Opinion by Yasmine Ben Miloud, Zero Waste Tunisia
Zero Waste Tunisia (ZWT) believes that environmental education, more specifically climate education, is essential to mitigate climate change and ensure a sustainable future. Ignoring climate change and keeping the ‘business as usual’ approach has caused irreversible changes to our world, which we have witnessed over the past century. It is time to think and act differently!
Raising awareness on climate change and mainstreaming actions possible at an individual level for a better tomorrow, is key. Through climate education, we will ensure that future generations will think sustainably, by acknowledging the social and economic aspects of the environment in their decisions and daily lives, and hopefully integrating the climate notion into their career aspirations. We need everyone to be engaged and aware, to transition toward a sustainable way of life.
ZWT has dedicated a lot of time and effort to climate education, over the years. We hold workshops and trainings for kids, teenagers, and college students. Our organisation offers two types of training. The first type is a ‘Zero Waste Do It Yourself’, during this training, we do art and clothing upcycling sessions, sorting, recycling, composting and zero waste kitchen recipes. The second type is a ‘Zero Waste Reflection‘, which starts by asking individuals what they know about climate change and trying to constitute the message with their own ideas and thoughts. We then address the role that human activities play to cause these changes, with a focus on plastic pollution. Moreover, we reflect on what we can do better as humans. This is when we introduce the reduce, reuse, recycle and repurpose model, and its importance to reduce our carbon footprint as individuals, as well as on how we can apply it in our daily lives for our water and food consumption, and any type of shopping needs.
We have noticed over the years how helpless individuals feel at the beginning of the workshop to mitigate climate change, and how hopeful they are at the end. This feeling is what has kept us going and encouraged us to maintain these workshops, even during the pandemic.
For the coming years, the ZWT team aspires to design a curriculum for Tunisian youth on climate education, focusing on shifting behaviours to mitigate climate change, while mainstreaming the circular economy principles. We also want to support young leaders to establish Zero Waste Clubs in Universities. ZWT believes that partnerships and collaborations with different environmental organisations will strengthen the movement and help to achieve the change needed for a sustainable Tunisia.
Yasmine Ben Miloud is the President of Zero Waste Tunisia.