Protect Tipova – Act Sustainably!- Gutta Club, Moldova
Tipova natural landscape reservation near Tipova village in Moldova is a unique place due to its ecological, cultural and historical perspective, and I’m happy to live there.
Although officially it’s a natural reservation and thousands of people annually come to visit it – actually nothing is done to protect it or develop it in a sustainable way. The area suffers from garbage pollution, climate changes and irresponsible attitude. This is the reason why we decided to make our local action here. It has got the name: “Protect Tipova – Act Sustainably!”
The idea was to raise awareness of both locals and tourists about Tipova landscape reservation as a place for environmental friendly behavior and sustainable tourism. We decided to supply the reservation area with informational panels including data about the natural reservation and the rules of conduct in this area. For this aim we planned to organize a grassroots movement mobilizing the ecologically-minded youngsters who were partial to the topic.
First of all in the frame of Republican Center “Gutta-Club” we have organized a workshop on environmental pollution and grassroots movements responding to this problem with the examples from different countries and our surroundings. Then I suggested to develop the ideas for our area of interest.
In the process the core of our future Tipova grassroots team showed up, and together we continued developing the idea and the design of future informational panels. We have got much help and support from each other, many things were implemented voluntary, for instance workshop materials and snacks, the design of the informational panels, their transportation from the capital to Tipova village, installation of the panels. We streamed the photos of the process on social media introducing locals to our work and success. All this took place in September – October 2019, and at the beginning of November the informational panels were finally installed.
With our Local Action we actually managed to reach 3 target groups: Tipova locals, tourists coming to this area and ecologically-minded youngsters from different districts and Tipova itself. For us it was a good experience of creating our own ecological grassroots movement, of collaborating within a team, of implementing a concrete project with a concrete budget and fixed desired results. For me it became a great experience of projecting and coordinating a local action (it was the first of mine!) Also I am happy to meet really nice ecologically-minded youngsters, to found out their interests and capacities during the workshop and further common work – so it will be easier to make the next local grassroots actions together!
We already plan the next steps towards more sustainable future in our region, promoting eco-tourism, combating the garbage pollution and raising the ecological awareness which can really change the things.
Zero waste workshop – Can Less be More? – BALTA DABA, Latvia
It’s not always possible in our busy day to day lives to cut out plastic packaging from our purchases, but by using the things we buy efficiently and actively recycling our waste, we can still help the environment by a great deal and even save some extra money for ourselves.
On the 12th of October a group of Latvian activists from Balta Daba organized a zero waste workshop, hosted in a local zero waste café “Café M”, for young people interested in living a greener life and reducing their daily waste. The main goal was to empower youth to reduce their household waste by educating participants on how to make body cosmetics like body scrub and deodorant, reusable wax food wraps and plant based milk from rice and oats at home in a simple manner, reducing the trash produced. Apart from that we also discussed the life path of waste that does get produced ,since it’s almost impossible to live 100% zero waste, and how to effectively manage it with upcycling, recycling and composting. For this purpose we had “world cafe” style discussions in groups and practical workshops.
Not only did Balta Daba team prepared the sessions but also worked for several hours the previous day to prepare large dishes of baked falafel and sweet energy balls for the participants, to keep them energised and to introduce them to vegan dishes.
All in all we had a lot of fun and it was great seeing young people so eager to participate and motivated to advance their lifestyle choices to more environmentally responsible ones.
Here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind for less waste in Your household called the 5R principle, for easier remembering:
- REFUSE – Buy groceries and cosmetics that don’t have a plastic package or any packaging at all.
- Find local zero waste shops (You can do this on Facebook or simply with google) and shop at your local market instead of a supermarket
- REDUCE – Use the things you buy fully.
- Don’t throw out a bottle or package if there is still something left inside. Same goes for food – if it has an expiration date and its past it, it doesn’t mean it has gone bad. Check it before you toss it. It can still be edible.
