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Taste Before You Waste has always stood for making small, individual acts of change that can build up to create a greater difference. We believe that engaging in thoughtful consumerism in even the smallest ways day-to-day can have a lasting impact on our food- and ecosystems.

Still, while such personal efforts do matter, there is something to be said about supporting direct civil activism through demonstrations and demanding political change – especially in dire times like these, when a global eco-crisis impends on us with every passing day.

In light of the upcoming Rebellion Week on October 7, 2019, we have decided to share with you some of the most accessible and effective ways to engage in eco-activism.

Maybe you have been wanting to make a change for a while now, but have felt unsure of where to start. Or maybe, you had simply never given it a thought until now. In either case, this guide will give you some easy, actionable steps to help you begin on your eco-activist journey.

Keep up with local activism and join its initiatives
The first – and most important – step is to get acquainted with which activism groups are active in your area. Do your research – browse their websites, read their mission statements, and see if there are any that resonate with you. Look up and join some of their events to get a feel for how they approach their objectives.

Found an activist group that you like and want to get involved?
Offer to help organize their events – most groups are always searching for more volunteers, and are eager to receive a helping hand.

Looking for a place to start?
Here’s a list of some of the eco- and food activism groups that are active in Amsterdam to get you started on your exploration:

  • TBYW Activism Group – A division of TBYW that offers free catering to activist events and demonstrations – our goal is to literally “feed the movement”
  • Extinction Rebellion – An organization that started out in the UK and then spread globally, Extinction Rebellion uses “non-violent civil disobedience” to raise awareness about the horrifying ecological crisis our planet is facing
    https://extinctionrebellion.nl/en/
  • Fridays for Future – An international movement that aims to initiate political action against climate change
    https://fridaysforfuture.nl/
  • ASEED Europe (Action for Solidarity, Equality, Environment, and Diversity Europe) – An initiative which started out in Amsterdam and spread out across the continent, ASEED Europe strives to involve youth in changing climate policies
    https://aseed.net/en/

Speak at city council meetings
Many people don’t know this, but you can address environmental policy changes directly with the authorities by attending your local city council meetings. Most city councils make their meetings open to the general public, and have a time slot allotted in the beginning where citizens can share their concerns. The city council of Amsterdam meets once every three weeks –you can find their meeting schedule, as well as other relevant information, on https://www.amsterdam.nl/en/governance/city-council/.

Write a letter to local political leaders
Should you want to directly contact authorities, you can also try sending a letter to local political figures who you think are capable of initiating change, or who you want to call accountable for their actions. You can find a list of information and contact details for all current Amsterdam governing body members on the city website.
https://amsterdam.raadsinformatie.nl/leden
https://www.amsterdam.nl/en/governance/mayor-alderpersons/

Spread the word
Spreading the word about environmentalism is perhaps the easiest way to engage in eco-activism by far. Talk to your friends about it, and encourage them to adopt more eco-friendly habits. Invite someone to join you the next time you go to a protest, or ask them to volunteer together at an event (cooking for the TBYW dinners makes for a great pastime activity!). Share activist demonstrations on Facebook to help them gain traction, and re-post environmental articles that might resonate with people.

Use your voice – both on- and offline – to share the ideas you think people should hear.

Looking for a place to start? Join the International Rebellion Week on October 7
The International Rebellion Week, hosted by Extinction Rebellion, will start on October 7, 2019 and will take place in several major cities across the globe. The protestors will peacefully occupy central urban areas to raise awareness about the pressing urgency of climate change.

In Amsterdam, the demonstration will start in the early morning of October 7 at Museumbrug. TBYW will be supporting the initiative by supplying free catering for all of its participants, providing food we have prepared from rescued produce.

Each person’s presence matters, and every voice helps to reinforce the demand – so, if you have been meaning to become an activist, perhaps this is your place to start.

https://rebellion.earth/international-rebellion/?fbclid=IwAR2IXJrf4m2rGxV0bkUxuARjxjLWtpqsRqV7rXEeZfB79Dhq13oKdzF5lbQ
https://www.facebook.com/events/1877626222340263/

“We are either going to have a future where women lead the way to make peace with the Earth or we are not going to have a human future at all.”

