World Cleanup Day at the Riga Castle
Within the framework of the upcoming World Cleanup Day, the contribution of Latvia as a green country to the ecological restoration of the planet is being discussed at the Riga Castle.
The reporting month before the World Cleanup Day on September 19 began with the discussion “Life on the Planet Matters” at the Riga Castle. During the discussion, which was also attended by President Egils Levits, the participants came to the conclusion that not only public policy matters, but also the actions and way of thinking of every inhabitant of our country affect how environmentally friendly and sustainable the state is. Latvia is a green country in terms of its natural resources, but is our thinking focused on sustainability?
Ahead of the World Cleanup Day, Lielā Talka (Big Cleanup) organisers want to focus on how we can improve our lives and the lives of the entire planet by changing our habits. “It is desirable that changes take place in us. Planting trees in autumn, spring cleanup, where we collect trash and landscaping the territory – this is a story about love for nature. Life on the planet matters, each of us is a part of it, so each person needs to think about their habits. The idea that Latvia could be the greenest country in the world originated in 2009 as a slogan that has now become a target. Therefore, I hope that over time we will become a sustainable country, where people comprehend the environment issues and want to take care and protect the nature around us,” Vita Jaunzeme, organiser of the World Cleanup Day, leader of Lielā Talka, says.
In the discussion “Life on the Planet Matters”, its participants, namely President of Latvia Egils Levits, Minister of Environment Protection and Regional Development Juris Pūce, Forestry Planning Manager of JSC Latvijas valsts meži Jānis Zitāns, President of the Latvian Medical Association Ilze Aizsilniece, Associate Professor at John Cabot University Ieva Jakobsone Bellomi and leader of Lielā Talka Vita Jaunzeme assessed possible steps that could contribute to the future of Latvia as a green country in Europe and worldwide.
President of Latvia Egils Levits: “Human beings are an integral part of nature, and they should treat the other constituent parts in the same way. The World Cleanup Day is a very important initiative, since not only the population majority of Latvia, but the whole world agree with it. I believe that green transformation in the world should take place in such a way that capitalist thinking does not contradict green thinking. I’m talking about green not only in terms of colour, but also in terms of the environment and quality of life. And this is a really great challenge, since there is no doubt that the dilemma must be solved in such a way as to preserve nature and satisfy economic interests simultaneously. However, it is in the public interest, so every citizen should participate in this discussion. I have also made environmental issues and green transformation one of the priorities of my presidency, which is in line with the European Green Deal.”
Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Juris Pūce: “In recent years, the attitude of society towards environmental issues has changed for the better. The number of people who voluntarily sort waste is growing, but we are also working on it. By knowing how our habits affect the environment and by changing our habits, we can achieve effective outcomes. We generate waste when shopping ourselves. Each package is environmentally hazardous waste. If the people of Latvia want to live in the greenest country in the world, we must change our habits.”
In order for Latvia to achieve its goal of becoming the greenest country in Europe and worldwide, it is necessary to raise public awareness of a healthier and greener lifestyle. One of the steps we can take to take care of nature is to change our daily habits, starting, for example, by sorting waste in our own home. It is equally important to think about the correct waste management in the country in order to reduce environmental pollution due to the formation of harmful substances that enter the human body. However, the most important thing is to instil a correct attitude towards the environment from an early age. For example, Hannes Tordengren, 2nd Secretary of the Swedish Embassy in Latvia, spoke about the Swedish experience and pointed out that the emphasis in the neighbouring country is on environmental education for children and youngsters, because they are our future. Waste recycling is also supported as a type of business.
This year the World Cleanup Day is held in Latvia for the third time, and we, the organisers of Lielā Talka, invite everyone to take part in the cleaning events. On September 19, the whole world will join the campaign to make our entire living space cleaner and greener. This year in Latvia we will celebrate the World Cleanup Day by carrying out both cleanup activities and, as always, the campaign of sowing and planting trees “Trees of Happiness”, so that every seed sown or planted at this time can grow into a future big tree, and became Latvia’s contribution to restoring the balance of the global ecosystem.
Planting trees as a form of Latvia’s participation in the World Cleanup Day was chosen since trees play an important role in maintaining the balance of the planet’s climate and ensuring healthy living conditions for people. The goal of the Trees of Happiness campaign is:
- Develop in children and youth a sense of responsibility for nature conservation – develop a deeper comprehension of natural processes, taking care of the cultivation of a particular tree;
- Strengthen Latvia’s international image as a green, sustainable and environmentally responsible country;
- Promote more active public participation in solving environmental issues at the local and global levels.
See you at the World Cleanup Day on September 19!
Lielā Talka Public Relations Consultant