Cannes Lions



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We taught a country how to recycle in a single day.

EARTH University is located in Costa Rica; a country that has a vocation for ecology, but unfortunately has a big problem: garbage. EARTH University, a well known leading institution in environmental waste management, wanted to teach Costa Rica how to recycle.We found a unique opportunity to do it: The Romería, an event that is held every August 2nd, where more than 2m people (almost half of the population) walk from all over the country to Virgin de los Angeles Basilica to 'pay' Virgin de Los Angeles, for those promises made in exchange for a miracle.

Our great idea was using the largest multitudinous event in the country to educate Costa Ricans regarding waste management. We decided to turn the Romería into the EcoRomería. In addition to their personal promise, pilgrims would embrace a shared promise: recycling. We joined the four main forces that bring the country together: the Government, Universities, NGOs, the Church, and private companies.

We included an educational campaign, the support from mass media, a network of volunteers, and we installed classifying containers every 300 metres for all pilgrims to be able to recycle.With a cost of $0 for EARTH University, we generated $300,000 in publicity and a message that reached 76% of the population.Waste was reduced in 96% compared to last year, and EARTH strengthened its positioning as one of the most admired organisations in Costa Rica.


We turned into a shared project. We joined the 4 main forces that bring the country together:- Government: Laura Chinchilla, President of the Republic, the Ministry of Environment, Energy, and Technology, Regulatory Commission on Massive Events, the Ministry of Health, Highway Patrols, Police Force, and Local Governments;- Universities and NGOs: To help teach the population how to recycle; - Catholic Church: It is the most significant event for Catholic Church, its support was vital;- Private companies: Fundraising to finance the campaign.

• We made the country talk about recycling by launching an awareness campaign;• On the Romería day, pilgrims could find classifying containers every 300 metres, as well as an 'army' of volunteers willing to teach them how to classify waste; • A Recycling Practice Exhibition Center was installed at the Tres Ríos Park, which has become a 'mandatory' stop for pilgrims to rest in the middle of the journey.


• More than 2,000 volunteers teaching Costar Rica how to recycle;• $300,000 in publicity;• The message reached 3.4m people – in a country with 4.5 million inhabitants - this is 76% of the population;• 76,000 kilograms of waste in 2010 significantly dropped to 2,500 kilograms in 2011, which represents a waste reduction of more than 96%;• Pilgrims learned how to efficiently classify 82% of waste;• $0 investment from the client;• EARTH strengthened its positioning as one of the most admired organisations in Costa Rica.

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