Contributed by Ismail Rayadi, YPBB Bandung

The COVID-19 pandemic has put on hold community activities under the Zero Waste Cities Program in Bandung. Limited movements in the city, however, did not stop us from doing public outreach, particularly to people outside our adopted Zero Waste communities. In digital spaces, YPBB has produced content in the form of videos, infographics, and posters to remind Bandung citizens that Zero Waste should be a priority, especially during the pandemic.

To mark National Waste Awareness Day in February , YPBB, through its Zero Waste Cities Program, launched a writing competition for bloggers in Indonesia to talk about Zero Waste. The competition aims to widen the reach of Zero Waste through the blogosphere, which is usually not our primary platform for public advocacy.

We were surprised by the diversity of writers, which include full-time bloggers, stay-at-home moms, and business professionals. . The winning entries were from part-time bloggers like food business owner Yuni Adriani, teacher Febrina Aulia, and marketing professional Donny Suryanto. Seasoned blogger Benawati Suardihan, first-time winner Ghina Rahmatika, and Amir Mahmud round up the finalists.

Many of the bloggers usually write about non-environmental issues, but we were pleasantly surprised to find out that some of them have started embracing Zero Waste practices. Ghina, for instance, shared her experience in trying to reduce her waste. She said she was particularly impressed to learn about the benefits of a Zero Waste Cities system to garbage collectors. 

Donny Suryanto, 1st place, ZW blog writing competition. Photo courtesy of Donny.

Donny, who frequently writes about his travels, showed his readers how he started home composting using biopore holes. Amir also tried his hand on managing organic waste using a composter bucket.

Bandung resident Benawati felt inspired to join the competition, knowing that her city is considered as one of the Zero Waste Cities models in Indonesia. Yuni, meanwhile, took the opportunity to write an open letter to her hometown, urging the Brebes city government to adopt the concept of Zero Waste Cities.

Yuni Andriani, 2nd place, ZW blog writing competition. Photo courtesy of Yuni.

To guide participating bloggers in their Zero Waste journey, YPBB shared information materials and hosted a talk show about the Zero Waste Cities program. Staff also patiently answered bloggers’ questions via Whatsapp to make sure they understand what Zero Waste Cities is all about.

Febrina Aulia, 3rd place, ZW blog writing competition. Photo courtesy of Febrina.

Looking back, it was a successful competition which once again reminds us that Zero Waste is so much more easier, if we do it together.

From here on, we hope to introduce the Zero Waste Cities program to bloggers circles and later on tap potential writers who can help us write future Zero Waste Cities publications.

Meet the winning entries:  

Champion number 1: Donny Suryanto

Champion number 2: Yuni Andriani

Champion number 3: Febrina Aulia

Runner Up 1: Benawati Suardihan

Runner Up 2: Ghina Rahmatika

Runner Up 3: Amir Mahmud

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GAIA is grateful for the contributions from YPBB Bandung. This feature is made possible through the Zero Waste Cities project — an initiative coordinated by GAIA Asia Pacific and funded by the Plastic Solutions Fund (PSF) and USAID. The views expressed in this feature do not necessarily reflect that of its funders.