To celebrate Earth Day 2020 Secret Tel Aviv, IDC’s Sustainability Course, and Earth Day Israel hosted a really inspiring livestream with one of Israel’s leading environmental activists Maya Jacobs, and five up-and-coming environmental activists. They talked about their organisations and how they got started, and also gave some top tips on how you can become a social activist!
Maya Jacobs, CEO of Zalul. Founded in 1999, Zalul is one of Israel’s largest and most active environmental NGOs. Zalul means “clear” in Hebrew, and Zalul is dedicated to preserving the marine environment in Israel. Maya, born in Herzliya, joined Zalul 8 years ago as CEO, primarily for her campaign experience. Recent successful campaigns include shutting down the ammonia reservoir in Haifa, the ‘Ban the Bag Law’ and ‘A City Without Plastic’ in Herzliya. Read more about Zalul here.
Julian Melcer and Arielle Macey-Pilcer, Founders of Clean the Butts. Founded in 2018, ֿClean the Butts is working to eliminate cigarette butt pollution. Cigarette butts are made of plastic, they are the most common form of trash in the world, and they are very toxic. Julian is born in Israel and Arielle is born in the US. Julian is also a co-founder of Just a Moment, a new impact company, focused on creating cool content for important issues. Read more about Clean the Butts here.
Ariel Shay and Evelyn Anca, Co-Directors of Plastic Free Israel. Founded in 2018, Plastic Free Israel is the largest environmental organisation for the English-speaking community. Ariel is born in the US and Evelyn is born in Israel. Evelyn is also an incredible trash artist and founder of Evi Art (see below for examples of her work). Read more about Plastic Free Israel here.
Eldar Lehavi and Naama Dori, Co-Founders of Earth Day Israel. Founded in 2020, Earth Day Israel is a student-led environmental organisation started by students of IDC’s Sustainability Course. Eldar and Naama are both Israeli. Read more about Earth Day Israel here.
Top Tips on how to become a Social Activist
1. Start with Yourself
Start trying to reduce your ecological footprint. The best way to start is to take note of what you’re consuming (in this case water, electricity, food, transport, disposable plastic) and try to reduce. It can also be really fun to discover local businesses or find a surprise favorite clothing item at a thrift store. Check out Zalul’s awesome initiative ’50 Shades of Green’ for loads of creative ideas to reduce your ecological footprint.
2. Social Activism
Elevate the conversation – participate in public conversations, share material, write letters to politicians. Check out Zalul’s new Social Activism Course (coming soon).
3. Beach Cleanups
Meet other people, get involved, see first hand what’s in the ocean. Zalul, Plastic Free Israel, and Clean the Butts organise beach cleanups most weekends, check out their pages for all the latest cleanups (we also have an Environmental Events Section on the Secret Tel Aviv website). Also check out our World Record Beach Cleanup attempt on September 11th 2020.
4. Lead by Example
You’ll be amazed, when you make the change and take the first step other people will follow.
5. Make New Things Out of Old Things
Before you throw something away, see if you can make something new from it – this is called ‘upcycling’. During our Earth Day livestreams we also had a great workshop from Shani Dahan about repurposing a pair of jeans, check it out below.
6. Clothing Swaps
There are so many clothing swaps in Tel Aviv, this a great way of picking up some new clothes and finding new homes for some of your unwanted clothes.
7. Healthy Eating
The healthier you eat, you less plastic waste you will leave behind. For example, every chocolate bar will come in a wrapper versus a piece of fruit. During our Earth Day livestreams we also had a great vegan cooking workshop from Kristof and Nimrod of Proud Hippy Boy.
8. Neighbourhood Tool Box
Club together with neighbours to buy things like drills and vacuum cleaners.
Knowledge is power, and people will take you much more seriously if you come with real facts.
10. Don’t allow other peoples’ negative opinions to put you down
11. Understand that you have the power to make change
If you’re passionate and your cause is just you can change peoples’ perceptions.
Some of our favorite Evi Art Projects
Looking for inspiration? Check out these amazing creations made from waste by Evelyn Anca. Check out the Evi Art Facebook Page for more amazing art.
Made in partnership with Zalul, surfer girl is made of everyday household trash.
Made in partnership with Zero Waste Israel. Sea Horse was one of the top posts in Secret Tel Aviv in 2019!
Butt Baby, Butt Jacket, and Butt Nemo
Made in partnership with Clean the Butts. Ava has made three beautiful artworks out of cigarette butts.
As a Director of Plastic Free Israel, Evelyn has created many beautiful photography projects using waste.
For more amazing work, check out Eva Art Facebook Page!
A big thank you to all our amazing and inspirational panelists, and to the amazing students from IDC’s Sustainability Course.
World Record Beach Cleanup September 11th 2020
On September 11th, 2020, we invite you to help Israel set the WORLD RECORD for the Largest Beach Clean-Up. From Rosh Hanikra, all the way down to Eilat, we have an incredible opportunity to clean the beaches of israel, create lasting cultural change, and inspire other countries to follow suit. A beautiful example of good creating even more good 🙂 Hit attending on our Facebook event for more updates.