Stories from Green Action Week 2022

In 2022, 58 organisations from 33 countries took part in Green Action Week, a global campaign to promote sustainable consumption.

In the fourth year of the theme of Sharing Community, we welcomed new members to the community and challenged ourselves to go deeper to tackle the systematic causes of unsustainable consumption and production. In the third year since covid-19, our communities began to come back together in person, learning from our reflections during the pandemic. 

You can continue to follow updates and conversations around sustainable consumption on the Green Action Week facebook page, but this year participants took ownership of telling their own stories and so we encourage you to follow and share their stories on their own platforms, below.

Fish farmers facing floods (BSSC, Benin)

Benin suffered heavy floods during the period of Green Action Week, which affected over 73,000 people and caused loss of life and destruction to houses and livelihoods. Despite this, BSSC still managed to work with local fish farmers on pond and river-bank conservation, a task that will be even more important as climate change brings more risks of flooding.

Neglected food & jeans (Centro Ecológico, Brazil)

‘Market standards’ for how food should look is causing large amounts of waste of perfectly edible food.

Centro Ecológico are working with ecological farmers and collecting neglected food to share with socially vulnerable people.

Watch their video to see how Nelson, Ana, and other volunteers are solving waste and inequality at the same time. 

Centro Ecológico also organised workshops at a consumer cooperative to transform discarded jeans into ecobags and other useful things. 

(All videos also have English subtitles)

Discussing waste, solar & electic vehicles (AMBIO, Costa Rica)

Ambio hosted online discussions of critical local questions for sustainable consumption, including proposals for waste management at local government level…

…the promotion of solar panels…

…and the potential for electric vehicles.

Sustainable quality of life (Tribuna, Ecuador)

Tribuna and their partners Sembres Environmental Foundation worked in schools to install recycling points and kick start a life-long culture of “𝙦𝙪𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙖 𝙨𝙤𝙘𝙞𝙤-𝙚𝙣𝙫𝙞𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙖𝙡 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚”.

Tribuna also created a social media series of videos on responsible consumption across different sectors of the economy.

The power of Mangroves (Consumer Council of Fiji)

A plastic-free birthday party (CAG, India)

CAG Chennai’s work tackling plastic waste simultaneously tackled the problem at the theoretical level…

"Understand why plastic, a toxic combination of chemicals, is so hard to manage once produced. Even with countless research pieces establishing the toxic nature of plastic, plastic overproduction remains a real problem; and breaking free from it, the cornerstone of sustainable living."

- CAG

…and the practical level, with a puppet show resource encouraging children to party without plastic. 

What comes after plastic bans? (CERC, India)

After we are successful in winning policy victories, what do we do next? 

After the government of India introduced bans on single-use plastic in July 2022, Consumer Education & Research Centre’s “Platform for Give & Take” (set up at the beginning of their Sharing Community work in 2019) took the initiative of supporting citizens and civil servants to make the reusable bags that would take the place of plastic.

Wedding sustainability and influencers (Consumer Voice, India)

The stories we need to tell about Sharing Community need heroes, and Consumer Voice focus on supporting and highlighting the individuals who are leading the way. A series of videos with local eco-influencers brought expertise and inspiration to their work: organising eco-friendly weddings, plastic alternatives, upcycling and planting.

Kitchen gardens, kids innovations, cycle rallies & media (CUTS, India)

CUTS International worked across 14 Indian states with ‘green starter kits’ for kitchen gardens, and training in making beautiful home items from single use plastics…

…fostered children’s innovative design competitions and took the campaign to the media…

"India, the third largest producer of e-waste, generated 3.2 metric tonnes .... Despite the government’s initiatives, 90 percent of this waste is handled and managed by the informal sector – unsustainably. This year’s campaign is positioned to support the effective implementation of ban on single-use plastic, proper management of e-waste and educate people about ways to consume sustainably.

- George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International

…and the Consumers Legal Protection Forum in Assam organised an innovative campaign tactic: a cycle rally for 40 cyclists to to ride through streets together, with speeches, placards, and road-side workshops on practical examples of the Sharing Community in action.

Eco-and-income-friendly textiles (YCI, Indonesia)

Sharing community on and offline (Consumers Lebanon, Lebanon)

Consumers Lebanon continued their idea of sharing community Facebook groups, started in 2019, adding compost to the item-swapping they worked with their community on, and taking their message to the media.

Award-nominated eco-farm (Consumers' Association of Penang, Malaysia)

Consumers’ Association of Penang supported a local Senior Citizen’s Association to set up their own chemical-free, urban farming eco-farm. Providing all the technical know-how, but encouraging the community to take ownership, this project was shortlisted by the international Transformative Cities People’s Choice Award

In addition, CAP hosted: 

  • Book swaps 
  • Leftover food cooking demonstrations
  • Soap making from cooking oil
  • Old t-shirt repurposing  

From 8 to 80 years old (Colectivo Ecologista Jalisco, Mexico)

CEJ set up a fair where people were encouraged to reduce plastic, and made it a fun, community-focused event where people could trade plastics for books…

… young and old got involved, with 80-year old Santa Marina and 8-year old Vale sharing their stories and top facts about Mexico’s plastic problem. 

Telling stories of sharing (The Network for Consumer Protection, Pakistan)

The Network carried out a wide variety of sharing community activities, making sure that each one had a wider impact by capturing the stories of the participants, whether they were the founder of a sharing Facebook group, an urban gardener, or 10 year olds taking part in creative storytelling challenges. 

The Converging Crises (IBON Foundation, the Philippines)

The IBON Foundation investigated the global cost of living crisis, the way it is affecting poor populations hardest, and how it is linked with the pre-existing social and environmental crises that brough us here.

"The converging crises are but a manifestation of a pre-existing condition that has only been worsened."

- IBON Foundation

Agro-ecology book (Masipag, the Philippines)

Masipag’s agro-ecology approach was captured in a photo story featuring the small farmers they work with, and the seeds, goats, and land struggles through which they are making sharing commmunities happen in the Philippines.

"The plight and fight of a small farmer is the plight and fight of ALL small farmers."

- Masipag

Land, seeds, and cattle (ADECOR, Rwanda)

In Rwanda, ADECOR are helping farmers deal with the impact of climate change, extinction of plant varieties, and increasing competition for land use. Learning techniques for seed selection, planting, animal feeding and storage are helping both local people and the environment.

Cucumber, mint & salad (ADEC, Senegal)

In these videos, ADEC show off their harvest and explain the growing process and results. (French)

Indigenous & Wild Food plants (PELUM, Uganda)

At PELUM Uganda’s fair, various experts demonstrate to the community how indigenous and wild food plants can be used in ways that help with biodiversity, seed security and climate resilience.

Watch their video to learn more about local potatoes, tomatoes, and other plants. 

Working with pharmacies (YACP, Yemen)

The Yemen Association for Consumer Proection worked directly with pharmacies to tackle pharmaceutical waste.

The 'Green Bishop of Zambia' (SAFCEI, Zambia)

"Let us all take care of the environment and the environment will take care of us and sustain the ecosystem."

- Bishop William Mchombo

Catching the bus (CCZ, Zimbabwe)

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe are proactively preventing plastic waste by educating bus drivers and passengers with ideas like separate bins for bio waste and plastic bottle recycling.