- REUSE – Repair broken household items and electronics, sew torn clothes.
- Do you really need that new phone or jacket? Producing new electronics and clothes requires a lot of resources. Check if you can repair your broken chair yourself or if there is a simple guide online on how to repair your headphones that stopped working in one ear. If it’s too complicated to repair yourself, you can always find a local repairman to fix your broken phone or a sewer to sew that hole in your pants for a cheap price. Save your money by doing this, and if you need something new, try to buy second hand. You can find a lot of good quality clothes and electronics that have been used little to no time at all and are almost new for discount prices at certain stores and online
- RECYCLE – Recycle after use – give your trash a second life!
- Find out about your local waste management companies and contact them directly! If you don’t have recycling bins nearby, according to EU regulations the company responsible for your neighborhood is obligated to provide them with no hassle. Most trash can be recycled and used many times (plastic can be recycled and used up to 30 times, paper up to 8 times and glass can be recycled and used indefinitely), so don’t let it lay around on valuable land and take up space, that could be used for something better, give it a second life!
- ROT – separate your leftover food from garbage and let it rot.
- In many EU countries it is already obligatory, to have a rotting bin at home for non- animal food leftovers (this system will also be implanted in Latvia by 2021.) as these leftovers can be used as a fertilizer to grow plants. Don’t let food go to waste, it can still have a good use even if you can’t eat it!
Thank you for reading and remember – it’s far better if a lot of people live by zero waste principles a little, than it is if a few do it 100%.
Best wishes from Latvia and Balta Daba!
Wasteval – Common Sense, Azerbaijan
Wasteval – #Actnow
Waste management has always been weak point in developing countries. As there is still lack of awareness and too much waste and plastic which is growing worse day by day we needed to take an action towards the environment without waste.
On the 5th and 26th October 2019 Local Action named ‘’Wasteval’’ has been implemented by Common Sense Youth Organization in Azerbaijan, Sumgait in order to raise awareness about waste management.
Young volunteers worked together and transformed waste and plastics into the beneficial pieces. With crafts and non-usable but still useful goods, exhibition was held and people actively participated in order to buy with certain ‘’prices’’. There were such ‘’prices’’ according to the things that in order to buy you should act as it’s written in the ‘’price’’ for example: to buy fabric bag or usable bottle you need to ban plastics and motivate one person to do so.
Next stage of the action was about planting trees and plants. Seminar was held and crucial information about planting was delivered to audience. Besides, plastics were transformed to pots for plants and self-watering system methods applied as examples.
People enjoyed our ‘’Wasteval’’ #Actnow and we are planning to take actions like this for upcoming weeks.
Youth manifesto creation – Eco Center Zapovedniks, Russia
It is still hard to translate “grassroot movement” in Russian. These words are not popular as well as to start and organize any movement. However, people especially youth are ready to change something and act. Many young activists all over Russia are making small different changes like developing local tourism, infrastructure, level of education in the places they live. They are actually making Local actions.
24thSeptember 2019 we brought together young activists from different parts of Russia to explain them what the grassroot movement really is, to sum up their ideas and to share it. The workshop was organized during Youth Forum of friends of protected areas in Petrozavodsk for 15 participants from 5 regions.
During first part of the workshop the coordinator of EcoCenter “Zapovedniks” Victoria Kosmatova explained what the grassroot movement with the examples from Europe. Then participant shared their experience of organizing local actions in their villages and protected areas. There were many interesting ideas like Lesson of Protected areas for schools, Green robots or Parks Sunday.
The brainstorm session was during the second part of the workshop. Young people discussed how to connect all the local actions they are making in one grassroot movement, how to spread it out and involve more people. The facilitator helped us to sum up the ideas in the Youth Manifesto and present it on behalf of participants of Youth Forum. The reaction on the Youth manifesto was different, but in general young people and specialists from Protected areas agreed that it is necessary.
