A summary of the month.

March is about to end and I hope that April will bring us more sunny weather and spring vibes. I cannot complain about March, though, because for me it was full of interesting discoveries when it comes to ecology and social responsibility. Today’s post is a short summary of the month, in which I present my recent findings in areas such as cuisine, literature, food and zero waste.

1. Culinaries.

 

 

One of the many foodsharing points in Warsaw – a fridge at the Faculty of Sociology, University of Warsaw, Karowa Street.

2.  People

Speaking of foodsharing – March was also the month where I had a chance to meet Mateusz Baniak, on of the Warsaw’s Foodsavers. The interview can be found in my previous post. The meeting with Mateusz was very interesting and extremely inspiring. He shows that everyone can do something important for the planet and local community. The opportunities are uncountable – the only thing you need to do is find an area that is interesting and important for you.

3. Books.

One of the books that I finished reading in March and can definitely recommend is “The Snoring Bird: My Family’s Journey Through a Century of Biology”. The original book was written in German, I read the Polish translation and its English version can be found for example here.

It is an autobiographical novel by an American biology professor – Bernd Heinrich, who also has Polish and German origins. In his book, he focuses on his father – a naturalist who devoted his life to searching for and describing parasitoid wasps from the family of Ichneumonoidea (yeah, I haven’t heard about them before, either). But don’t think it’s some kind of a heavy and boring scientific piece of reading. It is also a gripping family saga, full of exciting adventures, exotic travels and colourful characters. I highly recommend it both to nature lovers and fans of traditional multi-generational novels with some history in the background.

 

4. Events.

On the 10th of March I participated, for the second time already, in Wymiennik Grochowski, held on a monthly basis by the Community Centre Paca 40, located in the area of Grochów, Warsaw. The event is a perfect example on how  the ideas of a zero waste life and responsible consumption can be put into practice. Obviously, the most eco-friendly shopping is… no shopping at all, but going for alternative ways of obtaining things – such as exchange and reusing the already existing items.

The rules of the event are simple – you can bring up to 20 unwanted things such as books, clothes, CDs, home equipment and swap them for those brought by other participants. For each item brought (regardless of its size or value), you will receive one voucher which you can then use to “pay” for any object that you find interesting.

The first time that I took part in Wymiennik was in January. Then, it was an opportunity for me to get rid of a great number of unused household items, but I didn’t find anything that I would find useful or interesting. The March edition was completely different! Together with my sister, we used up almost all January vouchers and were very successful in finding some interesting clothes – many of them of much higher quality than the ones that you can find in shops.

The conclusion is: sometimes you will be able to acquire some interesting and useful items, sometimes you will just get rid of yours but leave empty-handed. It is worth doing anyway, if not for the things, then only for the atmosphere of the event.  It is also an opportunity to meet new people, have a coffee or tea, browse through the books and magazines on the shelves. The next edition of the event will take place on the 14th of April – maybe some of you will take part in it?

Wymiennik Grochowski is just one of many great initiatives born at PACA 40. It is a unique community centre where a few interesting NGOs have their offices. It is also where one of Warsaw food co-ops (Kooperatywa Grochowska) is based and, on top of that, they host one of Warsaw’s foodsharing points (Jadłodzielnia).

I’m very curious to know if you have heard of any similar events, interesting NGOs or socially responsible businesses.  Or maybe you could recommend some books that are vital from the perspective of ecology or supporting local communities? If yes, please let me know, I would be more than happy to become familiar with such initiatives.

 

Interesting links:

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