Inspiring SDG initiatives in Bangkok
Katina Grigoraskos, MY World ASEAN Advocate in Thailand has gathered stories of humans that are making the SDGs a reality in their local communities. Meet 5 initiatives that are acting to achieve goals related to sustainable cities, consumption and climate action!
MyWaste project is a school recycling program creating by Soravit Thummawatwimon, Maylin Wongjarupun, and Pantach Anantapong in Bankok, Thailand. The MyWaste project aims to improve responsible consumption and production, sustainable cities and communities.
With their project, they give students an incentive to recycle through an easy-to-use reward system where students can collect points for every time they bring in waste to recycle, which can then be exchanged for rewards. They are encouraging students to be responsible and conscious in their consumption through various means trying to build a sustainable school community.
“Our school had already established a recycling program where students bring waste to recycle every Friday. However, the amount of trash brought in by students was in decline throughout the years, especially by middle and high school students, due to lack of regulation and motivation by the school”
These three students are now able to raise more awareness in students and increase the amount of waste recycled at their school. In the near future, they would like to maintain and expand MyWaste further through, making their school 100% free of plastic water bottles.
By creating a sustainable community, they are not only creating a community where everyone has a good quality of life or a safe and secure community, but also an environmentally friendly community. They also put threatening problems we face as top priorities as well such as urban population growth, unemployment, public health, criminal activities, and pollutions.
With the implementation of MyWaste, Soravit, Maylin and Pantach hope to improve other SDGs along the way such as climate action, life below water and life on land.
Better Moon Cafe
Better Moon is a little space located in a local area of On Nut, Bangkok. This cafe aims to constantly develop and serve healthy food for the locals. The Better Moon team focuses on environmental issues, especially the pressing issue of plastic waste in Thailand.
Their creators cooperate with Refill Station, Thailand’s first bulk storefounded at Better Moon. Customers can come to the cafe and learn about low-waste lifestyle tips such as stainless straws, and unique rooms with reused furniture, workshops, activities, and more.
“We go to a lot of camps and do a lot of activities on environmental issues and when we go back to our daily lives, we see that nothing changes. In Thailand, there is not much infrastructure to support change. We made this cafe to support this kind of lifestyle for people”, Pear, Manager at Better Moon and Refill Station
Better Moon Cafe and Refill Station try to reduce as much plastic as we can for the operation and facilitation of customers to get their own utensils and food outside: “We use compostable packaging for delivery and a design that is compatible for the main room. Our partners also have to return glass bottles and use only eco-friendly packaging”, says Pear.
“We want to help change people’s minds, make them comfortable to be here, in the environment here. It’s based on a trust system and the customers can serve themselves”
The most important SDGs for the Better Moon’s team are to have a responsible production and consumption, sustainable cities and communities, good health, life on land and underwater and climate action.
Youths for SDGs
Prima Pupornchai is the founder of Youths for SDGs when she realised that involving youths to learn about and work towards the SDGs is an important step in building a strong foundation for sustainable growth and development.
Youths for SDGs is an academic event that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and strives to be a part of this universal call to action. The event tries to inspire students to learn more about the SDGs and to create change in their communities.
“I initiated an event empowering international high school students across Thailand to learn more about the SDGs and what they can do to to help achieve them, called Youths for SDGs”, Prima Pupornchai
The first event of Youths for SDGs took place on 3–4 November 2018, at Wells International School in Bangkok, Thailand, forming a network of 150 students, who shared the same passion for the SDGs. The event raised awareness about global issues, developed partnership across youth from different schools, and encouraged youth to be change makers.
In the event, students exercised their creativity in coming up with solutions to real-world issues that Thailand is currently facing. The activities included were breakout discussion sessions, SDG activity games, and a case challenge to solve. The event successfully brought together youth to learn and work together towards the SDGs.
Prima would like to contribute to this change providing quality education and creating partnership toward the global goals.
Since young, Ruby Song was tough and raised in the belief that climate change and global warming were not a big issue. However, everything changed when she joined an environmental club called Greenhawks.
Ruby Song joined an environmental club name Greenhawks not only to
minimize my ecological footprint but also to raise awareness of environmental issues. After five years, she became a leader of this amazing club and we have expanded since then.
“I have encountered that climate change is a big issue that has to be dealt in an alarming point, and realised I was harming the Earth”
Greenhawks deals with all kinds of environmental problems such as recycling, gardening and even food waste. To raise a concern regards excessive consumption of plastics and papers in our society, they have participated in big events such as Trash Hero, Paper Ranger, collaborated with Wells Thonglor and Wells primary school to educate future youths about 3Rs: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle! They have also collaborated with other groups of students acting toward reducing the use and disposal of single-use plastics.
School of Global Studies at Thammasat University
Chris Oestereich is a lecturer at the School of Global Studies at Thammasat University. Chris teaches courses related to social innovation, sustainability, and social enterprise.
He is also the co-founder of the Circular Design Lab, an organization running by volunteers that are developing a design framework that combines design processes with systems thinking in aiming to teach communities to develop solutions to the challenges they face.
On top of that, Chris is an example of a sustainable person: “I stopped driving over eight years ago. I still ride in cars but I use public transit, including the BTS, MRT, Airport Link, buses, and vans as much as possible. I have also made significant changes to my diet trying to be a lot more careful with what I buy, in looking to minimize food waste”
He’s also the publisher of the Wicked Problems Collaborative, a press that focuses on humanity’s biggest social and environmental challenge, and a zero-waste practitioner who helps organizations reduce their footprint as they evolve towards the circular economy.
By Katina Grigoraskos, MY World ASEAN Advocate in Thailand. Katina joined the ASEAN MY World 2030 Advocates Programme in November 2018. A native New Yorker, Katina is the the CAS/Events Coordinator and IB Theory of Knowledge Teacher teacher at Wells International School in Bangkok, Thailand.
Also published on Medium.