The Youth manifesto include the description of grassroots movement, the challenges that young people want to change and the ideas how to do it. It was published and sent to 30 other local activists that didn’t participated in the workshop but can be interested in taking part.
We are planning to continue to distribute the Youth manifesto to involve more people in Local actions, to present it on behalf of decision-makers and to make our voice to be heard!
YES U CAN! – Umbrella, Georgia
The aim of our training was to involve young people and educate them. Especially in the rural areas, young people have no chance to participate in such activities and they were very happy to participate in our training, which took place in Tetritskaro Youth Center on the 12th October 2019.
Young people were provided with the required tools and knowledge required for the developing grassroots movement at the local level. The project focused on improvement negotiation, and advocacy skills, as well as gave the knowledge on the topic of environmental grassroots peculiarities.
We tried to teach them as much as we could in one day. Can mention that at the end of the training youth was so involved we couldn’t even stop the discussion and we talked as about real problems we’re facing in everyday life so about the one of the biggest problem in Tetritskaro region, which is Mining and is a huge problem for locals. By using the “Escobar” Interactive tool, they performed a role play. This roleplay made them understand what is the problem and how to deal with it in the right way. This moment raised interesting questions and we dissed them all. A lot of things were said, but there is still a long way to go. Together we can make a difference!
We enjoyed our #YesUCan Training! And we hope to continue to do such training courses, in order to make young people meet, share good ideas, participate in such activities, help them to be more open and to share their opinion. They were happy to recognize that someone cares about them…
Act Now – Yeghvard, Armenia
On 18th of October in Yeghvard city, in the office of ‘’Yeghvard’’ youth ecological NGO young people were gathered to take part in the workshop on ‘’Act now’’ about grassroots movements. The topics of the workshop were: Lack of information about the environmental local movements, local environmental problems, participation in local movements. The workshop have been leaded by Armine Mnatsakanyan and Ruzanna Manyan and Sirarpi Manyan were supporting her during the activities.
Workshop started with welcoming speech by the staff member of ‘’Yeghvard’’ NGO Ruzanna Manyan talked also about the activities, membership and implemented projects of “Youth Environment Europe”.
The local action organized by the Yeghvard NGO board member Armine Mnatsakanyan was about the movements that have been done in all over the world by activists. Armine have presented the main activities that they have done during the seminar in Czech Republic organized by YEE. She shared her knowledge, skills, experience gained during the TC. Armine have presented the main grassroots movements that that happened in the whole Europe and the main elements that have been used while organizing them. She presented the history and some early examples, talked about the main strategies in grassroots movement, shortly she had an introduction to Grassroots movements,about formation and developing process. She have brough examples of vegetarian movements, enough is enough, love is love , Me too, he for she, etc..
A special attention was on the movements that have been in Armenia and how they have been organized so that it will reach to the society in right way. She has mentioned Electric Yerevan, Save Sevan, Save Amulsar . This movements are very new in Armenia and we had a great discussion with the participants. In the end of the seminar after presentation of actual movements the president of Yeghvard NGO Sirarpi Manyan have done a session how to organize a movement and how to creat an action that you can involve more people and reach to a result. After the presentations and sessions the participants have created a plan to meet again and create social media campaigns for the environmental problems that our community has.
The participants of the workshop were from high school and active young people from Yeghvard city. During the seminar the participants have gained knowledge about the movements and actions in the world and how they are effecting to the decision making processes. The participants have gained skills how to plan an action in local community and how to involve more people in the local activities. They have gained also some knowledge the main environmental actions that are taking place in Europe..
On the other side «Yeghvard» NGO have new comers in the seminar. By the local action we have presented our office and the way of our work and now the young people are motivated to become volunteers and members of the organization. After having discussion about the movements that are taking place in Europe about climate change the participants of the meeting also wanted to join to the movement and say their word to the local authorities and to the population. They consider that everything that is happening with the nature it is because of the lack of information through the population. Now they are motivated are ready to implement activities and actions in their local communities.
