TEDxSummit – an environmentally friendly event!
There are some things in life which you feel you don’t deserve. You are somehow blessed with them, and you don’t know how to react. TEDxSummit was one of those things for me. Until the Opening Ceremony of the event, I couldn’t even believe that it was actually happening. I won’t say that it was a dream come true, because I couldn’t possibly dream to be a part of TEDxSummit – yes, it was that good. TEDxSummit was surely beyond my expectations and imagination.
From the opening TED talks at Katara Cultural Village to the farewell picnic at Museum of Islamic Art, TEDxSummit was an amalgam of all kinds of experiences. Whilst on one side I found it to be educative and informative, on the other side it turned out to be the most adventurous and exciting experience of my life. The event had a lot to offer, and I made it a point to embrace all of its goodness with open arms.
There was a lot to learn and to take back home for the betterment of society. I’ve decided to write a series of blog posts. Each of these blog posts will cover my learning from the five-day summit which had the participation of over 700 international delegates from nearly 90 countries.
For those who don’t know, TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to ideas worth spreading. It basically brings together people from the fields of Design, Entertainment and Technology to its varied number of inspiring conferences.
Through its TEDx program, TED gives organisations and individuals the opportunity to create TED-like experiences in their local communities. Since the programme’s inception in 2009, TEDx has hosted thousands of events all across the world.
TEDxSummit was an exclusive gathering of TEDx organisers. The event was one of its kind, and for a 22-year-old Pakistani girl like me, the only one of its kind that I’ve ever attended. The core focus of this blog post and something which inspired me the most is the fact that it was an environmentally-friendly event. The event consequently deserves applause and appreciation considering the significance it gave to recycling.
It is reported by Gulf Times that as much as 80 per cent of the waste from TEDxSummit was recycled. Averda, an environmental solutions provider based in Lebanon and the UAE, was involved in the recycling process. The company is known to be the largest environmental solutions provider in the region with its operations expanding to Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
There were four kinds of recycling bins at the event. The bins were segregated to contain food, paper, plastics and other miscellaneous waste. Once the waste was collected, it was taken to Averda’s facilities where it was separated further, treated and recycled. The food waste was composted or transformed into energy at a nearby Doha facility.
The Averda staff at the event made sure that all the waste was collected in the recycling bins. Organisers encouraged the TEDxSummit attendees to participate in the process. The attendees were pleasantly reminded every now and then of the responsibility they had to the environment. To add to that, one lucky user of the Reverse Vending Machine was randomly selected on a daily basis for a prize. The Reverse Vending Machine collected plastic cans and bottles in return for entry into the contest and was undoubtedly the highlight of the event.
Also, the attendees were provided with environmentally friendly and stylish Dopper’s water bottles. These bottles were filled and refilled at water tanks available at all the major venue locations – reducing the usage of plastic bottles to a bare minimum.
Consequently, TEDxSummit served as a brilliant example of an environmentally friendly event. It’s disappointing that in developing countries like Pakistan organising an event with such regard for the environment is next to impossible. People either lack the knowledge or possess no interest whatsoever in protecting the environment.
I believe a prominent change can be brought in as more people are exposed to such constructive models. I’d like to thank TEDxSummit organisers for providing me with an enlightening experience. If not anyone else, I’ll play my role as a responsible citizen, and I hope the situation will improve with time.