The Womadians

22:56, Mar 19 2012

This is a banded, colourful brand of people, who like dancing, eating ethnic food and recycling their trash.

The 30,000 festival-goers are so well-trained in the art of cleaning up after themselves that by the end of the three days of music, art and dance they know which slot to choose in the Zero Waste recycling stations dotted all over the festival site.

Yes, they can throw their rubbish away all by themselves, although there are volunteers on hand to help the bleary-eyed and uncertain.

Womadians are quick learners, who often become evangelistic about keeping the planet clean.

Many learn the basics from the Shell-sponsored Zero Waste project at Womad in New Plymouth, then go home with altered psychological behaviour to set up recycling stations in their own homes.

You will often find a Womadian has a dedicated recycling cupboard or shed, where there will be a covered bucket for organic waste to feed worm farms or the compost, and separate containers for paper and cardboard, glass, plastics and aluminium cans.

Even weirder, Womadians will find themselves mindfully picking up rubbish in parks, streets and other public places. This happy band of 30,000 suddenly realise that life can actually be like Womad and, if they treat their towns and cities like Brooklands Park, then the world will indeed be cleaner and greener. And so it is. Virginia Winder


Taranaki Daily News