Training Zero Waste Ambassadors

How would you imagine Zero Waste Ambassadors work? During the week of onsite training program in Slovenia we saw a variation of zero waste ambassadors all across Europe who all have their own challenges to face when going back home.

At the end of the week we could all say that we are on the same page. We share the highest possible ambition of a zero waste ambassador and know the tools that help us on the journey. This was just the first step of the BEZWA project, that enabled to test our format and methods of teaching. The next stage is moving forward with creating a curriculum, that can be ultimately downloaded and used to teach people who want to become Zero Waste Ambassadors.

Zero waste ambassadors’ training teaches about how to prevent waste on a municipal level and how to make sure it gets treated according to the circular economy principles. Zero waste is a journey but it does hold a definition that we can latch onto always to know if we are on the right track.

Kadri Kalle, the BEZWA Program Manager says: “Our aim is ultimately to have more zero waste solutions being adopted in European municipalities. So we spent a lot of time thinking what are the competences needed for those changemakers who can support and drive their communities towards long term systemic change.”

The training program curriculum is built on three pillars: technical, policy/advocacy competences and soft skills. “One of the most important rule for us was to use methods that would allow learners be active, to see different sides of different solutions and start making their own proposals already from the beginning.” Kadri adds.

The week culminated in a zero waste city role game, where participants had to propose zero waste solutions to specific made-up municipalities. Like in real life the participants had to deal with disruptions and perhaps not-so-cooperative stakeholders. Very different competences had to be put into use, from understanding waste data to talking to local media about it.

BEZWA (Building European Zero Waste Academy) is a cooperation project with Zero Waste Europe, Ecologists Without Borders (Društvo Ekologi brez meja), Estonian University of Life Sciences and Tallinn University with the grant received from EU education programme Erasmus+ to create a framework for European Zero Waste Academy.

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