Good Practices in Waste Management during Boat Racing Festival










Hundreds of people at the Wat Chan Boat Racing Festival in Vientiane at the end of October experienced the ‘Garbage Monster Experience’, an educational booth ProCEEd developed in close cooperation with MCU of the National University of Laos. Two murals made from light boxes and a series of games, drawing contests, and interactive board games informed and entertained visitors about good waste management practices.

Whoever already attended this festival knows that one needs to be creative and innovative to be able to call attention to one’s messages. It was not easy to compete with the many other booths and the constant loud music and noise. With this in mind and recalling past experiences, ProCEEd decided to use for the first time light and colour to communicate messages about waste management good practices. The team of volunteers complemented this with a lot of interactive games and activities. At the entrance of the ProCEEd booth, visitors encountered a big garbage monster welcoming each guest with its red illuminated eyes.

A series of 10 light boxes formed two murals of four and six metres that illustrated negative and positive practices on waste management. The concept and design of the boxes is derived from shadow theatre techniques, which use shadow, lights, colours and puppets for storiy telling. The first mural of 4 meters represented a community that does not care about how much and how they dispose of their garbage, pollute the environment and spread pests. The second mural, 6 meters long, represented a community that implements good practices of waste management. The practices reflect the ideas to reduce, recycle and reuse waste through the separation of household waste into wet and dry fractions.

The light murals were a big success and called the attention of many visitors that entered the booth and got interested in waste management. In addition to the light boxes, a series of games and activities were available. The drawing contest, games and other mobile actions were implemented simultaneously, which brought a lot of movement to the educational stand.

A printed floor board game helped participants learn about good and bad practices of handling waste in a playful way. During the event, visitors could estimate the weight of three garbage bins representing the average garbage produced by a Vientiane citizen in one day, one week or one month. Many people were surprised by the quantity of garbage produced. To reinforce the waste segregation system, MCU volunteers went around the festival site collecting and showcasing the correct way how to separate the different fractions into colored bins.

As with every new and innovative tool, the ‘Garbage Monster Experience’ required a long preparation phase as well. Intensive working hours filled with great enthusiasm, especially by MCU volunteers and their team leaders, were rewarded by the positive results and feedback received during and after the Boat Racing Festival.



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At the provincial and district level, Environmental Tours with entertaining environmental education activities regularly tour four provinces and Vientiane Capital. A bus and a truck using solar-powered equipment facilitate film, theatre and local learning and discussion initiatives. Don’t miss the tour!