Green Initiatives, a Shanghai-based nonprofit organization, celebrated 11 years of promoting environmental awareness and actions in China earlier this year, with a music-filled gathering at the Haworth Furniture Space in Shanghai.
More than 250 people attended what has now become Green Initiatives’ signature annual event, to listen to inspiring music, share words of support for Australia and the Amazon - both facing serious environmental crises - and celebrate the Green Initiatives community that has inspired thousands of individuals to take pro-environmental action, not just across China but globally.
Founded in 2009, Green Initiatives has engaged in more than 700 eco-learning activities that include community events and educational talks at corporations and schools. The organization has also helped recycle and repurpose more than 30,000 kg of textile waste through RE:FORM, and 15,000+ kg of electronic waste through the The [WE] Project. Most recently, Green Initiatives has initiated the Waste As Resource (WAR) program that aligns with Shanghai government’s new waste segregation policy. WAR, intended for businesses, tracks recyclable waste and uses data to reduce and recycle waste, and also engage with various stakeholders within the business.
Nitin Dani, Founder & Director, Green Initiatives, says: “We are proud of the work that we have done over the past 11 years with the support of more than 100 volunteers, interns and team members working in various capacities, to raise awareness on environmental issues and implement tangible, actionable projects in Shanghai and beyond. Everything about our anniversary event – from the number of people who attended to the onsite volunteers and the support from sponsors – was a reminder of the growing passion that people feel towards making the world a better place.”
Building on the strong foundation laid over the years, Green Initiatives has evolved far beyond its initial mission as it now transitions into a social enterprise with a greater focus on corporate initiatives – including waste & recycling, change management and social impact consulting. Further, Seeds of Change, an integrated platform focused on holistic wellness focused learning, traveling and consumption, has also been launched to accelerate learning and action by bringing curated content and experts under one roof.
Encouraged by its success over recent years, Green Initiatives hopes to build a stronger following among the local audience, and is also working on a conceptual model for a learning center that combines permaculture farming, necessary life-skills and EQ-based learning, and and nature retreats. The organization hopes that this model can be replicated in different parts of the world in its own unique way, run independently but also contribute to the local ecosystem in which it operates. There are already plans in progress for one by Dianshan Lake in Shanghai, as well as in India.
Nitin says, “As awareness of environmental issues grows we are committed to taking our mission to a wider audience, from the classroom and our regular public events to online as well as the corporate world – as businesses have the resources to accelerate change more quickly. At the same time, we want to use technology to empower more people outside of Shanghai to make a difference. We must remember that we are all in it together, and that we are all a part of nature. When we harm nature, we are ourselves are harmed: the bushfires in Australia were a living example of that. While we look positively towards the next 11 years, we must all recognize that it is never too late to take action.”
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