European Mobility Week
On Sunday 17 September, we took our cargo bike to Siggiewi, where together with other organisations we participated in European Mobility Week activities on the village square. It was a beautiful quiet morning to ride through the streets of Hamrun and Qormi, the valley to Zebbug and finally onwards to Siggiewi. At the square, Dawra Madwarna, a collective promoting better urban planning and public spaces for play and connection, and Project Aegle Foundation (PAF), an NGO promoting sustainable mobility and active travel to schools, had set up an area with activities for children. Our cargo bike was the star of the show, with kids excited to ride around the square in the seats of the bike, which has a cushion and seatbelts to comfortably and safely transport two children. We were happy to spread the joy of cycling and inspire families to think about a greener alternative for the ‘school run’!
On Sunday 24 September, we had the pleasure of collaborating with 10 Maltese environmental NGOs and 7 student organizations at the Vuċi Kollettiva Environmental Festival in Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta. It was an exciting opportunity for us to participate in such an inspiring event where we could showcase our main activities and campaigns, as well as educate citizens on the issues we are addressing.
One of the highlights was our climate campaign and the Fossil Free Malta report we recently published, and we received significant interest from attendees who inquired about the cargo bike, how to operate it and its purpose. We also distributed informative materials and announced two upcoming events: our Bike About cycling training sessions and a screening of the documentary “The Story of Plastic”.
Science in the city
Answering from the environmental perspective to call on changemakers, we organized various activities under the slogan ‘Bee a Changemaker’ at the Science in the city festival on Friday 29 September. This year we focused on sustainable agriculture, a healthy food system, and the importance of bees and other pollinators. Here are some results of this fantastic evening:
- We created 25+ seed-bombs with 5 types of bee friendly seeds were made to please pollinators,
- We raised awareness about the 10 different types of most common bees for Malta were identified (with the help of our Bee Cause materials), just a fraction of the 100+ bee species that can be found in Malta (!).
- During 5 hours participants were able to learn the signs for 25 different Maltese flora via the video clips from our ‘PANCAKE’ project: Plants and Nature Conveying Augmented Knowledge for Everyone, developed in collaboration with the Maltese Deaf Community.
- 31 fruits and veggies were placed on the right month when it is in season, engaging and educating visitors about local seasonal food.
- We also played our Jenga Food system game, to learn about the invaluable and intricate components of our food system, from farmers and seeds to healthy soils, which was rebuilt after each crash because every component matters.
We brought all these resources and games to the festival by our cargo bike.
Orange Bike Ride
Another Sunday, another fun day! We joined the 5th edition of the ‘Orange Bike Ride’, organised by bicycle advocacy group Rota and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Malta. We brought our cargo bike and carried a speaker inside, to spread music and joy throughout the bike ride. Over 170 cyclists joined the ride from Ta’Xbiex to Valletta and back, via roads through Msida, Hamrun, Floriana and Marsa. The orange flood amazed passer-bys and showed what a more cycle-friendly road could look like. As Friends of the Earth Malta, we are teaching other people how to cycle through our Bike About project and have campaigned for better infrastructure for active travel and improved road safety, through our ‘People over Petrol’ actions. We were inspired and invigorated by this exciting event, and look forward to see the promised investment in a cycling network for Malta, with phase 1 supposedly starting next year in the area around Valletta, Floriana and Msida, to enable many more people to opt for cycling, a healthy and environmentally friendly transport choice!