’ spillage could ruin the annual ‘Pumpkin Festival.’ This is the most obvious use of climate crisis imagery in the event as ‘gloop’ is repeatedly used as a metaphor for pollution.

Several toxic waste barrels and spillages linked to Gloop Corp can be seen as you walk around the event. You can see the damage the toxic waste has caused on the ‘mutant squirrels’ and plants dotted around, especially in the beginning of the journey.

One of the gloop leaks. Photo by Jenna Thomson

As the event is focused on being family friendly the theme of climate change does not feature constantly throughout the event. However, the most obvious pushing of living in a pro-environment setting can be seen three quarters of the way in at a ‘peace camp.’ A hill of signs created by local primary school children spreading awareness and calling for action is unavoidable.

The hill of climate posters. Photo by Jenna Thomson

The trail ends with you discovering the CEO was never missing and intentionally caused the goop leaks to destroy the Pumpkin Festival in one of the most striking forms of imagery created by the event but was unsuccessful as the festival can be seen going ahead. Without coming out and saying it what GlasGLOW is conveying is that companies and politicians can actively decide whether they will aid the destruction of our planet or make a difference.

It was not just the theming itself that was trying to spread the message of sustainable living. Itison, the organisers of GlasGLOW made a commitment to make the event as environmentally friendly as possible stating that:” At itison we take our Carbon Footprint and our contribution to protecting our environment seriously. Climate change and protecting and restoring the environment is the key message underpinning GlasGLOW 2021.

One of the magnificent light displays. Photo by Jenna Thomson.

“We aim to promote sustainability across all areas of our event and will ban single use products, recycle catering waste, encourage guests to use digital tickets over paper, ensure all pumpkins which feature in the show are used as food waste, install equipment wherever possible that is part of the circular economy where it has been previously used on another event and will go on to be used in another event and reuse previous years scenic elements.”

The full list of climate pledges can be found on the Itison website.

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