In 2015 all United Nations Member States have confirmed the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, for ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. A lot of attention in these goals is paid to a variety of actions and measures that contribute to the protection of our planet. Here at Vilnius County Adomas Mickevičius Public Library, we were thinking about ways of informing our communities about sustainability and sustainable lifestyles.
We agreed that first of all we want to pay our attention to the responsible consumption, which is also the number 12 goal at the list of Sustainable Development Goals. As it is said on the website of United Nations Development Programme, “encouraging industries, businesses and consumers to recycle and reduce waste is equally important, as is supporting developing countries to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption by 2030”.
We believe that sustainable lifestyle and responsible consumption could be developed through establishing new habits and exploring new ways of consuming. That is why we have cooperated with the sustainable project, called “Kita forma”, and organized events for children where they had to use secondary materials to make new objects, tools and products. In this way, people of a very young age were informed about how it is possible to give a new life to already used and/or seemingly unnecessary things. All of these events were organized in late November, as a response to the increasing consumption due to the upcoming Black Friday and Christmas.
On the 18th- 30th of November we had an exhibition of the works made from secondary materials, created by children of different ages. These included artworks and different board games. The children have created their works from a variety of materials, such as paper, carton, wood, textile, steel from cutlery and jewellery and so on. The use of plastic, however, was not encouraged. The aim of this exhibition was to show that eco-design, recycling or using recycled materials can become an integral part of our daily lives and can have a much more attractive form than many of us would think. All of the children’s works can be seen here.
On the 26th-27th of November there were workshops organized at our library for the pupils of Vilnius schools. All together there were 5 workshops, each lasted around 2 hours and the children were invited to create Christmas decorations from secondary materials. The purpose of these workshops was to introduce the members of young generations to the opportunities of secondary use and the principles of sustainable lifestyle, as well as to encourage them to use these principles in their everyday environments: at home, at school, at their library. The workshops were complimented by the excursion around our library.
On the 30th of November the project “Kita Forma” has organized a one-day festival at our library. The festival has started with a few creative workshops during which the participants (children of different age and their families) could make Christmas gifts and Advent calendars from secondary materials and renew their cotton shirts or bags by applying prints of different designs on them. During the festival the children also had an opportunity to play board games made from secondary materials and engage in a variety of different gaming activities. The festival has ended with an unformal award ceremony, where the best works of the exhibition were awarded. Four prizes were given for best eco-objects, four prizes for the best board games and one prize was given for the audience pick of the favorite children’s creation, all of the above made from secondary materials. The pictures of the festival’s activities can be found here.
During these events, Vilnius County Adomas Mickevičius Public Library has received many interesting, creative and smart works, but most importantly, we have been amazed by the motivation and dedication of the children, their teachers and families to involve themselves into the eco-friendly thinking. Many people not only from Vilnius, but also from Vilnius regions have joined and therefore we believe that our messages about recycling, using materials for several times and reduction of waste has been spread widely.
Text: Ieva Pranckūnaitė, Vilnius County Adomas Mickevičius Public Library
Photos: Tatjana Grigorčenkienė and Paulius Olšauskas