Goumbook, the leading social enterprise promoting sustainability and green living in the UAE, closes this year’s Drop It Youth campaign with an Achievement Award Ceremony to recognize and reward the program’s 34 ambassadors in the UAE.
Drop It Youth, sponsored by HSBC, encourages environmentally-conscious teenagers to inspire sustainable living practices in their schools and local communities. With the unique support and guidance of Goumbook’s team of professional environmentalists, UN Global Compact, Moral Education, KHDA, EAD, Eco-schools and Eedama, the youngsters from this year’s campaign have been incredibly successful in their achievements.
By requesting people in their local community to take online pledges on the Drop It Youth website, these young ambassadors encouraged people and local businesses to take a stand against single-use plastics and to drink filtered tap water in an attempt to dramatically reduce their waste, carbon and water footprint. Some of them have succeeded in removing all single-use plastics form their school canteens.
The achievements of this year’s campaign include:
· 2914 pledges to stop using single-use plastics, a 56% increase on last years’ pledges!
· 1193 people pledged compared to 971 last year
· 41 newspaper and magazine articles as well as radio interviews
· 34 public events including Emirates Literature Festival and Earth Hour
In addition, Drop It Youth ambassadors have cleverly developed innovative solutions and tools as part of their campaigning, these included a website for tracking plastic reduction in a school campaign; an animation video for raising awareness on single-use plastic; artwork sketched on Jute Bags and lastly an app for people to make their pledges. Fantastic projects!
The ambassadors have all been extremely passionate about reducing single-use plastics, Agam Kohli, one of the youngest ambassadors said “I am so grateful to Drop It Youth, this is because it was my dream to see the green land….. I want the people to stop using single–use plastics.”
“Our health is at stake” said Tatiana Antonelli, MD and Founder of Goumbook. “Tests show billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic particles”. A study commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature has found that an average person could be ingesting as many as 1900 plastic particles per week – the equivalent of munching through a credit card. Locally, we are very pleased that Dubai Airports have pledged to ban single-use plastics from 1 January 2020.
“Tomorrow’s leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow’s challenges, and our duty is to adequately prepare our children for the future they will inherit,” said Tatiana Antonelli Abella, founder and MD of Goumbook. “As climate change is being felt across the globe and its long term catastrophic impacts have never been so scientifically clear, environmental education is the key to a better future.”
Applications for the upcoming Drop It Youth Campaign 2019/2020 will re-open in September 2019.