Alternatiba, A life changing experience – Amalen

On the first weekend of COP21, 4th-6th of December 2015, the Alternatiba was held in a small suburb on the outskirts of Paris. The Alternatiba is a parallel event that runs alongside COP for the past few years that highlights and showcases alternative living practices. This year they revolved around 5 main themes with an additional 4 smaller themes.

The main 5 were :

  • Agriculture- which was mainly a small amount of exhibits which then lead to a huge farmers market come educational grocers that not only sold their alternatively made produce but also had educational information on the processes used and the way they make their business sustainable.
  • Climate and energy – which focused on new energy practices and renewable energies that can be easily accessed to assist us in daily life such as efficient and cheap solar cookers and self produced energy via dynamo systems.
  • Mobilisations – which highlighted the actions and campaigns being run throughout the world on sustainable living and alternative sustainable lifestyles
  • Eco-housing- which focused a lot around hemp style production and utilization for insulation systems as well as building blocks.
  • Education- which was mostly focused on educating tools and styles to be used to educate primarily younger children and how to nurture this responsibility of the environment into them.

There was so much passion and love in the eyes of all the people there. They knew so well what they wanted and what they were fighting for. They were fighting for a better tomorrow and they had found an awesome alternative to it. It truly was inspiring to be around all these amazing people.

Seeing this and whilst I was seated on the side of the road listening to a random group of Accordion players play a medley of songs whist the sun set really brought out something completely different and new in me. I had this strange feeling and it felt like an epiphany moment. I started to feel like I could be doing so much more but I don’t. I now started to understand that I can’t do it all, over the first week of COP I’ve learnt that, I’ve started to understand my place in the big picture of this climate change movement, actions and I understand I need to focus on it. However, I do feel that I need to do more in this field of focus that I have discovered. I feel maybe hey I’ve just found my focus maybe I should cut myself some slack, don’t be so tough on yourself so fast.

Moving  forward from this, I know who I am in this movement, I know what I need to accomplish and how far I can go. I want to make more positive change back in my country, I want to learn as much as I can in cop and take that back and find people who are willing to take action with me and bring our social and environmental issues up to a bigger platform so that we can be heard and hopefully make a difference.

However said, in Malaysia, from my experience, yes people get involved and people want change but I feel one reason things don’t go anywhere with actions and campaigns in Malaysia is because we lack love, we lack that passion for what we fight for. This is something very clear in the French, when they have a cause to fight for , they are embodied with love and passion. That is, to me, what makes them strong and noticed. Maybe that’s why  the French Revolution is still talked about till today.

Beer made in an environmentally friendly way

Beer made in an environmentally friendly way

Beer made in an environmentally friendly way

Beer made in an environmentally friendly way

The crowd is massive

The crowd is massive

The crowd is massive

The crowd is massive

The things you can make out of hemp and clay

The things you can make out of hemp and clay

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Are those tyres?

Are those tyres?

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Interactive speaker bag packs.

Interactive speaker bag packs.

Lets get your opinion in a different way.

Lets get your opinion in a different way.

Listen in and talk about it.

Listen in and talk about it.

Actions going on throughout Alternatiba

Actions going on throughout Alternatiba

Actions going on throughout Alternatiba

Actions going on throughout Alternatiba

Actions going on throughout Alternatiba

Actions going on throughout Alternatiba

Actions going on throughout Alternatiba

Actions going on throughout Alternatiba

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Information everywhere

Information everywhere

The services they have, local and helpful

The services they have, local and helpful

A different way to build a toilet

A different way to build a toilet

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Slam poetry bringing some edge

Slam poetry bringing some edge

Interactive exhibits

Interactive exhibits

Cool new devices and machines

Cool new devices and machines

Cool new devices and machines

Cool new devices and machines

Cool new devices and machines

Cool new devices and machines

Information is everywhere

Information is everywhere

Information is everywhere

Information is everywhere

New age Solar Cooker

New age Solar Cooker

One of the many different projects here at Alternatiba

One of the many different projects here at Alternatiba

Crowd at the agriculture area of Alternatiba

Crowd at the agriculture area of Alternatiba

Delicious food made using alternative sustainable processes

Delicious food made using alternative sustainable processes

Delicious food made using alternative sustainable processes

Delicious food made using alternative sustainable processes

Delicious food made using alternative sustainable processes

Delicious food made using alternative sustainable processes

Delicious food made using alternative sustainable processes

Delicious food made using alternative sustainable processes

crowd at the food market area selling all sorts of delicious goodies

crowd at the food market area selling all sorts of delicious goodies

crowd at the food market area selling all sorts of delicious goodies

crowd at the food market area selling all sorts of delicious goodies

fun childrens informative games

fun childrens informative games

agriculture exhibit area

agriculture exhibit area

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Interesting performance and interactive talk using rubbish

Interesting performance and interactive talk using rubbish

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