Opening weekend at ChubMet a green success!

When PFC partnered with ChubMet Music and Arts Festival, we were excited to make the first step on this journey, but we were also setting realistic expectations. Why?

 

  1. This is the first event in Siem Reap to partner with a green organisation and try to create awareness
  2. Festivals tend to be… well, a mess!
  3. We are a very small organisation that relies on volunteers.

Expectations were surpassed by miles! On the opening night we expected around 10 volunteers to join our team, thanks to an amazing young woman named Kim Ann from PEPY. We couldn’t believe our eyes when 25 incredible volunteers fronted up to support the event. It was a long night, we were all tired and hungry but they paraded the street in Kandal Village until every last piece of rubbish had been binned – better yet, the volunteers emptied out the (fantastic, biodegradable, cassava bags from Cleanbodia) so they could reuse them over and over throughout the night!

The crowd were also great and they mainly took just one cup from the drink vendors and got it refilled throughout the night! Easy and effective! Here’s looking at you Vin!

At the end of the night the volunteers all said goodbye and “see you tomorrow!”.

Round 2 – Giant Puppet Parade Music Stage in the Raffles Gardens.

Our incredible volunteers returned! Plus another troupe from the Ecole Paul Dubrule plus some extra from Plastic Free Cambodia – this time, we were 40 in all!

Anyone who’s been around a major event in Siem Reap (or Cambodia for that matter) knows what the place normally looks like at the end. Before the crowds even arrived our ‘green army’ swept around the gardens and did a very thorough pre-clean. We were ready!

What we really noticed as well is that in the presence of a rubbish bin, most people used the bin and not the ground – well done party-people!

Half way through the event we all stopped for some snacks – all bought and prepared using no single-use plastic! We had a visit from the wonderful director and education manager of Ecole Paul DuBrule and we even had a bit of a dance (who wouldn’t to Kmeng Khmer?!).

Back to work and it was clear to see what a big difference these tireless volunteers made. The ground was clean, we had sorted the rubbish to keep cans and bottles aside for recycling and again, reused the cassava bags to the maximum efficiency!

Another brilliant touch was that the fabulous people at the Giant Puppet Project had supplied all 500 ‘paraders’ with a reusable drink flask, thanks to the Refill not Landfill project. They ensured that people could get a drink refill, thus staying hydrated and not using any plastic!

Finally, when we were packed up and ready to head off, our volunteer Jimmy, came running back over! “I just saw Alex, from ChubMet, he says ‘thank you so much, this is great’”. What excellent feedback and a great way to finish an excellent event.

Huge thanks and well done to everyone involved, this was a really big step for festivals and Siem Reap.

 

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