FAMAE Community stories: Edeni, a new way to have positive impact.
Edeni was one project that caught our attention during our last challenge “Don’t trash your cash”. Discover this project with the words of it’s founder: Hélène De Vestele.
Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
My name is Hélène De Vestele, I’m 28 years old and all the waste (excluding compost and some recyclable wine bottles) that I generated in a year is in a jar of 1L. How? Simply by having learned to do better with less, and having studied for more than 5000 hours the connections between ecology, ethics and health to adapt our ways of life and production systems. Today I want to render, not only this knowledge, but especially the trust in our critical mind and our ideals, to as many as possible globally. We can deserve better than our deteriorating worlds.
Why did you become interested in waste?
I have never been particularly interested in waste, but they are unavoidable to me. Among our biggest challenges: the destruction of biodiversity, the scarcity of raw materials, waste management, climate change, and the decrease of our lifespan in good health … few of them are as tangible as the dustbin that we carry out every day. Our waste is the reflection, the incarnated symptom of poorly thought out value chains, of disregarded eco-systems, of not avoided mess.
Who likes rubbish? All our overconsumption is materialized in it, and the absurdity of lifestyles that poison us. How could a system get us consider it more complicated to rinse a spoon in stainless steel or bamboo than using a plastic spoon and throwing it away (after the oil extraction, the refining , the moulding, the oil pipeline transport, the cargo transport, the truck transport, the packaging, the storage, the sale, the transportation home, the use, the trash, the dustbin transport, the garbage truck transport, he sorting, the incineration or landfill or recycling, unavoidably partial or limited in time etc.) ?
After a business school, and a first experience of strategy consulting in Paris, I left France in 2015 to enroll the Ministry of Modernization in Argentina as a Smart Cities advisor. I left with only two suitcases of material possessions, and stayed ZeroWaste (zero garbage, zero waste) ever since. My daily life improved to such an extent (better health, better energy, better liveliness, better inner, more time and money, fruitful connections, etc.) that my professional and personal entourage started asking me for advice, the newspapers came to interview me … I then founded the association Edeni in parallel with my function, in order to spread this know-how, first in the slums of Buenos Aires, because everyone deserves to live better with less.
In 2016, I attended a conference organized by the G7 on environmental issues, during which hundreds of plastic bottles of water were distributed to attendees. I then realized that cognitive dissonance is a real obstacle to acting effectively in time. Thus Edeni became the purpose of my life, with the Zero Waste as the keystone of a coherent move to action.
Can you present your project in more detail?
After 5,000 hours of research in 150 families in more than 60 countries all over the world, after discussions with experts from all over the world, after more than one hundred presented lectures and monitored organizations, Edeni was born to provide a concrete solution to the lack of move to action in terms of ecological transition.
Our mission is to bring about a paradigm shift and push individuals to question their habits by relearning to make good use of their critical thinking. Using proven pedagogy, the results are tangible, at all levels: from the physical to the mental, while saving time and money!
Edeni is both a professional and a personal methodology, aiming to create a 100% positive impact without ignoring or isolating a problem from another. Our way to proceed focuses on trainings in companies or in our physical clubs. The Bootcamp Edeni, punctuated by DIY workshops and a rigorous research on ecology, health and ethics, addresses in a transversal way everything that relates to a sustainable life. The method was designed in even the tiniest features to have a significant, concrete and lasting impact in the personal and professional life of our participants by making them investigate the reasons and the means of their actions at all levels: in their grocery shopping, in their choice of prospects, in their clothing purchases, in their heating system, internet code, computer renewal, breathing and meditation …
For six weeks, every Tuesday evening, people looking for change meet experts and inspirational personalities to adopt a healthier and more environmentally friendly life. They learn how to apply in their personal and professional life their new knowledge about neuroscience or the principles of calculating full costs for example, as well as the weekly challenges.
How will it change the world?
Because as already Einstein said, no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. Edeni changes this level of consciousness in a global and sustainable way, one person at the time, then duplicates this impact exponentially with presentations in companies and by training trainers in order to accelerate these ambitious results: -70% of individual waste (the 560 kgs of annual waste) and -50% of industrial waste induced by our consumption (industries, clothing, catering, services, construction …) as well as a radically changed way of approaching other challenges (permaculture, finance, politics, industry ). We dare to embody our ideals and engage in battles that matter, yet are tiny enough to be won.
A simple action to reduce our amounts of waste in your opinion?
Bulk buying when shopping. If the product isn’t sold in bulk, there is a risk that it is neither healthy nor ecological nor ethical! ;)
What is the personality that inspires you and why?
Vandana Shiva because she is a truly coherent feminist and ecological activist.
** Our new challenge is open !! Apply to PRECIOUS WATER! challenge on https://famae.earth/fr/