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Tuesday, August 07, 2007



Rio de Janeiro – The "Marvelous City" was host to one of the LIVE EARTH shows, a worldwide event with the objective of calling the world’s attention to environmental concerns, with special focus on global warming. Surfrider Foundation Brazil was invited by the direction of LIVE EARTH to participate in the event on Copacabana Beach.

A large recruitment, training and coordination scheme was put together for approximately 350 volunteers with enlistment being made through the official LIVE EARTH website. Surfrider tents were mounted on the sand of Copacabana Beach to receive and sign up the volunteers as well as giving general support for the activity.

The main environmental objective of SRF’s participation was to greatly minimize the disposal of rubbish on the sand during the event illustrating to the public that it is possible recycle and reutilize the great majority of waste generated by the event.

Also participating in the event were FEBRACOM (Recycling Cooperative Federation) and COMLURB (Municipal Waste Collection Agency) who collected, separated and later sent to recycling industries the solid waste generated by the event. Coordination of the process was by Seven Star, an American company specialized in environmental administration of events.

The action began at 10:00 in the morning with all of the Surfrider volunteers gathered at the main Surfrider base, where they received training, discourse given by the Surfrider coordinators and the plastic bags, bandanas and official LIVE EARTH T-Shirts where given out.

Immediately after this training and distribution of material the 350 volunteers gathered on the beach, all holding hands in the formation of a giant SOS which could be clearly seen from on top of the tall beach side buildings. “We are going to send a message. A giant message - Send an SOS to the World”, commented Glenn Suba, one of the SRF coordinators who put together the message.

The educational activities approaching the public began around 12:00 at the principal access points to the show. Volunteers handed out biodegradable plastic bags, explaining to the public and street sellers about the problems caused by accumulation of rubbish on the beach and the necessity that we recycle. The distribution of these bags was a solution to the fact that it is difficult and risky to spread rubbish bins throughout a packed half million audience therefore the idea was that each person takes care of his own and drop it off at one of the many clearly visible recycling points spread throughout the event area.

Some of the volunteers also carried signs with high impact educative phrases such as “Just leave your footprints on the beach” and “Remember, today is show tomorrow is beach” among others. Another activity was created by the Ad Agency Script, partner of Surfrider, a three meter high sign with a red mark indicating where the sea level could be in the future with the following phrase -“In a few years sea level could be at this point. Help us fight Global Warming“.

In the VIP area a Surfrider poster was distributed to the guests with the “Stupid Cycle” campaign and printed on the back was a translated and contextualized version of the LIVE EARTH consumption habit changes that each and every one of us can and should do. The art was created by Script an advertising agency and partner of Surfrider Brasil.

The enthusiasm of the volunteers was infectious and a large march was organized on the spur of the moment when the show began, down the Copacabana board walk through the crowd, signs held high, dancing and cheering, attracting a lot of attention, snaking through the packed audience to the front and into the reserved area in front of the stage. Then in Indian file passed with 15-20 signs facing the crowd from one side of the show to the other, provoking a massive cheer and ovation of approval.

What we saw at LIVE EARTH was not just a collection of national and international pop music stars, united toward a noble cause, we also witnessed the force that each of them have in mobilizing, educating and sending the message to the world, that the planet really needs help, needs attitude and the commitment of everyone.

This event served as an important warning for us to re-evaluate our relationship with the planet. That we need to change, now!!!

Watch the video of Surfrider’s participation at Live Earth.


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