Festivals are vibrant celebrations of culture, music, and community, bringing people together to create lasting memories. However, many festivals often neglect the importance of environmental sustainability, leaving behind a trail of waste and ecological damage.
Driven by a vision of change and inspired by the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, Flavio Nakaoka took it upon himself to transform a large Japanese-Brazilian festival into an eco-friendly event.
Raising Awareness of Proper Waste Disposal and Recycling
The festival, held at the Green Space Chico Mendes, attracted a substantial audience of 3,000 to 5,000 people per day. The festival showcased the cultural richness of both Japan and Brazil. However, it also generated a considerable amount of waste, including plastic trays and cups, disposable cutlery, Styrofoam containers, plastic bottles, and more.
Noticing the lack of selective waste collection, Flavio placed five 100-liter bins, color-coded green for recyclables, in the two main food courts, accompanied by informative messages. Additional waste, such as chopsticks, cutlery, and skewers, was collected separately in specially designed containers made from reused plastic bottles.
Advocating for Environmental Action at Celebrations and Events
Flavio worked with the festival’s master of ceremonies to announce over the loudspeakers throughout the day the importance of proper waste disposal and the locations of the recycling and waste containers.
Flavio also observed the different types of consumer behavior at the festival – from those who remained indifferent to the cause to individuals who actively engaged with the recycling efforts.
“Each person’s actions contributed to the overall impact,” said Flavio. “This diversity of responses highlights the need for continued environmental education to foster a sense of responsibility in future generations.”
Setting an Eco-Friendly Example for Future Generations
While challenges were encountered along the way, and despite not receiving any financial returns for his efforts, Flavio remains hopeful future generations will learn from these experiences and organize their own festivals that are truly ecological and sustainable.
“Let us take the lessons learned from this festival and combine them with the resources on the Laudato Si’ Action Platform,” said Flavio, “to build a future where eco-friendly practices are not only encouraged but become an integral part of our celebrations.”
Ultimately, Flavio’s efforts at the Japanese-Brazilian Festival serve as an inspiration for all of us to actively engage in similar eco-friendly initiatives. By incorporating environmental consciousness into our celebrations and events, we can make a significant impact on reducing waste and preserving the Earth’s precious resources for generations to come.