The first in the series of sustainability hangouts initiated by Earthr.org, Planet Meet (Episode 01) was hosted by The Third Space café (Rajkot, Gujarat). This first edition was a ground zero event with a focus on sensitisation around human waste, industrial pollution, economic equality, and the most important - the animal industry. About 20 pro-planet people joined for a discussion on sustainability. Hyperlocal, local and global experiences, problems as well as solutions were shared.
Some of the highlights from the event follow:
Act now. The time for discussions was perhaps years ago.
Change starts from us - individuals. We, the informed and sensitised ones, will have to lead the way and lead by example.
Communities of people have the collective power to create impact. To expect mega changes from governments and corporations is probably not the best route. If consumers can demand less, corporations will be forced to make a change.
It is more important to present people with solutions and alternatives rather than problems. Most people know plastic is bad or our food is loaded with chemicals but not all can be convinced to take initiative unless cost-effective solutions are available to them - and conveniently.
With our social celebrations, we have a way of disturbing other people's privacy (loud music, for instance), or the environment (water pollution during Ganpati visarjans, or air pollution during Diwali), or wastage food and related products (pouring milk on idols). A lot of people find this offensive, violating their personal space, or unnecessary but very few people can actually stand up against this. What can we do to solve this?
Activists and environmentalists should find a way to encourage and educate people to make changes in their lifestyles considering (a) that everyone has a different pace of acceptance; but (b) also keeping in mind that time is running out.
Pro-planet businesses can create impact at scale.
The importance of right Education cannot be overstated.
The youth masses, the leaders of today and tomorrow, have to show strength in numbers.
Buy more from local and small-scale industries than from big capitalist brands.
Buy only when you really need to.
Reduce honking, and educate people in our inner circles about it.
Think of everyone as an equal human being. Biases created in our early ages can get aggravated over time if they go unchecked. Discrimination on the basis of caste, race, creed, colour, sex, economic status, etc. doesn't make anyone more or less worthy.
Planet Meets are being planned as a regular (biweekly/monthly) hangout in various cities and the subsequent sessions shall be more actionable and focussed. Participants of the Rajkot hangout shall be invited to be a part of a WhatsApp group to share events, activities and campaigns happening in the city.
Special thanks to Meet Oza, owner of The Third Space café for his hospitality and valuable inputs.
Missed the event? Interested in knowing more? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.