In the last post of this series, you discovered how to raise awareness of plastic pollution in your community. Everything without much time and effort. If you want to go one step further and actively engage community members and organise activities or events for them, we’ve got you covered in this article.
If not, keep reading anyway, as you might get inspired along the way.
Try to organise two small, unique events which will help you to gather interested people. Together you can create something bigger involving even more people in the end!
It might feel a little daunting at first but you’ll be surprised by the number of people who are interested once someone finds the courage to start something! So, get out of your comfort zone and use your voice and power to change the world we’re living in!
Organize a community clean-up
The first idea for a small event would be a community clean-up – easy and effective!
Certainly, we have to stop plastic from entering our environment at its source, reduce our use of this material and rethink our habits. Nonetheless, we also need to clean up the mess! There is no better way to do that than by joining forces as a community.
You’ve probably heard of Afroz Shah who made headlines with his clean-up. It proved that every action can create real change! In just two years his massive clean-up operation turned a heavily polluted Indian beach into a paradise for hatching turtles.
Follow his example: Roll up your sleeves, recruit fellow nature lovers and free your roadsides, forests, beaches and fields from the litter!
It needs a little preparation and planning in advance though. It’s often helpful to share your idea with a friend or family member. Two minds are better than one. Take your time to carefully organise the event to ensure its success.
- WHERE AND WHEN? Focus on one specific area like one neighbourhood or one park. What is the best date and time to clean it up?
- HOW? You need the appropriate material to carry out the event. Ask your municipality for the necessary equipment like pickers, gloves, bags, reflective vests, … Also, make sure to figure out where the collected waste is sorted and going afterwards.
- WHO? Who do you want to participate in the event? Your sports club, neighbourhood or maybe just children? Advertise your clean-up accordingly in local shops, schools and maybe even in a local newspaper or on social media.
On the day of the clean-up, give clear instructions on where and when the collected waste should be gathered.
It not only makes your environment cleaner, but it also helps to raise awareness and makes people more mindful of their relationship with waste.
Host a DIY workshop
Do you know how to make your creams and cosmetics? Or do you love crafting and are an expert in plastic-free gift wrapping? Especially now, at the end of the year, it’s nice to gather people and get creative instead of falling into the trap of mindless consumerism!
Pass on your expertise by hosting a DIY workshop. Again, it takes a little bit of planning: finding the right location, advertising the event, providing the material, etc. But the work is worth it: you get to share your experience and you’ll meet like-minded people who are interested in creating a sustainable future for our planet.
Here are some ideas for hosting a DIY workshop:
- Homemade toothpaste,
- Self-made deodorant, creams or other cosmetics,
- Laundry detergent,
- Plastic-free gift wrapping,
- Upcycling projects,
- Sewing or Knitting,
- Cooking or Baking, and a lot more.
Start a local zero-waste group
Do you enjoy bringing people together and organising events while inspiring change and fighting for our planet? Great!
Through clean-ups, DIY workshops or just a local social media group, you can meet like-minded people from your extended community who might be interested in regular gatherings and more activities. Keep in touch with these people and consider creating a local zero-waste group together.
As a group, you can host more clean-ups and workshops and offer a range of different activities:
- Book swapping: Install bookshelves or boxes around town where everyone can leave and pick up books.
- Monthly Repair Cafés: Let skilled community members help people fix their electrics or bikes. First of all, it’s a way to save perfectly fine items from going to landfills, to turn away from our throwaway culture and to save money. But it’s also a great opportunity to gather people from your neighbourhood and create a feeling of community.
- Reach out to local schools and start projects with them. Many schools broach the topic of plastic pollution with their students and wouldn’t it be great for them to get insider tips and ideas for plastic-free, sustainable alternatives?
- Offer information about the issue and possible solutions for the general public. Show people how they can replace wasteful items step by step. Blog and newspaper articles or informative meetings are a great way to do that.
- As suggested in the last article, get to know your council members. Demand action on the political level. Identify the environmental concerns of your group’s members. A ban on plastic bags or stricter fines for littering could be the focus of your efforts. Petitions reinforce the wish for political action.
Your local zero waste group can launch all kinds of initiatives or events. Be creative! It might be good to try out a series of different activities to understand what your community likes best. Once you’ve figured that out, you can better respond to the specific interests and needs.