Student club/organization: Grass Roots Network, clubs from five different schools, namely EcoSSIStem Club (SSIS), Go Green Go Clean (ISHCMC), Global Goals Club & GreenR Minds Club (BIS), ESCA13 & Clean Up Vietnam (CIS) and Project Planet (AIS).
Start/end date: On 19th April 2018
Description of project: The US Consulate’s American Centre hosted their first annual Earth Day event and enlisted Grass Roots Network to organize the participation of student activists to present their environmental projects. This event was organized by the ESTH (Environment, Science, Technology, Health) department of the US Consulate which works to raise community awareness in environment protection, promote biodiversity and sustainability through policy advocacy and public outreach activities.This event was organized by the ESTH (Environment, Science, Technology, Health) department of the US Consulate which works to raise community awareness in environment protection, promote biodiversity and sustainability through policy advocacy and public outreach activities.
Purpose/mission: Our purpose was to share our passion for environmental action through showcasing environmental projects that we as student activists submitted.
Process of creation/launch: The program lasted from 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm and included the launch of the Earth Day community clean-up activities and panel discussions with focuses on ocean plastics, plastic pollution, plastic recycling and waste management in Vietnam. We, the Grass Roots Team, coordinated tables to be set up for student groups to present their plastic-reduction initiatives before the panel discussion started. We were surprised by the overwhelming number of people who showed up for this event including parents, students and active citizens. Each one of them were excited to find out how we as students help to reduce the use of plastic at the local scale. After, we were able to listen five inspiring guest speakers who presented their efforts to eliminate the use of the plastic: Zero Waste Saigon (www.zerowastesaigon.com), Reuse Everything Institute (www.reuseeverything.org), Keep Vietnam Clean and Green (www.vietnamsachvaxanh.org), Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance, ENDA Vietnam and Save Your Ocean (http://impact.triip.me/).
Reflection/next steps: Through all the passion, appreciation and questions we received something became clear to us: Vietnam’s fight against plastic is gaining momentum quickly, and we as students are a key part of this. All of us play a role in implementing this change. We should start to considering this issue and work towards it! ♻️