In September, Plan A organised the second edition of Cocktails for the Planet. And boy, it was awesome! As big as the evening’s hero, the elephant. This big guy deserved a night under the spotlights. So we organised it. In honour, celebration and support of elephants of planet Earth, we shared drinks and raised funds for actions protecting them. In collaboration with Earthworm Foundation, this event supported better farmer-elephant relationships on Borneo island, the epicenter of biodiversity and deforestation in Southeast Asia.
The atmosphere was set with a massive orange elephant face among Borneo palm tree leaves, all ready to welcome the photo booth contest organised by @planaearth (see your pictures with the hashtag #sustainablejungle). The whole scenery was surrounded by the wild grasses and (metaphorical) baobabs in the backyard of Betahaus Neukölln.
“Fire camp in the jungle” mode engaged! In the background, our attendants could also hear playlists prepared with care by the Plan A team to get a nice vibe. And on top of that, we were very pleased to be in good company with the coolest guests. Lenny, a 35-year-old filmmaker, summed up the situation pretty good: “The event is fantastic. I love it! It’s good music. I love this spot, it’s a great place to be. Good people too, some I knew and some that I just met and they all are very agreable company. (…) Expectations to meet good people and enjoy myself have definitely been made already”. Dragos, 25, confirmed: “I love the event! I had a free evening and I wanted to do something for a non-profit cause. I saw that you offered gin tonics and I signed up!”
Having a drink or three for good
Dragos was right: to keep everyone hydrated, our partner Elephant Gin poured some delicious handmade Berlin gin cocktails inspired by the natural habitat and diet of elephants, the benefits of which were donated to elephant conservation.
So we raised our glasses throughout the event to this giant cause, assured that our thirsty behaviour would help bring support to the Jumbos located so far from our eyes, but so close to our hearts.
Helping save Borneo elephants
Plan A is currently raising funds on its website to help this NGO to facilitate the coexistence between Elephants and small farmers in Malaysia. Elephants might sometimes commute through oil palm plantations, destroying the crops and hence increasing conflicts with landowners. The project aims at saving elephants lives and at protecting plantations for the small producers. The planned activities are to engage farmers as volunteers to patrol the elephants, to organise workshops for training, info sharing and networking for the communities or to support farmers to manage wildlife corridors dedicated to the elephants.
Of course, this work requires funds. That is why Plan A organises events to shed light on their efforts and find resources to help them. Even, with a drink of Gin and some funk in the background, you can be a voice for good. Maybe even become better at foreign languages after 2.
Evenings like this one are an opportunity to show people that it is possible to organise clean parties (thank you for bringing your own cups btw). But it was also another chance to dance and have fun. It is not because the fight against climate change is a serious cause that it has to be boring.
A party to prepare the next action
In preparation for the Global Strike for Climate on the following Friday, the event offered a poster-making workshop specially set up in a corner for the occasion. An intense competition for the best slogan to paint on their carton ensued. A few days later, we were hundreds of thousands in the streets of all major cities in the world. Coincidence? We doubt it.
Whether participants practised their drawing or not, all expressed their interest in the fight against climate change. Toby, 25 and student in International sustainability management, claimed, for instance, that evening: “I feel a responsibility for the planet and for our actions on this planet. I hope we could be strong enough as a global community to fight climate change.”
Lucas, from Amsterdam, had a similar reaction: “It’s not about the question “Why do I find climate change interesting?”; I would rather ask “Why doesn’t the rest of the world?”. And to cope with the issue, he explains: “Whatever the thing I do, if what I am doing has an effect on the planet, I try to calculate if it is worth the damage on the planet to minimize my impact”.
Dragos also explained to me how he tried to be the most responsible consumer possible to cope with climate change issue as a citizen while struggling to squeeze the “B” of Plan B on his sign, a glass of Gin in the other hand. An effort only partly rewarded.
You could not come to this event? Join us next time to one of Plan A’s events! And for the warm-up until the next gathering, you can still check on our amazing Spotify playlists.
Our next event Microplastic, Macroproblems will happen in Berlin on the 8th of October. See you there for more actionable fun, and fun actions for our planet! No plan B for our planets!
This Report was created by Marie Heinic, contributor to the Plan A Academy.