Grassroots Movements and Environmental Issues – EDEN, Albania
On 26th October 2019, in Musine Kokalari Library Tirana, Albania, EDEN Center organized the workshop with the topic “Grassroots Movements and Environmental Issues”. This workshop was part of “ACT NOW! –Local Action”, as the fourth step of the “Let Grassroots Grow” project by Youth and Environment Europe”.
Participants of this workshop came from different target-group (social, political activist, youth worker, students…). Almost all of them had not heard before the concept of “Grassroots Movement”. They said that “Grassroots Movements” is the right tool to move the climate change issue on the right track. This local action was organized by Ergi Bregasi and assisted by the core team of EDEN volunteers.
The main objectives of this workshop were: to introduce young people with the “Grassroots Movement”, to explore the level of engagement of young people in a “Grassroots Movements”, to be able to design a strategy for a “Grassroots Movement”.
The sessions of the workshop consisted of three main sessions, facilitated by Ergi Bregasi, Lira Hakani (trainer), Tea Zeqaj. The method used during the workshop based on non-formal education principles, participants had the chance to interact and learn from each other through the different sub-group-working session that each of facilitator organized.
Maybe we brought something that is unseen and it’s not usually among the workshops that are organized here in Albania, our team decided to base the ingredients of the meal on a vegetarian diet. We take care of the footprint of the project on the environment and we arrived to mitigate the impact of it by serving vegetarian food, by reducing the plastic package of the food, etc.
We enjoyed our Local Action! During this experience, we shared ideas on how to make the politics responsible for the current situation of the environment!
Let Your Grassroots Grow: How to Identify the Problem – FYCA, Armenia
Nowadays our Planet is facing so many ecological problems that it is the right time to act and organise trainings for the people who care about our environment but don´t have any experience and information how they can influence on current situation. So the alternative way to this top-down politics is a bottom-up approach which is Grassroot movements. And this is what is going on now in Armenia on the topic of one ecological issue. The biggest eco problem in Armenia now is deforestation and digging of the Amulsar. This issue is already several years that can not be soluted so it is time to speak and take actions about it. Moreover this is only one example of what kind of big ecological problems Armenia and generally our Planet is facing and that is why more people should be involved in eco-friendly groups and projects. For that first of all they need an information and tools.
On 19th of October 2019 in West Yerevan Guest House 20 youngsters gathered together to discuss, get information and gain new skills about ecological problems our world is facing and by getting acquainted with Grassroot Movements to create strategies on solving concrete environmental problems.
Our one day training began with getting to know each other games and after that they were introduced with Yee network and about “Let Grassroots Grow” long term project. Then the participants defined what is ecology and environmental protection for them and on the stickers wrote down environmental problems they know and the solutions they suggest and then put them on already prepared tree of Ecological problems and Bright solutions. This is how we identified the main problems our participants thought were more urgent and important. And already knowing the problem they started to learn how to solve them. So next went the presentation of Grassroot Movements- Characteristics of them, from where to start a grassroots movement, who are allies and stakeholders and best examples to get motivated. After the introduction it was time for group work and participants were seperated on 4 groups and each one chosed one environmental problem(Polluted air, Plastic, Mining and Endangered species) and started to develop their own grassroot movement with upcoming plans, hashtags and slogans. Later they represented their works they have done and others were telling their opinion on whether they would join their action why yes and why no. During the 2nd activity we had a very interesting methode of learning which was developed by trainers using non-formal educational tools. Our participants were devided into 4 eco-friendly communities and got the same amount of money after which they were part of an auction where they were buying the best solutions of environmental problems and best components of Grassroot movements. We had very interactive and productive activity where everyone was engaged and finally had a winner group with the most effective solutions.
YEE aims to unite environmental youth non-profit organisations in Europe in order to enhance international cooperation, increase knowledge about nature, raise awareness of environmental problems and to strengthen participation of youth in environmental decision-making.