From 24 to 30 August 2015, 30 youths from Latvia, Belarus and Denmark came together in guesthouse “Vecmuiža” near Salacgrīva. The youngsters represented a broad variety of youth organisations, NGOs, student boards and even a political party.
The participants had one thing in common: they wanted to learn how to organize events in a more sustainable way.
One of the first things the participants learned to do, was to critically evaluate the environmental impact of any product or activity. As a warm-up, the participants made a presentation about the carbon footprint of random objects, such as a promotional T-shirt or a can of soda.
At the end of the week, the participants had the difficult but valuable task of evaluating the venue and the organisation of the training itself. Was the food local and seasonal? Did we waste energy or resources? What happened to our garbage? The results of this task were used to give feedback to the training organisers and the venue hosts, who both appreciated the constructive comments.
The advantage of having an international group is that experience and knowledge can be shared. The participants introduced their peers to good and bad examples of public events organized in their own countries.
On Thursday, the whole group went on an excursion to Salacgrīva, Latvia’s “greenest municipality” and host to the annual Positivus music festival. The participants took a look at the festival venue – now nice and clean again – and had a meeting with Salacgrīva’s major.
The most important task of the participants during the training was delivering feedback on the Guidelines for Organizing Climate-Friendly Events, which are being created within this project. Specifically, the participants gave good examples and tips that would be inspiring to their peers and that would really help them to “decarbonize” their own events in the future.