The World Cleanup Day has ended with the opening of the first Happiness Tree Park in Latvia
Last weekend, the annual World Cleanup Day took place with a wide range of events around the world, including in Latvia, and is taking place for the third time this year. On September 19, the whole world came together for a common goal: to make the planet cleaner and greener for all of us. In Latvia, where the Cleanup Day traditionally takes place in the spring, the main event of the World Cleanup Day took place in Valdemarpils, where the President of the Republic of Latvia Egils Levits and the Big Cleanup movement opened the first Happiness Tree Park in the world, as well as in Latvia.
World Cleanup Day is a global movement that fights pollution and brings together millions of people each year to pursue a common goal that is important to the whole world. This year, the chosen priority of the World Cleanup Day movement was to educate people about the threats of cigarette butts to the environment. Every year, more than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are released into our planet’s natural habitats – forests, beaches and waterways. Today, cigarette butts account for about 30-40% of all waste collected in the world. This year, millions of people from at least 158 countries came together to clean up the planet. Under the conditions created by Covid-19, 16 countries were forced to postpone the annual World Cleanup Day, but nevertheless, World Cleanup Day on 19 September became the biggest event in 2020, mobilizing the largest number of people. World leaders also took part in the restoration of the world ecosystem by participating in cleanup activities, including the President of the Republic of Latvia Egils Levits, who solemnly planted the first tree in the newly opened Happiness Tree Park in Valdemarpils.
This World Cleanup Day was also widely represented in the Latvian diaspora. The Latvian Association in Italy and Italian Switzerland (ALISI) together with the Latvian School in Milan and the diaspora choir “Saule” on September 19, opening the Latvian school’s new school year, organized work and ideas cleanup in Sempione Park, Milan, where they planted an oak tree in the centenary of independence of Latvia. Representatives of diaspora organizations from all over Germany visited the Embassy of Latvia in Germany, Berlin, and together they planted the Tree of Happiness – oak, as well as exchanged future plans and work experience in the exceptional circumstances.
Vita Jaunzeme, the leader of the Big Cleanup movement, comments: “I am proud and pleased to see the Big Cleanup initiative growing. Especially this year, with the opening of the first Happiness Tree Park, we have taken the project to another level – the interest of the government, heads of local government institutions and the residents themselves in participating in the cleanup is growing rapidly. People are also actively interested in ways to get involved and involve others, especially when it comes to planting Trees of Happiness. Therefore, I call on all Latvian municipalities to create their own Happiness Tree Parks, involving residents in this initiative. This year, I would especially like to emphasize that the Big Cleanup and the Trees of Happiness campaign are not one-day projects. We don’t have to wait for spring to clean the yard or for autumn to plant a tree – we have to take care of the environment every day! Our land, our children and our future are in our own hands!”
The Big Cleanup invites all Latvians to support the Trees of Happiness campaign throughout the year. Anyone can apply for their own place to plant trees on the map on the Big Cleanup website: https://talkas.lv/laimes-koki/. We invite you to share your work by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, or using hashtags on social media: #Lielatalka #ParZaļuLatviju #Laimeskoki.
We wish a peaceful year to every inhabitant of the planet Earth, and we will meet again at the Big Cleanup in the spring, on April 24!
Public Relations Consultant at the Big Cleanup