Another important cross-cutting value of the project, which is increasingly found in the requirements for writing a project application, is concern for the ecology and the environment. There can be a lot of aspects here, but first you need to understand: how can holding an educational event on any topic in general affect the environment? We figured it out at the Summer School.
The summer school was held as part of "Innovative Uzbekistan" project, implemented by ODB Brussels (Belgium) in partnership with Eco Forum of Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan), the New Diplomacy (Czech Republic) with funding from the European Union.
Daria also started this block with a small exercise. The participants were divided into groups and given the task - to present as many ways as possible to solve the problem, which is written on the pieces of paper. The tasks were: how to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases at an event or office, how to efficiently use energy and water resources at an event or office, how to help participants better understand the importance of personal environmental actions, etc.
Read more materials from the Summer School:
- What are the cross-cutting values of the project and how to put them into practice
- Let's chase the dream: a logical-framework approach to writing project proposals
The exercise caused a lot of heated discussion, we propose to consider the most relevant points, the observance of which is important for achieving the environmental friendliness of the event.
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
This was probably the most difficult task. Because, some participants did not fully understand how the educational event under the project and climate change are generally connected. Excessive production of greenhouse gases leads to the greenhouse effect, which in turn, leads to climate change and an increase in temperature on the planet, because of which humanity has many modern problems.
Now let's look at greenhouse gas emissions using one event as an example. Up to 70% of an event's global carbon footprint is from transport. “For example, trainers flew to you by plane and left a carbon footprint. For my part, as a person who is engaged in environmental protection and for whom this is important, I am compensating for my footprint. I will choose a project that deals with compensation and transfer money there depending on how many kilometers I have flown.” 10% of the footprint falls on the transfer of participants, including by car or bus. 8% - energy consumption of hotel rooms.
“Of course, the participant needs to live somewhere,” says Daria, “and these should be comfortable conditions for everyone. But if you, as an organizer, see that the training can be completed in one day, then it is important to correctly compose the program and try to meet it.” 4% is accounted for by rail transfer. This means that if you can offer participants a more environmentally friendly form of transfer, then by all means do it. 4% - energy consumption of the site where the event is held. “Do you always turn off the lights when you are the last to leave the classroom, for example for lunch? What about projectors and computers? You can stipulate such a rule that whoever leaves last must turn on the light. This light and simple movement makes the event more sustainable.” Another 1% is for cargo transportation, when the event is large and you need to bring speakers or a stage.
Principles of sharing system
The incomprehensible word “sharing” is a tracing paper of the English verb “to share” - to share. This is one of the main principles of the circular economy in general, but it can also be seen in small examples. Previously, every non-governmental organization wanted to buy a projector, chairs, tables, flipcharts. But now many understand that most of the time there is nowhere to store these things, and they are needed only at the time of the event. Then organizations form a coalition, make a list of what they have, and can rent the necessary equipment from each other during the event. “For example, our environmental organization has a set of reusable tableware for 200 people and you can rent it. The sharing economy saves resources and saves our hard-earned money.”
Refusal of disposable goods
It is always greener to opt for reusable products. If there is a choice between a plastic cup, paper or a thermo mug, then you need to choose the latter. “There is still an opinion that eco-friendly products are more expensive and more complicated than conventional ones. But now in many countries around the world, consumer demand for more environmentally friendly solutions is growing, and due to the growth in demand, offers are appearing, the price is becoming competitive.”
Thoughtful promotional products
The organizers always try to give something to the participants to make the event memorable. But now many are already refusing the abundance of promotional products, replacing it, for example, with gift-impressions. For example, you can rent a photo booth for your event, where everyone can take a picture and get a printed photo with the event logo. Of course, a photograph is a much more memorable gift than another notebook.
As for notebooks, they are often given to participants so that they have the opportunity to write something down. But it is much more environmentally friendly to let the participant choose whether they need recording facilities: leave a pack of writing paper and pencils at the registration desk.
Don’t buy waste
Here, of course, it is necessary to say about water, without which not a single event can do. “Here you have bottles of water with a volume of half a liter on the tables. This is waste, because the cost of water in this bottle is only 20%, everything else is the cost of the bottle. If it is not possible to provide water in coolers or jugs, then give preference to containers with a large volume. Buying 0.5 liters of water is always, in addition to the formation of a large amount of plastic, also an overpayment of the budget.”
Be sure to reconsider your approach to document flow. When the act is written on half a page, you can combine it with the pricing protocol. “During one consultation with the bank, I suggested that they make the indents in the printed receipts smaller, reprogram the equipment. As a result, this allowed them to save a huge amount of expensive paper. And so you can always save money out of the blue, if you reconsider your usual way of life.
The painful moment of any event, even the most well-planned one, is the formation of food waste. The number of participants was incorrectly calculated, some have more, and some have less. “I suggest always double-checking the number of participants after registration and negotiating with the kitchen for plus or minus five servings (for a small event, two servings). In the registration form, you can ask what portions the participant likes, large or small. Also, ask attendees to bring reusable containers with them in case there is food left over after the event.”
Separate waste collection
Organizers can bring and put containers for collecting plastic and waste paper separately. You can start at least with waste paper, put a box and offer to put unclaimed pieces of paper there.
Text: Valeria Nikolaychik
Photo: Alyona Lis
|The content is solely the responsibility of ODB Brussels and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.|
This material has been prepared within the framework of the project "Innovative Uzbekistan" implemented by ODB Brussels (Belgium) in partnership with Eco Forum of Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan), the New Diplomacy (Czech Republic) funded by the European Union.