These workshops can help you consume less and create more
In our mass producing and consuming society it can be easy to fall into the grind of solely buying new products. In reality, most of our consumption can be cut by reusing, donating unused items and making products ourselves. To learn how to do this, students can participate in Anti-Consumerism Week hosted by the Concordia Student Union.
The initiative, which kicked off on Monday, aims to help inspire students to become more environmentally friendly and distanced from the cycle of buying and disposing.
The CSU teamed up with on-campus organizations and students that wanted to help educate others on sustainable, cheap ways to DIY, sticking it to mass-production and capitalism.
The main organizer is CSU campaigns coordinator Anastasia Voutou, who also organized last year’s Buy Nothing Day to promote the reduction of mass consumption. Voutou said that Buy Nothing Day was already well-known, why not form a whole week against over-consumption instead of just one day.
“It’s such a good idea, we had to bring it back this year,” external affairs and mobilization coordinator Gabriel Velasco said.
Anti-Consumerism Week started with “Love is Anti-Capitalist,” a talk on how to avoid over-consumption, production of excess waste and ending the capitalist design that created modern society. Another event taught students how to make paper using recycled materials.
“I’m doing the 101 papermaking from scratch,” said sustainability coordinator Gabrielle Caron. “It’s basically reusing newspaper or printed paper that is no longer up to date, then we can just reuse it and create our own paper out of it.”
In the evening, Velasco hosted a workshop on how to make eight litres of cider for under $20.
“We worked with existing organizations on campus to have them co-facilitate workshops,” Velasco said. Some of the organizations included the Concordia Food Coalition, Sustainable Concordia, Concordia Safe Cosmetics and the Concordia Greenhouse. “By having students physically going up to the greenhouse, seeing the space [and] participating in the workshops, it makes it one step closer to getting involved in that organization,” Velasco said. Most of the workshops take place on the 7th floor of the Hall building, however the Indoor Growing 101, Dumpster Diving will be located elsewhere. “So we tied several organizations [together].”
“Some of the executives are going to be doing their own workshops, as well,” said Caron. “There’s also independant students outside of these organizations who have come forward [to share their expertise].”
Other events include volunteers at the greenhouse teaching how to grow microgreens indoors in all seasons, a farmers’ market on the Hall building mezzanine, and teaching cyclists on the structure of their bike and how to perform repairs.
Anti-Consumerism Week will conclude with an outing to the Jean-Talon Market to dumpster dive on Feb. 18. “We wanted to promote an alternative lifestyle where you’re not just mindlessly consuming [and] creating waste, you’re learning life skills to be more self-sufficient,” Voutou said. She mentioned that this week promotes self-sufficiency and throwing back traditional skills that have often been lost through time due to learning how to buy instead of make.
Anti-Consumerism Week takes place from February 15-19 with most of the events taking place in the CSU Lounge on the 7th floor of the Hall building. More information is available online on the CSU’s facebook page.