The end of November marked the 12th edition of the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR), the biggest awareness-raising event in Europe about reducing, reusing and recycling waste. On this occasion, CEYOU partners Pontydysgu and Youth Express Network (Y-E-N) organised a series of activities engaging young people, and not only, in their communities.
Pontydysgu, together with some local community organisations in the Rhondda Cynon Taf county, launched a zero-waste initiative called Zero Waste Cynon Diwastraff. The goal was to showcase local circular economy activities and enabling youth and community to get involved. The group launched several competitions in time for EWWR to generate more excitement about the project and “put Cynon on the map”. They asked people to submit zero waste posters, zero waste lunch-box ideas, zero-waste hacks and food waste reduction recipes.
Local eco-companies donated products and samples that were used to make eco-hampers as prizes for the poster competition. A member of parliament for Cynon Valley agreed to choose a winner for the poster competition. Definitely not an easy task!
Have a look at all the poster entries of the competition at this link.
In Strasbourg, France, Youth Express Network responded to the EWWR call by organising a series of online events for young people and youth organisations representatives.
The first one, on 16 November, was on how to lower our environmental impact at the office and during youth events. For this occasion, Y-E-N invited Lari Schinteie, co-founder of Sustainable Babes, initiative aiming at raising awareness on the climate crisis and educating people on their power as consumers. As a follow-up to the event, Y-E-N published an extract of 6 videos:
- Video 1: Introduction and theory
- Video 2: Sustainable transportation
- Video 3: Paper and communication
- Video 4: Digital pollution
- Video 5: Lunch and coffee break
- Video 6 (upcoming): work environment and conclusion
The second event took place on 19 November and focused on circular fashion. The event discussed topics such as Eco-labeled products, second-hand clothes, how to make clothes last longer by learning to repair, transform and recycle them once they are worn out. The recording the event is available online (in French).
The third and last event, held on 26 November, was about eco-anxiety. Anxiety around environmental issues may stem from the awareness of a rising risk of extreme weather events, losses of livelihood or housing, fears for future generations, and feelings of helplessness. At the moment, eco-anxiety is not an official medical diagnosis. Mental health professionals may instead describe it as a chronic sense of environmental doom, usually based on feelings of powerlessness about environmental damage or climate change. This workshop discussed eco-anxiety, including what it is, the common symptoms and how to spot and manage it. You can watch the recording (in French) at this link.
Last but not least, during EWWR the two youth enterprises that Y-E-N had accompanied along the year 2020 officially launched their websites and e-shops. One enterprise, based in Strasbourg, is called Patchworkers and works on circular fashion. All clothes are designed by a local young designer and created in Strasbourg by unemployed women in reinsertion from reused materials collected in local charities. The other one, based in Timisoara, Romania, is the above-mentioned Sustainable Babes. They provide a range of services and products for people to adopt sustainable lifestyles, they raise awareness on the climate crisis and buycott.