The I Have a Mango team created this activity and it was used at their tour in CISV Norway (and Sweden and Germany) the fall of 2011. The workshop was designed to challenge Norwegian youths’ view of their own lifestyle and to make them reflect on how consumerism affects their life.
The workshop has three parts that should be used together. The first part make the participants aware of what they own, the second part make them reflect on how their things are produced and brought from developing through production and finally to them. The third part focus on how and what we can change in order to have a more sustainable lifestyle.
Because of this the activities should be used in the order they are presented, as both the second and third part draw experience from what was discovered before.
For the participants to reflect upon their own lifestyle, how their community affects them, and how they can have a positive contribution in their community. They should also be able to understand the problem of consumerism and the cycle of goods.
Activity one – what do you have in your closet?
- Materials: Pens, 6 A4 papers, each with one of the following words written on it. BEDROOM – KITCHEN – LIVING ROOM – BATHROOM – GARAGE/ATTIC - CLOSET
- Time: 20 min
- Aim: For the participants to reflect on what they own and the quantity of things they have.
- Groups: 2-6 people in each group, depending on the amount of participants.
- Divided the participants in groups of 2-4 people (depending on the group size). Spread the A4 papers out in the room, and send a group to each paper.
- Instructions; A room is written on each piece of paper. Your task is to draw the things you have in this room. You will get a couple of minutes (when facilitator see that they are finished you stop them).
- Send the participants to the next paper and ask them to do the same.
- Continue like this until they are back where they started.
- When the groups are back at the paper where they started, they present a few of the objects drawn on the paper to the other groups. They then present the objects they find the most interesting/common/surprising.
Activity two – The story of stuff
- Materials: Copies of the document ‘The Path of Stuff’
- Time: 1 hour (30min to answer and present the questions, 20 min to watch the video)
- Aim: To understand the path stuff travels to get to the store, how unsustainable this can be, and to reflect on more sustainable alternatives.
- Groups: 3-5 people in each group depending on the amount of participants.
- Video: The Story of Stuff (internet link is provided below)
The questions in the document ‘The Path of Stuff’ follows these 5 steps of production and distribution
These 5 steps will be explained in the video ‘The Story of Stuff’.
- Set up the video the story of stuff.
- Prepare the questions for the path so there is one copy for each group (the questions are written at the end of this PDF).
- Select the items you will use in the activity (iPod, shoes, watch). Try to find items that consist of several types of material (plastic, leather, metals).
- Divide the participants in groups of 3-5 people, hand out one item (a different item for each group) to each group, and give them a copy of the questions.
- They have between 10 and 20 minutes to answer the questions according to their item. The facilitator(s) should go around to the different groups and ask them follow-up questions.
- When the participants have finished answering the questions, they should present their item to the others and give a short description of what they found out about their item.
- Watch the video ‘The Story of Stuff’ (20 min). In a village the participants should sit in delegations while watching the movie so that their leader can translate and explain in their respective language.
Activity three – The sustainable person
- Materials: 3 x A4 paper per group, pens.
- Time: 1 h – 1.5 hour
- Aim: reflect upon their own lifestyle, and to see ways of adapting to a more sustainable lifestyle
- Groups: 3-5 people in each group (can be the same groups as in act 3).
- Divide the participants in groups of 3-5 people (or continue in the same groups as in act 2).
- This activity has 3 parts and they will get 10 minutes to prepare each part.
- Part 1 – the child: each group receives a paper and is asked to draw a child. In addition to drawing the child they must draw the stuff this child need in order to live a good, healthy and environmental friendly life. (10 min)
- Part 2 – the parents: the participants receive a new paper and draw the parents of the child. This time they draw what the parents need to do in order to provide the child with the things you identified in part 1. What actions must they take in order to give their child the good, healthy, and environmental friendly life it deserves?
- Part 3 – the sustainable person: this time they are to draw a sustainable person – how does this person live, how does he or she act.
- The presentation: When the three drawings are finished the groups present their drawing to the rest of the participants, and explain how they are sustainable and why. Then the facilitator asks the question: what do WE need to do in order to adapt a more sustainable lifestyle – this can be discussed in plenum or it can be a question the participants can reflect on by themselves.