Green Action Week 2019: Week One

We face a crisis of people and planet.

Too many people do not have equal access to the goods and services we need for a decent life, and too much stress is being put on the planet – our shared home.

Sustainable consumption is crucial to tackle both the social and environmental causes of this crisis.

The waste and inequality of unsustainable consumption is a relatively new invention, and all over the world communities are pushing back against it. When people collaborate and share goods and services, it benefits the community as well as the environment.

This is what a Sharing Community looks like.

Green Action Week is a campaign to promote sustainable consumption.

50 civil society organisations across 30 countries are reigniting cultures of sharing and collaboration to create sustainable access to goods and services, and at the same time reduce stress on the planet through building a sharing community (read a guide to this theme here).

Activities take place through the whole year. Below are just some early highlights from the main campaign week (30th September – 6th October). We are just getting started.

Bringing back cultures of sharing.

A Sharing Community is not a new invention from rich countries, it is an ancient part of many cultures.

Green Action Week participants found that they could draw on their community’s traditions to find techniques for sharing and collaboration that connected different generations.

In the words of one participant: “the concept of sharing is not new, but it needs to be rejuvenated according to modern times.”

Report from event in Pakistan: "Ms Jameela, 55, said that in her childhood she used to bring mutton and bread from bazar in old newspaper or in cloth bag. Similarly, milk or yogurt was also carried home in utensil brought from home. 'Now we are only producing wastage.'"
On 'Ghandhi Jayanti' (Mahatma Ghandhi's birthday), volunteers took to the streets of Berhampur, to remind people of a proud Indian tradition of the "environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits of sharing community."

Building stronger community relationships.

If sharing community activities or the ways we talk about sharing community only focus on the environment, we will find it harder to persuade people to join, and we will find it harder to truly solve the crisis we currently face. 

Working in some of the poorest communities, Green Action Week participants are creating campaigns which take on social inequality and environmental damage at the same time.

In Fiji, local seamstresses and weavers were invited to share their skills in how to upcycle old clothing and cast-offs into reusable bags. This was done both to protect their marine ecosystem from plastic bags and to bring new respect to older skills.

In India, school children from different backgrounds found themselves learning from each other and helping each other to find ways to tackle unsustainable consumption and air pollution in their community.

Speaking a global truth in our local languages.

Green Action Week participants know that if they are going to reclaim their traditions of sharing and collaborating then they have to keep finding ways to be visible, to be heard, and to find the most persuasive ways to communicate about a sharing community. 

Many participants took to their local media, using local phrases and sayings to convince their communities that they can be proud of sharing as a tradition of their own.

♻️ Poster graphics on "our environment is our attitude" in Sudan.

📻 In Zimbabwe, Green Action Week participants took to local radio where they could reach their rural audience best.

📺 TV news report on an event with gardening tips (like fish amino fertiliser!) in Malaysia.

We are just getting started...

For more live updates from all the countries and participants, (as well as in-depth films made by local filmmakers following projects in Brazil and the Philippines), follow the Green Action Week Facebook page.