BIG CLEANUP STARTED WITH ONLINE DISCUSSION
Today, March 31, lectures and the discussion “Public participation as a decisive factor in environmental protection and preservation” opened the Big Cleanup Month online. During the first part of the event, the Big Cleanup coordinators were introduced to the Big Cleanup. In the second part, together with the patron of the Big Cleanup, President Egils Levits, the participants of the discussion shared their experience on how the society can get involved in improving the environment to contribute not only on the day of clean-up, but also on a daily basis.
This year, the Big Cleanup will take place for the 14th year in a row. Its motto “For green Latvia – each individually, but all together” points up and pays attention to the importance of promoting public involvement in the issues of cleaning and restoring our nature, while taking care of our health and safety. At the opening of the Big Cleanup Month, Inspiration Coach Elaine Brazila-Bērziņa addressed the Big Cleanup coordinators and other interesting people with online lectures, emphasising that the people of our country have a love and respect for nature, which is also confirmed by their involvement in the Big Cleanup activities. Uģis Rotbergs, Environmental Expert and Chairman of the Board of the World Wide Fund for Nature, drew attention to the fact that it is the duty of our citizens to take care of nature, since it is us who can save it and preserve for future generations.
Head of Big Cleanup, Vita Jaunzeme: “I am glad that with each year of the Big Cleanup, the opportunities for our society to get involved in cleaning and improving the environment are growing, not only physically, but also by sharing ideas on how to take care and protect nature. Although this year’s unusual circumstances force us to adapt to new clean-up formats, I am glad that there is still interest in participating in the Big Cleanup, so that each of us can lend a hand to building our country greener and cleaner.”
In the second part of the opening event, the discussion “Public participation as a decisive factor in environmental protection and preservation” took place, in which President of Latvia Egils Levits, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Artūrs Toms Plešs and JSC Latvijas valsts meži Head of Communication Department Tomass Kotovičs participated, as well as Vita Jaunzeme, Head of Big Cleanup, Heidi Solba, President of Let’s do it Movement, Maxima Latvija Corporate Manager and management team representative Jānis Vanags, Evita Dadzīte, Marketing Manager of Mežpils alus, as well as one of the Jaunmārupe association “Jaunmārupe skrien!” founders Uģis Kronbergs and Talsi District Big Cleanup coordinator, municipal environmental expert Aija Svarinska.
President of Latvia Egils Levits: “At the beginning of this year, with confirmation of the largest activity of helpers in the World Cleanup, the involvement of our society in environmental cleaning activities was appreciated not only in Latvia, but also in the world. Every nation needs a sense of community, made up of culture, language and what we are doing now to improve our future. The Big Cleanup is an initiative that has become a tradition and helps us to maintain this sense of community by becoming a unifying element of society. Joint clean-up activities provide an opportunity to take care of our environment and allow us to create the conditions in which we will live in the future. Therefore, it is very important not to lose this consciousness in order to go together for a common goal – to live in a beautiful, tidy and clean Latvia”.
“In order to ensure the preservation of the quality of environment, the sustainable use of natural resources and the fight against climate change, it is necessary to change behaviour by introducing more and more environmentally friendly habits in our daily lives. The deposit system will start operating next year, from this summer we will significantly reduce the volume of plastic goods in trade, and thus also the release into nature. These and other small steps bring us closer to a cleaner, tidier and healthier environment in which to live and which will remain for our future generations,” Artūrs Toms Plešs, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, emphasised.
During the discussion, its participants pointed out and drew attention to the role of society in thinking about environmental issues. Thus, Tomass Kotovičs, Head of Communication Department of JSC Latvijas valsts meži, praised the young people who are actively thinking about how to reduce the amount of waste that enters nature, for example, by choosing fabric bags instead of plastic bags. In turn, President of Let’s do it! Movement Heidi Solba praised the responsible and active involvement of Latvian society in solving environmental issues. In his turn, representative of Maxima Latvija Jānis Vanags expressed the opinion that in connection with the Big Cleanup, it is very important to be aware of the importance of public participation in order to achieve results and move towards sustainable development. Evita Dadzīte, representative of Mežpils alus, also reminded how important it is that during the years the Big Cleanup has been applying the format that provides an opportunity to get involved in these activities not only on the Big Cleanup Day, but also to contribute to improving the environment on a daily basis. Uģis Kronbergs, on the other hand, emphasised that it is us who create the surrounding environment, so it is important not to forget to improve and develop it. At the end of the discussion, the Talsi District Big Cleanup coordinator called to remember that a healthy person and a whole environment are interconnected, because by taking care of ourselves, we also protect nature.
How to clean up during COVID-19?
SOLO CLEANUP: clean up alone, walking in the woods or along the sea, cleaning the surroundings of your home;
DUO CLEANUP: clean-up for two. If you are from the same household, clean up safely together, if you are friends or acquaintances, keep a distance of at least two meters;
FAMILY CLEANUP: Clean up as a whole family together, but keep in mind that you must be from the same household.
Please, participate in the Big Cleanup on April 24, observing the relevant safety measures!
About Big Cleanup: The Big Cleanup is a non-governmental movement in Latvia, which since 2008 not only organises clean-ups all over the country every year, but also implements various projects for educating the public on environmental protection issues. The patron of the Big Cleanup is the President, which ranks Latvia among the first countries in the world where there is such a high level of state support for environmental activities. In August 2019, the patronage was taken over by President Egils Levits. Write to us about your green activities to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or share your experience on social networks using hashtags: # LielaTalka2021, #Espiederunakotnei, #sakopsavusetu
Big Cleanup Public Relations Consultant