My Consumption, My Responsibility: a practical workshop at Solawi MA-Süd for an eco-responsible lifestyle

My Consumption, My Responsibility: a practical workshop at Solawi MA-Süd for an eco-responsible lifestyle

On the 1st of June 2024, MeineWelt e.V. organized a practical workshop entitled « Mein Konsum, meine Verantwortung: Weltbauerntag praktisch erleben » at the Solidarische Landwirtschaft Mannheim-Süd. The workshop, held from 10am to 12pm, offered around 15 participants a unique opportunity to learn about sustainable gardening practices and explore their role as responsible consumers. This practical workshop was organized as part of the UNITERRA project, funded by Brot für die Welt, with the collaboration of the Black Academy, Eine-Welt-Forum Mannheim e.V., the Solidarische Landwirtschaft Mannheim-Süd, PLACE for Africa and PLACE e.V. This synergy between the organizations helped to strengthen efforts to promote a sustainable and eco-responsible lifestyle within the community.

An introduction to sustainability

The workshop began with a presentation on the history of Solawi MA-Süd, before focusing on the fundamental principles of sustainability and solidarity farming. Michael Scherer, a specialist in the field, led the session, highlighting the importance of rethinking our consumption in order to protect the environment and promote sustainable farming practices. He led this enriching visit, sharing practical advice and valuable knowledge on how to live more responsibly and in harmony with the environment. He explained how farming practices can be adjusted to minimize environmental impact while maximizing the production of healthy, local food.

Sustainable gardening practices

During the guided tour of the Solawi MA-Süd farm, our host shared essential techniques for cultivating a family garden in a sustainable way. Participants had the opportunity to discover the different sections of the Solawi MA-Süd farm: in particular the livestock section and the legume and fruit growing section. Participants learned about methods such as composting, crop rotation and the use of companion plants to improve soil health and boost yields without resorting to harmful chemicals. Birgit, a gardener from the farm, also presented her work as a gardener. Afterwards, she demonstrated how to start a small family garden, making gardening accessible even to beginners. The rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the very active participants during the visit to the farm. 

Active engagement and knowledge sharing 

One of the highlights of the workshop was the active involvement of the participants. Everyone was able to ask questions, share their experiences and get personalised answers from Michael and Birgit. This interaction enriched the learning experience, enabling everyone to take away practical knowledge that they could apply in their own lives. This involvement and interaction of the participants created a collaborative and enriching atmosphere, where everyone was able to gain new knowledge and ideas from each other to improve their lifestyles.

A step towards sustainable and responsible living

One of the key objectives of the workshop was to raise participants’ awareness of their responsibility as consumers. The discussions during the workshop encouraged everyone to think about the impact of their daily choices and to adopt more sustainable habits. The workshop also highlighted the importance of responsible consumption. Michael Scherer showed how even simple actions, such as growing your own natural vegetables or supporting local agriculture, can contribute to a greener future.

However, as a farm committed to natural production, the Solawi MA-Süd team faces a number of challenges:  

  • insufficient arable land, 
  • access to water for plant irrigation, 
  • attacks by caterpillar pests of vegetables,  
  • the obstruction of an adjoining plot inaccessible to the Solawi Süd-MA team, which increases work effort and resources
  • insufficient investment to make the farm profitable;
  • the non-evolution of the membership… etc. 

A number of possible solutions to these challenges were discussed with the participants. Increasing the farm’s membership is one of the key solutions for increasing the resources the farm needs to expand its activities. 

With the support of community partners, the workshop was a great success, providing participants with practical tools and knowledge to become agents of change. Positive feedback from participants shows a strong interest in similar initiatives, underlining the growing need for sustainable solutions and environmental awareness. 

We hope to continue organising events that inspire and educate, helping everyone to take concrete steps towards a lifestyle that is more respectful of our planet. For more information about upcoming UNITERRA workshops and activities, please contact MeineWelt e.V. or the Black Academy team at Together, we can build a more sustainable future.

by: Abdoul Boukari