It’s not about being a human being, but becoming a human doing. At this year’s Zambia Festival of Action, budding student leaders from across the globe have come together to participate in Greenpop’s ACTIVATE programme, where sustainability isn’t just talked about but acted upon. Students from South Africa, The United States, Japan, Tanzania, as well as 6 bright Unicef Climate Ambassadors from different parts of Zambia (sponsored by our great friends at JUMO) joined us at this year’s Festival.

This unique service-learning experience allowed everyone to get their hands dirty (figuratively and quite literally) planting trees, painting murals, upcycling, and so much more. Diverse backgrounds and shared passions for a greener future led to vibrant conversations around the campfire as students took home tangible tips on how young people like themselves can begin to change their world. Here are 10 #ProTips from some amazing young people who are keen on making a difference and empowering others to do the same!


1. “Try to bring a fun element into to sustainability! When I go home, I want to show people at my school that recycling doesn’t have to be boring and create a bigger interest in it.” Chloe, South Africa


2. “Don’t accept things. People my age are just like, ‘The world is ending, there is nothing we can do!’ But you can’t really think like that because the world will definitely end up that way if that’s how you think. We must question, be active, and not accept and be okay with the things that aren’t.” Nina, South Africa


3. “Change your mindset, look at things from a different point of view and don’t be so close-minded to other points of view. Be open to new cultures and different backgrounds, even if you’re not comfortable in it, it’s better to partake in a different activity and to learn from it.” Cambridge, USA


4. “Try and eat less meat! I had never been a big fan of vegetarian style dishes before the Festival, but now I see you can make the meals very nice.” Meghan, South Africa



5. “Use Ecobricks to get rid of all the waste you aren’t able to recycle.” Jillian, South Africa”


6. “Be aware of what is going on around you and try to face issues in your community head on.” Yejin, South Africa


7. “Upcycle! Because recycling uses more water than upcycling.” Mikka, South Africa


8. “A great recycling tip is to always cut the loop on recycled packaging so it’s safer for aquatic animals if it ends up in the ocean. I will also never use a straw again after learning about how wasteful they are!” Camilla, South Africa


9. “Participate in tree planting! The parable says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now” I would encourage everyone to go plant one.” Bennett, Zambia



10. “If you are passionate about what you want to change in this world and your community, than do it! Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful tool we can use to change the world” If you have the information of what you want to change, go for it, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” Luckson, Zambia

Compilled by Chrissy Beluk
Photos by Lee-Ann Olwage Photography