“We make efforts, but we remain bad students”. Adrien “ZeratoR” Nougaret, head of the charity event Z Event, admits it. Bringing together more than a hundred people for a weekend behind computers or control rooms is not insignificant from an ecological point of view. High energy consumption, permanent use of servers, production of waste, travel… such an event pollutes. But the objective of the Z Event is not necessarily to dictate the course to follow: “We are not here to do moralizing acts, the goal is above all to send a message”. And yet, this large family of videographers, which has already collected 10 million euros last year, is trying to limit its footprint.
“We are aware that we are not green, but each at our level we have all tried to make an effort”, confides ZeratoR to the Digital. Because if the eyes of the spectators are riveted on the fifty streamers, it is a real anthill which is activated behind the scenes so that the event takes place without a hitch. From the means of transport to reach the Hérault to the disposal of post-event waste, each link in the chain has been designed to be in line with the ecological values promoted this year. The event taking place in Montpellier, many videographers had to make a long trip, and each of them will go there by train or bus. The same goes for the technical teams: “We do it very often, but this year we really paid attention to carpooling, normally nobody is alone in the car”, explains ZeratoR.
The streams aimed at collecting donations begin on Friday evening, but a concert is also organized the day before, at the Zénith in Montpellier, its proceeds being donated to the same associations. Although it is not the responsibility of the organization of the Z Event, the concert hall is also, we are told, supplied with green energy. Once the serious stuff begins for Zerator, Ultia and the others, the efforts don’t stop. Place cards, for example, are made of plantable cardboard – made up of seeds capable of growing once in the ground –, while some decorations are reusable. “With the Z Event, I even learned that some wooden decorations pollute more than others”, explained ZeratoR recently in one of his streams. “Apart from a tarp with the name Z Event on it, absolutely everything used during the event will be reused, even the confetti!”, specifies the streamer to the Digital.
We are not here to do moralizing acts, the goal is above all to send a message
Such an appointment also requires well-honed logistics, starting with feeding all those hungry mouths. “80% of our food comes from the short circuit, it is difficult to set up but it is our cook who also wanted to make this effort”, Zerator tells us. We must also hydrate these 50 videographers: “If a normal human drinks between 2 to 3 liters a day, for a streamer we are more around 10. This is normal when we talk all day, especially in a room full of people. That’s why we installed water fountains everywhere and provided water bottles to everyone, so there are no more plastic bottles.”. The end of the food chain has also been thought of: “We work with the company Composteros, which has made compost available to recycle as much of the waste produced throughout the weekend as possible.”, explains Adrien Nougaret.
The goal is not to say “look, we replaced the plastic stirrers with pieces of wood”, but to mobilize for a whole weekend to try to raise awareness as many people as possible.
If many efforts are made by the organization to limit the ecological impact of the weekend as much as possible, a good number of streamers also feel concerned. In order to motivate donors and create new content, the videographers organize donation goals. “Everyone is free to do what they want, there are no special things prepared in advance”, emphasizes ZeratoR. Each streamer has established challenges to complete when a specific donation amount is reached on their streams. And this year, a number of them have decided to carry out ecological challenges: “Very often it is clean walks that will be organized, I myself will do one”, explains Adrien Nougaret. “Not everyone has a donation goal related to ecology. But I know a streamer said he’d quit soda because it’s an environmental disaster. Another meat-loving streamer offered the challenge to eat vegan for a week because he is aware of the environmental impact of the meat industry. I also have other streamers who asked me if afterwards they could organize things with the different associations.”
Indeed, for the first time this year, all donations will not be donated to a single association, but to five, chosen by Internet users. Following a controversy surrounding the Good Planet association, notably accused of green-washing, and its withdrawal from the event, ZeratoR compiled a list of several associations, leaving it up to Internet users to select those that would become beneficiaries. The Sea Cleaners, WWF, Time for the Planet, LPO and Sea Sheperd were then chosen, making it possible to represent different areas of ecological action, from the protection of terrestrial fauna to that of the oceans. Thus, like every year, ZeratoR will receive throughout the weekend the various representatives of each association for an interview. The goal is to talk about the association, its actions and the projects in which the money will be invested; the presence of a cat live also allows for more direct interaction with the audience. But this does not end here : “Once the Z Event is over, we will continue to follow the associations and make videos with them to concretely see their work in the field.”, specifies ZeratoR. This was already the case last year with Action against Hunger, which took the videographer to the Central African Republic, a country that received around 1.5 million euros from the total kitty.
“The goal is not to say “look, we have replaced the plastic stirrers with pieces of wood”, but to mobilize for a whole weekend to try to raise awareness as many people as possible.”. And when we look at the impressive numbers from the previous year, we can only hope for such an impact in 2022. A peak of more than one million cumulative spectators was recorded at the end of the event. The Z Event 2021 also collected a total of €10,064,480, by combining donations and sales, during 55 hours of streaming. The charity event explodes its record every year, hoping that it continues its momentum during this edition.