Jesuit Missions 11 Edge Hill ,
SW19 4LR Wimbledon,

Green Weekend 2020: stopping anti-environmental behaviour

  • 19 March 2020

The 2020 Green Weekend, organised annually by the Arrupe Social Centre (CSA) in Madagascar, took place last month on the theme “Anti-environmental behaviour: why, and what are the solutions?”  Three large meetings were organised during this event: a conference debate, an environmental fair, and a day of replanting trees.  The aims of this event were reflection, collaboration, learning, and action. 

Anti-environmental behaviours: identifying them to in order to fight them more effectively

The conference was a moment of reflection, echoing the message of Pope Francis towards a way of life which respects nature.  Father Cyprien Razafinandraina, director of CSA, spoke out against deforestation. Monique Andriamananoro of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) explained to attendees:  “The widespread use of single-use plastic is a problem.  It’s time to reduce plastic use and make recycling a habit.  Plastic takes many decades to decompose and in the process creates a mountain of pollutant rubbish.”  This point of view was shared by Kevin Andriamasinavalona from Green N Kool, who said ‘Let’s keep in mind that our choices as consumers has an impact on the environment because for example, the manufacturing of clothes or smartphones requires significant environmental resources.  Let’s avoid the trap of overconsumption.”

Learning ecological behavior through games

The highlight of Green Weekend was a recreational afternoon for youth with traditional games, quizzes, skill games, and puzzles.  Through these activities, the participants familiarised themselves with the basics of ecological behaviour such as environmentally friendly gestures, choosing recyclable objects, distinguishing between biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials, the principles of reforestation, and recycling techniques.  The fun activities allow children, youth, and adults to integrate these behaviours into their daily life.

Reforestation and tracking new plants

The reforestation day brought over a hundred people, young and old, together: families, associations, scouts and guides, partners, and volunteers of CSA.  A thousand new plants were also planted in Ambatomirahavavy, 40km from the capital Antananarivo.  This re-planting will be followed by field visits with the end of evaluating the growth of these plantlets.  This event closed Green Weekend 2020, but it is only one step towards spreading environmentally-friendly behaviour in our families, communities, businesses, and society.  The CSA are leading the way in sharing the message that caring for our “common home” is made up of a sum of our individual and collective actions.