Atlantic College Greenpeace Street Workshop

Aqeela Hani Alwi (Malaysia, AC 07-09)

Queen’s Street, Cardiff, 12 April 2008

Greenpeace Street Workshop!!  It has happened today, on the busy streets of Cardiff. A total of 14 students from Atlantic College coming from ten different countries unite under the same name of United World College mission together with Greenpeace that is ‘to help make a change’. All of our efforts made are meaningful is our belief. As they say, ‘think globally, act locally’, we feel responsible for informing people in our town, nearest presumably,(40 minutes away by train anyways) of the current affairs of the environment.  By acting in this relatively big city, we reckon that if we could inform everyone in Cardiff, it contributes in helping a whole lot and we would be already satisfied. The objective of this Greenpeace Street Workshop is campaigning against the use of incandescent light bulbs in households as we believe that it is energy inefficient, that it causes waste of energy that could be used to do some other work i.e. generate heating in a house . So, by informing people of the existence of the CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), the remedy of the traditional light bulbs, it will benefit all of us. It will result in preserving a green environment, less energy waste and stop global warming.

The street workshop involved us going on the streets giving out flyers, and asking the people to sign out petitions against retail supermarkets selling incandescent light bulbs. We tested our ‘direct selling’ skills in getting peoples’ attention and explaining the use and benefits of CFLs in the fastest time. We were competing against the Shinkansen Trains I guess. It was hard work. To convince people in such short time is not easy, but we did it!  We gathered around 200 signed petitions in around five hours. All the signed petitions will then be sent by us to the branch manager of Tesco’s in Cardiff showing that people oppose the use of inefficient light bulbs. Hopefully, with the support of the people from all over Cardiff, it will make Tesco’s aware that people really want to make a change and use CFLs instead of the traditional inefficient light bulbs. Why Tesco’s?? It is one of the biggest retail supermarkets in the UK that has the a big percentage of consumers. If a big chain supermarket starts to make a change in their sales, the smaller retail supermarkets and convenient stores will follow the footsteps of it.

Of course, it is not always smooth sailing for us. What is willpower without challenges? When we were campaigning, people just walking by us without looking is fairly mild, there are people even getting all sarcastic and asking us to just stick to the saving the animals, plus many more comments. Nevertheless, all is forgiven and forgotten; nothing was taken to heart. Luckily, the number of this type of people is outnumbered by the people that care about the environment and took the time to listen to the explanation given by us.

All in all, we all had fun, enjoyed the experience of being in the streets campaigning ( almost all of us are freshies in this street workshop activity). The signed petition are all now processed and are posted to the branch manager of Tesco’s as I am writing this. We all hope that this petition could help make a change, and make people aware. Fingers crossed!

– United World College Student Magazine –


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