This week at SXSW, EKOCYCLE and Global Citizen are kicking off #ADayWithoutWaste sustainability awareness campaign. A photo booth and recycling center at the event will give attendees an opportunity to examine their consumption habits and then capture their commitment to taking more conscious steps to reduce waste. It's all in good fun and for a good cause. 

Join the Global Citizen Nights Concert for our big announcement kicking off the month-long program. The sustainability awareness campaign launches today, culminating in a day of collective action on April 9, 2014. The campaign is the next phase of the organizations’ partnership and shared commitment to sustainability. 

We caught up with Global Citizen co-founder and committed social activist Ryan Gall to hear his thoughts on sustainability, collective action and corporate responsibility. We're all in. Check it out and be sure to join us: www.adaywithoutwaste.org.



Global Citizen Festival

Q. Tell us a little about Global Citizen and what you hope to accomplish with it. 

A. We believe that Millennials are becoming more and more interested in the world around them and that many of them genuinely want to be a part of the solution to some of the world's greatest problems. But sometimes all of us need a little bit of a push to take action and some direction for those actions. By rewarding supporters who take certain social actions with access to amazing experiences like our Global Citizen Festivals and great concerts through the Global Citizen Tickets Initiative, Global Citizen provides both the incentive and the roadmap for young people to get involved with important social issues. Our goal is to catalyze a movement to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Q: Your 'A Day Without Waste Challenge' asks each of us to become aware of our wasteful habits. Is this what’s important about changing behaviors? Our awareness?

A: The idea behind a day without waste is to make us think, consciously, about what we consume and how we consume it. We're well aware of the consequences of our actions, but we want people to see there are simple acts we can each take to change our behaviors in the long-run.

Q: What do you think it will take to see true change come to our collective attitudes towards waste, consumption and recycling?

A: It will take a concerted, collective approach that involves everyone from politicians to business leaders to citizens. Will that be easy? No. But that isn't an excuse. We have the means and the will, we just need to connect them and act on it.  

Q: How do you see your global poverty campaign and recycling fitting together? Does waste disproportionately affect those in poverty?

A: Any way you look at it, we’re all in this together. So whether it’s food waste or plastic waste, how we live and the choices we make in our daily lives affects our fellow citizens across the world, with the poor and the most vulnerable the hardest hit.

Q: It’s interesting that you chose Coca-Cola as one of your early supporters for Global Citizen. Can you talk about why you felt they were a good fit?

A: We're proud to have had Coca-Cola as a partner of the Global Citizen Festival in New York in 2012 and 2013, and to be working with EKOCYCLE on A Day Without Waste. We believe that business has a vital role to play in creating a world without extreme poverty by 2030, and a world that is sustainable for our children, and our children's children. Getting to a circular economy with zero waste is a key step in that direction, and EKOCYCLE is leading the way in engaging consumers to start reducing their impact on the environment. 

Katelyn Carey is a Marketing Coordinator for the EKOCYCLE team at The Coca-Cola Company.