The Marche de l’espoir, an environmentally responsible event

Every year, Terre des Hommes Suisse puts a lot of effort into making sure the event is environmentally responsible:

  • All of the food products and meals are local and/or from organic farming and/or fair trade.  Vegetarian meals are offered. Local and seasonal products are privileged.
  • The event’s infrastructures and decorations are decided upon through choices that are coherent and respectful of the environment (mutualisation, FSC materials, recycled and biodegradable).
  • All of the crockery is 100% biodegradable and the cups require a deposit (making them re-usable). This drastically reduces the amount of incinerated rubbish. Overwrapping is prohibited. Sorting waste is encouraged throughout the day and the public space is cleaned straight away at the end of the event.
  • To maximise the consumption of water, throughout the year and especially during the Marche de l’espoir, we make sure the minimum amount of water is wasted and we preserve water by using cleaning products with eco labels. We also propose dry toilets along the course.
  • This event is powered by Electricité Vitale Vert and the event’s consumption is managed to avoid surplus. 
  • To avoid using PET bottles, several water fountains ‘Eau de Genève’ are installed along the course, in partnership with SIG.
  • The event’s location is easily accessible with public transport. We encourage soft mobility amongst our staff as well as the public. 
  • All communication linked to the Marche de l’espoir is done on recycled paper, and preferentially unbleached or bleached with non-toxic products. The use of electronic mail is privileged throughout the event’s organisation. 
  • etc.
There remains a more delicate subject: the release of balloons. Since the first edition, the start of the March has been accompanied by a balloon release. 
However, after much thought, we decided to not proceed with the traditional balloon release as of this 27th edition (2018). 
Although the balloons used in recent years meet the most stringent criteria (natural latex balloons, cardboard paper ties and biodegradable twines), this solution still has a very significant environmental impact that does not correspond to our ecological values. Despite the biodegradable term, balloons take more than 5 years to decompose, leaving plastic fragments in the soil and water that can be ingested by animals that eventually die. 
Concerned about the legacy we will leave to children here and elsewhere, and driven by the desire to give them the opportunity to build a better world, this decision seems to us to be the right one today. 
Our teams are currently working to identify such symbolic alternatives for children's celebration and participation, which we hope you will enjoy just as much.
We are aware that this decision will disappoint a number of you, but the most beautiful symbol and gesture of solidarity you can make is to come and participate in the March of Hope.
We are already looking forward to meeting you on Sunday, October 14, for this beautiful event, the March of Hope, which will support our projects in favour of children's rights and solidarity development in Peru.