Boo hoo, summer’s over. It’s already October, so all we can do now, is look back at the summer! And I’m doing that by writing about my experience at Crammerock, where I was invited by the European Commission to promote their #EUandME campaign, more specifically concerning the environmental theme. I’m glad I got the opportunity to learn more about this campaign, because if I’m being completely honest, I had no idea what the EU is doing to look out for our planet and fight plastic pollution. These are things we take for granted and we forget that we need some kind of enforcement to guarantee these things.
So why Crammerock? As most of you probably know, festivals produce sooooooo much trash and are just very polluting in general. Well, Crammerock wants to do things differently and puts in some effort to be as ‘green’ as possible. How? First of all, all the electricity is powered by wind energy. 100% green, yes! Secondly, although they still use plastic cups, thanks to 4PET, the cups used this year will be the source of the cups for next year. With their cradle-to-cradle project, they try to close the loop. I’d still love to see reusable cups in the future. Turns out that Crammerock also had a special ECO TEAM, running around the festival constantly picking up and recycling waste properly, which was very noticeable.
A third bullet point: tents. I’m not sure how it is abroad, but in Belgium, when the festival ends, the campgrounds are full of trash. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, people even leave behind tents. To discourage campers from leaving these and other materials behind, the festival has a Repair Café. Crammerock also collaborates with the local thriftshop, who comes and collects the left behind tents and other useful items. The remaining trash is picked up by crew members and campers, who can win a free ticket for next year’s edition of the festival by doing so. Carpooling or taking public transportation is also strongly encouraged!
I was pleasantly surprised and I’m sure Crammerock is striving to improve each year. I look forward to seeing what they have in stock for next year.
Now more about the campaign I’m promoting. I’d like to share some interesting facts with you guys. Things that have been realised over the years, thanks to the efforts of the EU. I feel lucky to be living in a country and within a union where these subjects get the attention they need!
The EU is a world-leader in the fight against climate change and it’s ambitiously working to achieve the targets set in the Paris Agreement. EU regulations are requiring countries to invest in renewable energy and the emissions produced by cars must decline drastically as a result of EU law. Also, under EU rules, companies are now required to design products that last longer and are easier to repair, reuse and recycle. Go check out the My Planet. My Life - page, where I got lots of information from.
Here’s what the EU has been able to achieve so far:
- 17% of the energy in the EU is produced from renewable sources – double the amount compared to 2004.
- In 2014, the EU reached its 2020 target of reducing Green House Gas Emissions by 20%. In the future, the EU aims to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 ,and EU leaders have committed to reducing emissions by 80% to 95% b 2050.
- 47% of municipal waste was either recycled or composted in 2016 – an increase of 30% since 1995.
Here are some interesting facts (that I definitely didn’t know!):
- Each year, as much as 20% of the entire EU budget – that’s 180 billion euros – is devoted to supporting climate-related projects. Way to go EU!
- 40% of CO2 emissions actually stem from buildings. Transport accounts for a relatively small percentage. I'm pretty intrigued by this one!
- A 10% increase in green spaces in a city can reduce the temperature by 3-4%, which in turn reduces the need for air conditioning. (Go get yourself some more plants, lol.)
- 480kg: The weight of municipal waste generated per person, per year in the EU – about the same weight as a grizzly bear!
- 59% of plastic waste comes directly from packaging.
The EU is taking action to reduce the amount of plastic we waste, to keep it out of the oceans and to make all plastic packaging recyclable by 2030. Now, recycling is a not a long-term solution, but it’s definitely better than doing nothing at the moment and it’s a good first goal to set! If you want to learn more about the EU’s efforts in fighting plastic pollution, click here. Super interesting!
Thank you to the 4.2 million people in the EU currently working in eco-industries or green jobs, fighting for our environment! You’re all eco warriors – peace out.
From the desert with love,