On Black Friday this year, ditch the long lines at big box stores and bring your friends and family together to share skills and create something special from old and reused items. It's not only a great way to do right by the planet, but it's also an opportunity to connect with people in your community. You'll be joining thousands around the world doing the same as part of Greenpeace's second annual "MAKE SMTHNG" Week. There are currently events planned in the United Kingdom, Germany, Thailand, and the United States. Whether you want to go all out and host an event for your entire city like ShareFest in Totnes, England, or keep it small and run a hands-on workshop like the Beeswax Reusable Cloth Food Wrap in Berkeley, California, this short how-to guide will help make sure your event is spectacular.
Before your event:
Step 1: Decide on the type of event you would like to host. You could teach others to make reusable tote bags from old shirts, create DIY beauty products without microplastics, make dolls or stuffed animals, host a repair cafe workshop, or a cooking class on using leftovers. These are only examples, the options are only limited by your imagination.
Step 2: Find a location. Check with your local community center or library. They may be able to rent out a space for free (or very cheap). Other possible options include: coworking spaces, schools, parks, public squares, or local coffee shops.
Step 3: Advertise your event. You can feel free to use the official MAKE SMTHNG Week branding and design templates. They are free and open source. Please make sure to follow the branding guidelines outlined below.
Step 4: Spread the word. You can advertise your event through word of mouth, social media, and posters and postcards to distribute in your neighborhood. Make sure to register your event on makeSMTHNG.org. You can send the link to people you want to invite. You could also create an event page on Facebook or Eventbrite.
Step 5: Organize the materials you'll need for your event. Get any supplies that you might need as early as possible and send a reminder to participants if they're bringing any materials.
Step 6: Take photos! In addition to having fun and teaching others new skills, you'll want to share your participation with the the world. Share your photos and videos on social media and use the following hashtags #MakeSmthng, #BuyNothing, #DisruptBlackFriday, #MakeChangeNow, and tag @makesmthng on Instagram. Encourage other participants to do the same.
Step 7: Request that participants sign in so they can stay updated on upcoming MAKE SMTHNG Week events. Remember, this is about creating a movement.
Step 8: Send thank you notes to all those who attended.
MAKE SMTHNG Week is open for anyone to organize an event, but we do ask you to keep the spirit of making something and follow these guidelines:
- #BuyNothing: MAKE SMTHNG Week activities are meant to showcase alternatives to buying new things. We kindly ask you not to sell products at the events. You may ask for donations from participants for things like food or space rental. However, there should be no profit-making from the events. If you have any questions about this, please reach out to Edyta at firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification.
- Please use second-hand materials as much as possible. If you need to buy new materials, please use non-toxic, ecologically and responsibly-made materials.
- Please stick to the principle of nonviolence during the activities. Please do not use the events to insult, harm, mock, or denounce anyone — keep it positive!
Shareable is proud to be an official partner for MAKE SMTHNG Week.
Photo Credit: © Zizis Giamalis/Greenpeace