Toolkit

How to organize a degrowth picnic in your community

6 June 2015

BASICS

CREATE A STEERING GROUP

They will be in charge of the coordination of picnic planning. It shouldn’t be too big, but some key roles must be carried out:

  • Contact with the City Mayor or other officials
  • Advertising: online, radio, television, local newspapers, etc.
  • Contact with partner organizations, artists, etc.
  • Responding by mail/telephone to enquiries from citizens, journalists, etc.
  • Basic organization during The Day (Contact with participants, preparing the venue, managing waste, cleanup, educational materials, entertainment/music (if any), advising International Picnic 4 Degrowth webmaster of information to be posted on that web site, etc.
  • LOCATE A LOCAL PLACE TO ORGANIZE THE PICNIC
    • You know your neighbourhood best. Try to be visible. Be sure to make it accessible by public transports.
  • OTHER OPTIONAL IDEAS
    • Street music events, activities for children (theatre, clowns, stories)
    • Invite local farmers and local shop owners or craft persons
    • Organize a degrowth contest. The winner gets a box of locally grown vegetables.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

  • START BY CONTACTING LOCAL PARTNERS
    • Citizens associations, activists, musicians, artists, friends, people around you
  • CONTACT LOCAL AUTHORITIES
    • We think it is better if you have the agreement from your City Mayor, Council or other officials to organize a picnic. They might even help you. You do not have to mention the degrowth or international side of it, that’s up to you. What is important is that they understand it is a bottom up citizens’ initiative to have a convivial meal in a public area, on a summer day. Politicians might like the idea actually.
  • ADVICE FOR CONTACTS WITH JOURNALISTS AND THE MEDIA
    • Use the lists of associations you know, to identify journalists interested in this kind of issue
    • Think outside the box. Alternative media are great supporters
    • If you do not have a list, look online for local media, main newspapers, community and neighbourhood newsletters and web sites.
    • Look for journalists who will be interested in the environment, consumption, local food, politics, etc.
    • Do not hesitate to phone or send faxes in addition to or instead of email
    • If there are several picnics in your town, try to coordinate them. It would make sense to coordinate communications for all of them as it will look better for media coverage. One single person should contact the press, explaining clearly where the several picnics will take place in your city.
  • LOGO
    • Feel free to copy the logo from this web site for flyers, posters or any other documents
  • ONLINE MAP
    • This can be a useful way to show this is an international event. Go to the map here and make sure you have a precise tag for your picnic – time, location, etc. If we don’t have an online tool to show you how to do this, send your information to the International Picnic 4 Degrowth webmaster and ask him to do it for you.

WE STRONGLY ADVISE YOU TO ASK PEOPLE

    • TO COOK FOR A MAXIMUM OF 1.5 or 2 PERSONS
      • This will drastically decrease the food waste. Communicate this very clearly because people will tend to bring more food that what will be needed.
    • TO BRING THEIR OWN DISHES, PLATES, GLASSES
      • This is part of the game, no waste in this area
    • TO COOK A DISH WITH LOCAL PRODUCTS as much as possible
    • TO BRING A RECIPE
      • So that people can share it and meet neighbours more easily
    • NOT TO COOK MEAT or at least REDUCE IT
      • If you don’t mind, communicate clearly to cook it fresh and carefully as well as reducing the quantity

       

    BUDGET

      • If you do not have a budget
        • Assess with your partners what are your resources (time, people, contacts, skills, etc.)
        • If you want to have it seated, then ask a few people living close to the venue to bring some tables and chairs. Or simply some tables to put dishes on for a buffet. A few tables will be very important.
      • If you have a small budget
        • Assess with your partners what are your resources
        • If required, then rent some tables, chairs, audio equipment, etc. – whatever you think might be needed and you can afford

         

    POSSIBLE PROBLEMS 

      • WHAT IF IT RAINS?
        • This could happen. Rain is part of nature and it’s great. (Think positively!) Each group should decide when to reschedule their picnic. What matters is that you meet your neighbours. The international side is for the fund and for the media. The local meeting is what matters, whatever the date. If you hold it at another time, try to have some information on the venue, clearly stating when and where it will take place in the future. Leave some contact information
      • HEALTH AND SECURITY PRECAUTIONS
        • As it will be a gather of people, something might happen. We never know. For this reason, we strongly suggest you get in touch with an organization in your local area which could intervene quickly in case someone gets sick or hurt (small children playing, older persons, etc.) Anticipating this could be helpful.
      • WHAT TO DO AFTER THE PICNIC
        • Each organizing team in their neighbourhood or city has to define this by themselves. This picnic might be the first public meeting about degrowth. The organization should try to set up a local Facebook group to communicate information in the future. Of course many people are not on Facebook so it will be important to get email addresses, phone numbers, etc. for those who do not have access to the Internet for one reason or another.

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