Time to focus on our nature, our planet!
HAPPY WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY!
Today, we celebrate and spotlight our environment! Why? Because the environment provides all of us with the vital human demands demonstrating the interdependence of humans and nature. Today, we should be reminded to treat the environment like we want to be treated – like a very close friend.
On this special day we would like to inspire you by showing what we and some friends from the table tennis family have done in the past and are currently doing to promote and support environmental action!
Table Building Course to address environmental issues
With our TT4ALL project Table Building Course and the help of our project partner Ping Sans Frontières we are working on an educational course to build self-made table tennis tables. What does it have to do with pressing environmental issues? By building tables in one’s community, it enables the reduction of transportation in terms worldwide shipment and its accompanying reduced costs and almost neutral ecological print. Furthermore, we aim to bring self-sustainability to the users and to provide a potential source of their own income.
“The environment is one of the most crucial topics these days. We benefit from what nature gives us and everything existing is connected in the webs of life. Therefore, it is important that the table tennis family and we, the ITTF Foundation, need to focus our efforts on stop pushing nature beyond its limits. Besides the Table Building Course, we are currently working on improving our TT Legacy programme as we see it as our responsibility to use table tennis as a vehicle for environmental change, too, and provide reliable and effective guidance in this area. The ITTF is also taking this topic very seriously. For this reason, the Sustainability Committee has been created. Together we can move the table tennis community towards a sustainable and environment-friendly lifestyle.” Leandro Olvech, ITTF Foundation Director
Table tennis events taking care of the environment
At the World Table Tennis Championships 2018 in Halmstad, SWEDEN, we announced the establishment of the ITTF Foundation and distributed a souvenir at a cocktail reception: In plenty little wooden boxes with written instructions we inserted a very special spruce, which is one of the world’s oldest known living trees stating “Let’s make a change and grow together!”.
“The table tennis family is starting to look at its footprint and through the TT Legacy programme we are gradually taking steps towards sustainability. We are currently in the evidence gathering and research stages, but I am optimistic about the sustainable initiatives we will generate in the coming years.” Karine Teow, ITTF Foundation Field Projects Manager in charge of TT Legacy
Table tennis is a universal tool to teach positive values and behaviours that can contribute to build or change the character of individuals. Regarding our friend the environment, it is urgent and existential to stop mistreating it! A way of enhancing a positive impact on the local environment preservation is to plant plants during different types of table tennis games, as the organisers of a World Table Tennis Day 2016 event in Nairobi, KENYA did. They planted a total of 200 trees showcasing that table tennis takes care of the environment.
Another example shows how table tennis and table tennis events can raise the awareness of treating our planet carefully: The organisers of a WTTD 2017 event at the beach of Santa Marta, COLOMBIA simply played table tennis next to a sign saying “Let’s take care of our planet”. Even this kind of a small public awareness campaign offers the opportunity to share information including sustainable development and eco-friendly lifestyles.
Check out our WTTD newsletters to read more about how to use table tennis to make a change and to be more aware of and respect our environment – as you remember: TT4Environment has been our motto for the 2020 WTTD celebrations, if Covid-19 would not have happened…
On April 22, we celebrated the International Mother Earth Day and promoted harmony with the earth through an example of waste management in Kenya. To leave an environmental legacy for our planet in their community Kibera Slums, they decided to mobilise youth groups and other volunteers on a regular basis to e.g. collect garbage, clean playgrounds, and supply bags for home garbage collection.
In times of the whole world facing the Covid-19 pandemic a similar global environmental hazard is rising: Plastic pollution due to many littered, discarded face masks and gloves everywhere. Keep in mind to stay safe and protected, but also to stay mindful!
Therefore, we are kindly asking you to not only share these thoughts, but to act on it even step by step starting with the safe disposal of used masks and gloves or just switching to washable face masks, which can be used multiple times!