In the last article, we explained how to get family members and friends on board your zero-waste journey. Did you manage to convince one or two people? That’s great! The others might need some more time and that’s ok.
If you enjoy sharing your zero-waste enthusiasm, you could now shift your focus onto another group of people: your wider community.
You have the power to raise awareness and you should make your voice count! Because the more people there are, the bigger the change will be.
It doesn’t mean that you have to organise big events or commit to other time-consuming activities. Here are four simple ideas that you can try out on your own and in everyday situations to bring plastic pollution into the local spotlight.
Talk to shops and restaurants owners
Your favourite cafe and bar still use single-use items like plastic straws or cups? And people continue using plastic produce bags for fruit and veggies at your local supermarket because there is no other, sustainable alternative? The solution is easy and just takes a little bit of courage and research.
Talk to the business owners and tell them about eco-friendly alternatives like bamboo straws or cotton produce bags. Most of the time they are willing and interested in becoming “greener” - after all, more and more consumers demand sustainable products. Your convincing may even start a chain reaction with other shops and restaurants wanting to follow the example.
Greenpeace offers a great toolkit with various tips and tricks to start a small campaign.
You could also become a Bambaw Brand Ambassador. Contact us for more information on this program.
Create a local social media group
Why not create a Zero Waste group on social media for your local community? Focus on your region, city or municipality. Share the group with interested friends and it will quickly become a place to discuss eco-friendly options in your area, to share tips and advice and to connect with like-minded people. It doesn’t take much time and it’s an easy way to build an active community.
Write a letter to the editor
Plastic pollution is a popular topic and is regularly covered by the media. Even your local newspaper has probably already written an article about the issue. Sustain this interest and write a letter to the editor. The UN Climate Change Conference, COP24, starts next week in Poland and this makes timing perfect for addressing environmental issues publicly.
Express your thoughts and let everybody know that everyone can do their bit to contribute to the solution. You could even refer people to your social media group.
Attend a local council meeting and get involved
The next logical step would be to actively engage community members and organise events and meetings. We will cover that in the next part of this article series. So, in case you’re interested in further getting involved with community activism or political action, attending a local government meeting is a great preparation. Get an idea of how local politics work, figure out who is responsible for environmental issues and discover how you can take action.