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22 March 2021

“Pskovskaya Pravda”: Eco-Saturday took place in Pskov

“Eco-Saturday” is not just one-time actions, but the constant control over the territory and life environment.

What are eco-habits, how can we develop conscious attitude to nature and when will eco-parks appear in Pskov? These matters were discussed on the 20th of March at Pskov State University within environmental games confined to the World Earth Day. The representatives of the Group of companies Titan, the “Titan-Polymer” plant and Russian Environmental Movement took part in the event. The details are in our report.

Consciousness in choice 

“Ecology has ceased to be just a science about environment and interaction of living organisms; it’s rather a way of life,” Expert Council Member of the Russian Environmental Movement and Deputy General Director for Corporate Communications of the Group of companies Titan, Alina Rybina began her lecture.

According to her, eco-habits have long been familiar to all people: waste sorting, water and electricity saving, avoiding unnecessary packaging, etc. However, the most important habit is a conscious attitude to the environment and our impact on it. “Ecology begins with you, with each of us, with our conscious choice and the moment when you start to minimize negative influence coming from each person into the world around us,” noticed Alina Rybina.

The speaker shared her experience with the students and told them what eco-habits became a real discovery for her. For example, if you unplug a hairdryer before leaving home, the electricity will be saved and the bills will sure make you glad.

“Extensive work needs to be done with people.  Environmentalism itself is not a powerful stimulus for everyone. If modern generation realizes the need to sort waste, the older generation and socially less well-situated younger one doesn’t even have it in mind. It’s essential to make it clear to people that it’s not only environmentally friendly, but also profitable: it means new jobs, new production facilities and products that will be cheaper and more environmentally friendly,” Artem Nushtakin, a first-year master's student of the History Department of the Institute of Humanities and Language Communications of Pskov State University, rightly noted.

This is exactly what the project “Eco-Saturday” does. It was created to form ecological habits in everyday life and includes extensive work with population, including organization of activists, as well as eco-spaces arrangement.

Personal responsibility

Alina Rybina emphasized that it’s impossible to oblige people to have eco-friendly lifestyle: we have neither culture nor infrastructure for that yet. So, each person should understand for himself how he can minimize the impact on the environment.

“As for me personally, I sort my own garbage: plastic, glass, paper and metals. I dispose of all waste separately, and I think it's a very useful habit. However, if we want people to start sorting garbage, they should gain some income,” Artem Nushtakin, the participant of the environmental game said.

He agrees that the main thing here is personal responsibility of an individual: “I'm not even talking about sorting, just using as an example an ordinary trash can: if a person missed his aim, he is unlikely to be back and pick up his trash. More differentiation and platforms for separate garbage collection are still in short supply.”

Green infrastructure

In her speech to the students of the Pskov State University Alina Rybina asked what an ecological space should look like. The answers were surprising: someone named a pond with fish, bike and jogging paths, others said it was necessary to create benches made of recycled plastic, cafes and shopping areas with a minimum amount of garbage and with eco products, arrange separate waste collection, they did not forget about bio toilets as well.

All the participants agreed that such eco-park should have a dog walking area. On these grounds, students see special garbage cans with eco-friendly bags for everyone to clean up after their pets, as well as simulators for animals. For entertainment, the participants suggested creating tactile paths and a rope park. As for energy, they want to take it from solar panels or special simulators.

“Eco-spaces are landscaped areas plus infrastructure. I like what students say about shopping areas, garbage cans and dog-walking spaces. It's already formation of that smart space kind they feel comfortable in. This is the formation of thinking,” Alina Rybina stressed.

“We have a task within the company by 2023 to design all our main offices through the country in an eco-style,” she said. In addition, “Titan” is ready to help everyone who would like to create such spaces: it provides tools, specialists, and finances for these purposes.

The “Eco-Saturday” project is being implemented in Pskov, Samara, Omsk and Nizhny Novgorod regions. The company plans to create 10 eco-spaces in these regions by the end of the year. The work will be carried out jointly with social activists, authorities and business community. Only in Pskov four eco-spaces will be organized. According to Alina Rybina, there are already agreements with the city administration on the territories provision for these spaces.

After the park is ready, the company will monitor the space and support it in the future. “Our philosophy is as follows: the “Eco-Saturday” project is not just one-time actions, but the constant control over the territory and life environment,” the speaker added.

Pskov “eco-thinkers”

Alina Rybina also invited the students to join the project asset and to work in summer camps during shifts organized by the company “Titan”. In total about 4 thousand people are required for the project asset.

She noted that the project has the most active audience in Pskov region, including among students. Moreover, there are already different public eco-projects here: “Eco-thinking” by Sergei Elizarov, “Chudsk project”, a club at Pskov State University.

“Sometimes the guys' interest in this matter even surprises. Maybe they don’t know yet what eco-habits are, where to start, how to do it. We decided to hold the Earth Day so that as many students as possible could learn about ecology and things each of us can do here and now for the environment, how he can save our planet,” the event organizer and head of the volunteer center of Pskov State University, Natalia Ukatova said.

According to her, eco-activities hosted by Pskov State University are carried out every day. For example, a waste paper collection point is open every day. “We take out waste paper and use the proceeds to help animal welfare organizations, buy gifts or hold master classes for children with disabilities. We also collect batteries for recycling,” Ukatova shared and added that the students' involvement in this process is very high.

Source: "Pskovskaya pravda", 22.03.2021

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