#EWWRAwards finalists || Citizen • Marlena Sdrenka
The EWWR Awards finalists have been announced! In each category the Jury has selected their top 3 finalists. The winners will be revealed on 22 May in Brussels during the EWWR Awards Ceremony. To find out more about the finalists, their initiative and commitment for waste reduction, we have caught up with them for a short interview.
1 • What is the “Waste Reduction in Everyday Life: A Step-by-Step Guide” about?
As part of the EWWR 2017 I gave a talk at one of Hamburg’s bulk stores and did a free give-away for my one-on-one consultations. They are structured as a clear step-by-step guide on how to incorporate more sustainable habits into your daily life. My goals with these talks are to: inform people and raise awareness; support changes in their everyday lives; motivate and inspire to change for a more sustainable lifestyle; foster exchange by offering an online community for people to connect, exchange experiences and motivate each other.
I aim to guide people into behavioural changes in their everyday life to achieve a societal change in how we view and handle waste. My goal is for people to realise the importance of a circular economy.
In my talks I commence by covering some data and why we are even talking about waste reduction, what the motivation and issues are and why it is a relevant topic for us. Then, the step-by-step guide is split up into a section on how to reduce waste in the kitchen and a second one in the bathroom. These cover the entire spectrum of aspects that arise in the kitchen, from grocery shopping, food storage, cleaning products, food waste, to kitchen utensils. The same applies to the bathroom which covers things such as DIY cosmetics, hygiene, cleaning products etc. As a general rule of thumb I advice people to switch from single-use disposable products to reusable ones, carefully consider materials which products are made from, as well as the production and transportation of a product.
I then conclude by empowering my audience to understand that every little change helps and does make a difference no matter what others tell them and present some figures. I encourage them to be inspired and to not view a more sustainable life as a restriction or sacrifice but instead as enriching and fulfilling.
2 • How did you come across this idea?
My degree in International Relations provided me with a strong awareness for the interconnectedness of everything. So my motivation for the topic of waste reduction and sustainability in general was a given. The format itself stems from the natural human desire for guidelines, and in this case, guidelines on how to lead a more sustainable life. My observation was that people in general do want to make a difference, they just simply do not know how to. So I identified my role as simply breaking this broad topic down into an easy-to-follow guide. Moreover, I believe there is too much negativity and finger-pointing surrounding the topic of sustainability. I aspire to turn the public discourse into a highly positive, encouraging, motivating and inspiring one in order to reach the broadest audience possible and get everyone on board. That is why I strive to inspire people with regards to sustainability.
3 • Why is waste reduction important for your organisation?
Common sense simply tells me that running everything from production, to work force and society in general in a linear manner is not sustainable. We are blessed to live on a planet in a system which has the capability to regenerate itself - if we only let it. Therefore, I believe it is mandatory to realise the importance of circular systems for our own survival on this planet. Anyone who is not interested in saving the environment should at least be interested in saving themselves and saving the environment equals saving ourselves. We are the environment and the environment is us, there simply is no planet B for us.
4 • Where can we find you?
Register for the Awards Ceremony here and join us in Brussels to discover who the winners will be!