Vandana Shiva

This famous quote by Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva underlines the essence of sisterhood, who may not be biologically related but embodies a strong bond between women environmentalists, dedicating their lives to defend the planet. Similarly, the leading ladies behind Taste Before You Waste resonates the sisterhood vibe through their collective support and action towards combating food waste. Follow through the exciting journey of the leading ladies behind Taste Before You Waste and how their roles and responsibilities have changed over the years.

How Luana started the journey of TBYW:

 

Taste Before You Waste started in late 2012 with Luana, who – inspired by a documentary on food waste – went out to her local grocery shops in Amsterdam East. To her amazement, most of the shop owners were more than happy to give her all their surplus food. Initially working closely with the refugee community and the squatting community to redistribute the rescued produce, Luana decided to start her own initiative: Taste Before You Waste! Starting with bike pick-ups, food waste dinners in the neighbourhood and markets on campus soon after, our community grew quickly.

Involvement of Sophia with Luana during 2016-17: 

Luana & Sophia© TBYW Media collection

In 2016, Luana and her friend Sophia, becoming ever more involved, officially registered the organisation as a foundation and dedicated themselves full-time to the development of Taste Before You Waste.

For almost two years they worked love, sweat and tears together, always learning from each other and always taking on new challenges, such as developing an educational programme on food waste and teaching it to school kids or providing professional catering services.

Sophia & Luana ©TBYW Media Collections

 

Luana’s new position as Chair of TBYW’ Board from 2017 :

Luana left the Netherlands in 2017 to travel Asia in search of knowledge and experience in communal living, self-sufficiency, co-creation and permaculture with the aim of starting her own project in Portugal. In her new position as Chair of TBYW’s Board, Luana now advises the coordinators with her expertise and gets to enjoy how the organisation keeps on growing to new heights, while she is traveling. 

Sophia’ current role as Co-founder and Former Coordinator: 

Sophia Bensch (Co-founder, former Coordinator)

Sophia, for her part, dared to hold her position alone, ensuring continuity for all the activities, consisting of weekly wasteless dinners, markets, workshops, and occasional social caterings, lectures and school programmes. With such frequent activities and our belief in community, we were able to cultivate a space for sharing experiences, best practises, knowledge and world views on food, sustainability and environmental justice. We extended the invitation to engage with these topics to our guests by introducing a second weekly dinner with cultural programming. 

Sophia in action towards food rescue ©TBYW Media Collection

Lara as the General Coordinator from 2019: 

Lara Egbring (General Coordinator)

In search of a partner to eventually pass the torch to, Sophia found Lara, a particularly engaged and connected team member, who is ready to lead our community and stand up for the people and the environment. Since the beginning of 2019 she is officially coordinating TBYW and her fresh ideas are not waiting around.

Her belief in environmental activism steers TBYW in a direction in which empowerment of the people, one of the core values of the foundation, plays a central role in creating more awareness regarding food waste.

Lara (on the right) in action at the Food Market ©TBYW Media Collections

 

 

How the TBYW is growing under our sisterhood? 

Seeing our community at our current location in Amsterdam is steadily growing we want to follow our mission of ‘Revolutionizing the food system one neighborhood at a time’ and spread out to help communities around the city to reach more positive environmental impact, while engaging the people in delicious neighborhood dinners. More specifically, we strive to help communities set up their own TBYW Wasteless Dinner with the aim of them taking over once they are ready. Through this, we hope to encourage citizens to take initiative in the strive towards a more environmentally conscious city. Our end goal is to reduce the food waste one neighborhood at a time, while building up a network of similar organisations and partners. 

Sophia & Lara ©TBYW Media Collections

Now, in February 2019, Sophia is excited to go travelling for 2 months, meeting Luana in the Philippines. When she gets back, Sophia is eager to join Lara’s team and get cracking on a political strategy, advocating for social and environmental justice. 

These three women, Luana, Sophia and Lara, have given rise, shape and direction to Taste Before You Waste over the years. We believe female leadership is vital for a more inclusive and sustainable future. We are sisters in the fight against a wasteful food system, sisters in the fight against capitalism, sisters in the fight against the patriarchy. 

 

Click on the below video to find out how Taste Before You Waste is shaping under our sisterhood: