Many people in the sustainability world are full of hope after the Green Dating event that took place in the jungle room at Fabrika on November 8.
Parki ar minda is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that focuses on sustainability around Tbilisi and Georgia. They hosted the first ever Green Dating event where international environmental activists came together and presented current projects that they’re working on. There were 17 presenters in total, each from France, Germany, or Russia, and all of them focusing on a different aspect of sustainability.
Many of the speakers had started a project in the city which they are from or are living in, then, if applicable, they expanded to other cities.
Sarah Prien was a presenter from Hamburg, Germany. She is a sustainable fashion designer who follows and creates many mottos, one being ‘Love design? Unlearn fashion!’ Prien said that while she was completing her studies, she realized fast fashion, the institution that enslaves people, was starting to boom, and she had to do something about it.
“After my studies finished, I exploited myself. The conflict between wanting to wear fashion and the fast-moving world, the fact we keep changing our styles, and sustainability being a luxury – these were my motivation to try and find a new model that overcomes the capitalist issue in this whole thing. The whole system is wrong,” Prien said. “I’m motivated to try and find a motto that says it is based on common principles, to try and get people back in touch with what we wear on our skin.”
Prien was just one of the many presenters of the night. Others included people from projects such as Textiles Untangled in France; Frea, the first vegan and zero waste restaurant in Germany; and My Cup, Please, in Russia. All presenters had slide presentations with a maximum of only 15 seconds per slide to ensure everyone had time to speak.
Most people attended the event for personal reasons, but Valerie Sidorva was present to discover how she could draw traction to her own project, Sovirator, in Moscow. Sidorva had heard about project Parki ar minda through her friends in Georgia, and decided to make a trip to use its services, among them collecting recyclables. After she saw how they operated, she decided to attend the Green Dating event.
“The field in my company is education. I work as the head of the educational department and my goal is to find different ways to motivate people and provide information, so [here] I thought I would find some ideas for that,” Sidorva said. “And I did, because the projects with innovations were the most interesting to me. It’s great to show our customers our community – to show them what else is out there. Technology is moving forward, it’s a worldwide situation with everyone moving forward so we need to do the same.”
Tatiana Remmeva is a co-founder of Parki ar minda who is originally from Moscow but has resided in Tbilisi for the past 11 years. This is the first time they’ve held an event as such, since the NGO isn’t that big and does not have a lot of funding. Traditionally, Parki ar minda holds events such as public talks relating to different sustainable topics like recycling, sustainable fashion or living, and zero waste living.
Parki ar minda also holds seminars and public events like swap parties and clean ups. At their seminars, they teach people how to recycle in Georgia, what products can be recycled, and how to properly collect waste. Remmeva hopes they can host more workshop activities in the future with other partner organizations.
“It was a little bit better than I expected because we had around 17 registrations, which usually results in 50% of people actually showing up, but we had many more people than this, so we are very happy with the turnout,” Remmeva said. “We host events, not always of this skill because we are a small NGO, but if we have many collaborations. Of course, we want to host more events to raise more awareness, to involve more people, boost collaboration in all things environmental, green, recycling, etc.”
The other projects represented at the event were #Iamplasticfree, Fantastic – No Plastic Zero Waste store, RecycleHero, Pererabotkinskaya, Dechet Par Jour, MerFerre, Plastic Pirates, 99 Recycle, Ecolabel, “Create a Garden”, and Organicpunk.
Parki ar minda is comprised of people from all different backgrounds. The NGO said it’s important to be acceptable to everyone since everyone breathes the same air and lives together on a single planet. The organization was created to build bridges, develop an understanding of people, and solve problems related to the environment.
The next event hosted by Parki ar minda is a clean-up at 10:30 in Dendrological Park this Saturday, November 11. The event will be open to the public, and equipment such as gloves and bags will be provided.