BIG CLEANUP HAS STARTED MARKING THE PATH TO GREENER LATVIA
Waiting for the Big Cleanup on Saturday, May 16, today in Ķīpsala, in the territory of RTU, the organizers of the Big Cleanup together with friends and supporters erected a road post provided by the association “1836”, which is one of the 140 road posts to mark the road around Latvia. Those present were also introduced to the cleanup process planned for this year. During the event, the winner of the Idea Cleanup competition – Agnese Ulmane – received her price for her idea on how to reduce urban air pollution.
The event was attended by the team of organizers of the Big Cleanup, including the head of the Big Cleanup Vita Jaunzeme, Chairman of the Association of the Latvian Local Governments Gints Kaminskis, “Latvijas valsts meži” communications specialist Anda Sproģe-Vāveve, “Mežpils alus” Head of Marketing Inga Berkoviča, RTU financial Prorector Ingus Eriņš, as well as the head of the association “1836” Enriko Podnieks.
This year marks the 13th anniversary of the Big Cleanup and, regardless of the emergency situation declared in the country, the number of people who have applied for the cleanup has been impressive. To date, 570 cleanup locations have been announced, as well as 90 solo cleanups. In 451 locations of those announced, people will collect waste and in 223 locations landscaping works will take place. “This shows that we are able to maintain our optimism even in these circumstances. I am very glad that people show their eagerness and readiness to go in nature and clean up their surroundings. Latvia is the only country that is ready to take care not only of its health, but also of the environment during this emergency situation. It is this attitude that we can call a true understanding of sustainability,” says Vita Jaunzeme, the head of “Big Cleanup”.
Gints Kaminskis, chairman of the Association of Latvian Local Governments: “In Latvia we can be proud of the fact that the tradition of working together and cleaning up public places is possible also this year. Despite the challenges, everyone can be responsible and this year participate in the cleanup alone, in pairs or with their family, while respecting the restrictions set by the government to protect their own health and that of other people. The Association of Latvian Local Governments supports the Big Cleanup since the very beginning and we are pleased to see municipalities participate each year to ensure that we have clean, healthy, beautiful and orderly environment. This year I would like to thank the local governments for their work in quickly adapting to the unusual and difficult circumstances.”
“To make Latvia the cleanest and greenest country in the world, you need to think a couple of steps forward. The responsibility for pollution should also be borne by manufacturers — thinking about how to adapt the development process and choose more environmentally friendly raw materials. This year, we have taken a step forward in making our product packaging more sustainable and environmentally friendly, thus extending the packaging life cycle. We very much hope that more and more companies will follow our example, deciding on the use of recyclable packaging, spending less natural resources and reducing the ecological footprint,” says Inga Berkoviča, Head of Marketing at “Mežpils alus”.
“We are very pleased that in this difficult time people have become closer to nature. However, it is sad to see that so many people do not leave the forest with everything they brought with them, thinking that someone will come and clean up after them. Therefore, it is very important to continue educating people about the adverse effects of waste on nature. Waste containers are also available in the forests, but I would encourage people to choose containers with lids, as wind and forest animals often carry out waste from open bins into the wider area. We are glad that more and more people, going into nature, take bags with them and take away from the forest not only their own waste, but also that left by other irresponsible holidaymakers,” reminding that waste can be collected not only on May 16, but also on a daily basis, emphasizes Anda Sproģe – Vāvere, Communications Specialist at “Latvijas valsts meži”.
This year the Big Cleanup is taking place with more emphasis on solo, duo and family cleanups, however, taking into consideration the loosening of restrictions set by the government in the emergency situation, it is now allowed up to 25 people to come together and participate in the cleanup. Those who wish to increase the number of participants in their cleanups to reach the new limit should contact the cleanup coordinators in each municipality. They should be notified about the number of people, so that the cleanup coordinator could approve the cleanup if it is deemed acceptable. Whether such cleanup will be approved will depend on what is the overall situation in the municipality, and the coordinators and municipalities are best informed about the specifics. Let’s not forget that it is important to take care of your safety and, despite the fact that larger gatherings are now allowed, the distance of 2 meters should still be observed!
See you Saturday!
Public Relations Consultant at the Big Cleanup