Nomad Surfing and Pisco Bar are disrupting your regular Sunday service for a day of talks and workshops centered around plastic pollution in Kuala Lumpur.
Nomad Surfing and Pisco Bar are teaming up to host a fundraiser called Sea Blue Sunday in Kuala Lumpur with the intention of sparking conversations, creating awareness and raising funds surrounding plastic pollution in our precious oceans and shorelines. Pisco Bar will be transformed into an environmental fair and flea market full of conscious brands that have adopted sustainable, local and ethical core values. Activities include a Living a Zero Waste Lifestyle talk by Claire Sancelot, founder of The Hive, a Garden in a Bottle workshop by Me.reka, a Precious Plastic workshop by Precious Plastic Malaysia, and more.
The event is family friendly with plenty to do for your conscious warriors in the making. In the earlier part of the day, children and parents will have the opportunity to participate in some environmental workshops to learn and experience but with a side of playfulness. The goal here is to ultimately inspire kids so they become empowered global citizens of the world who create a sustainable future together.
And to keep it real, in the evening Pisco Bar will host performances by local musicians couples with prizes from the raffle. All the proceeds will go directly to EcoKnights, an association fighting for the environment protection. In order to shed some more light on the amazing initiatives happening in Malaysia’s capital, we talked event organiser Thomas Cervetti about the event and what to expect from it.
GITNB: Tell us a little bit about your background? And how did you first become interested in sustainability and tackling plastic pollution?
Thomas Cervetti: In my early 20s, I left my parents’ place and by doing my own groceries and cooking my own meals, I suddenly became a lot more interested in what was on my plate. From there, I began questioning things like GM foods, pesticides, meat consumption and veganism to zero waste, plastic pollution, and global warming. I was questioning everything I had always been doing. I changed my habits in order to embrace what I thought was better for the environment and healthier for me. Then from there, I decided not to just apply these changes to myself but also to try and have a larger impact on my relatives and the environment.
What are the plastic pollution issues like in Malaysia? What worries you the most and what is there to celebrate?
Rural areas in Malaysia do not yet have proper treatment installation to deal with their trashes. Moreover, most people have not been educated about plastic issues. They keep the same habits taught by their elders who used to throw their leftovers in the river behind their house. However, nowadays those are not biodegradable anymore but Polystyrene, Styrofoam and single-use plastics that end up in the ocean.
On the other hand, for the four years that I have been here, I can tell that things are changing and I see more and more great events and initiatives. When I arrived, Malaysia did not have any zero-waste stores and now they are popping in several locations. The government is also taking some symbolic actions such as banning plastic straws.
Why did you decide to launch Sea Blue Sunday and where did you come up with the idea?
I am one of the founders of Nomads Surfing and our goal is to offer more sustainable products for the surfing industry as well as help associations fighting plastic pollution. Because we do not have rocket sells, our help to these associations is limited. This is how we came up with this event: raising funds through Sea Blue Sunday is for us a way to have a much more significant contribution to the association and impact on the public.
What is the mission of the event?
This event has been built around three main axes:
> Promote local brands that are making actual changes in the way we produce and consume. Their products are either handmade, organic, ethical, using natural/local products, or all the above.
> Educate the younger generations through various workshops and talk about zero waste, eco-bricks, plastic recycling, and gardening.
> A fundraising raffle that is 100% dedicated to the association.
Why do you focus on ultimately inspiring kids?
Obviously, today’s kids will be tomorrow’s adults. They will be the future customers, activists, CEOs, politicians, decision makers, etc. so inspiring them and making them understand the global issues that we are facing will maximize our chances to have a future generation more responsible than us. We should not give up on adults though, everyone has a role to play at his scale especially with the urge of the situation.
How is the youth movement in Malaysia (e.g. have there been any strikes there, or climate actions or any young eco-heroes?)
Youth movements in Malaysia are gradually growing with the proliferation of more youth-based organizations championing environmental issues and concerns. Recently several youth-based protests also took place in the heart of KL. This is setting a new benchmark for the country where we are witnessing the insurgency of a young generation of concerned citizens who are taking action about climate change.
What are some not to be missed activities at your event?
I would say that the eco fair is the backbone of the event and I really encourage everyone to stop by on the 16th of June to have a look at what Malaysians brands capable of. They are fantastic and this is definitely the way companies should design their goods nowadays. We have been working hard on the workshops as well in order to have the best people running them. Claire Sancelot, the United Nations Awardee was among those who began the zero-waste movement in Hong Kong more than ten years ago. Her talk about her life philosophy is enthralling and inspiring. Last but not least, the association Precious Plastic will bring a shredder and an injector to show you how to give a second life to plastic waste. Come check it out, it’s 100% safe.
Tell us more about EcoKnights, why did you select them to support and what are some of the great things they are doing?
EcoKnights was founded in 2005 by Yasmin Rasyid as a registered not-for-profit environmental organization. They were among the first ones to promote sustainable development and are still very active today. Sea Blue Sunday will help EcoKnights on three main programs: River Explorer which aims to educate children age 7 through 12 years old about river ecosystems. The Log Boom Clean Up, which started last year during the World River’s Day, got communities involved in cleaning heavily polluted places. Last but not least, the Respect Our Ocean (ROO) event in Johor which raises marine awareness among the local population.
What are your top #LittleGreenSteps people can do to help to fight the wave of plastic?
It really depends on where you currently are: as a first step, I would say that you can easily skip bottled water and get yourself a reusable container, borrow instead of buy, eat smart, refuse straws and plastic bags, do your own cleaning supplies, etc. If you are already at this stage then you could inform yourself about zero waste philosophies and the 5 Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot and how they can be further applied to your lifestyle. You can also make eco-bricks, enroll yourself in an eco-friendly project or association, make your own personal care products, start a compost. And if you are beyond that, then you should keep going and inspire the people around you.