What IF an alien from another country prepared to spend a year of his life to solvе environmental problems in YOUR birthplace because you DO NOT take a moment to support these activities?
The project “Urban Ecology” aims to bring environmental protection and sustainable development to a level of individual responsibility for each citizen of Varna. Within the project, young people from Varna and the region are involved in various environmental activities – from actions for recycling and own production of environmental products, through cleaning campaigns and eco camps, to educational campaigns in schools, kindergartens and other organizations.
For a period of one year (from September 2019 to September 2020) a volunteer from Italy is involved in the project. We count on her to offer innovative solutions to deal with local problems and to share practices from her own country.
The presence of a foreigner provokes local citizens to think more deeply about the importance and effect of carrying out environmental protection activities.
Varna is a city where the awareness of citizens about their personal responsibility to protect the environment is not high enough to ensure a good level of urban ecology. There is overconsumption and generation of waste, low culture of separate collection and transfer of waste for recycling, low level of awareness and action on various topics of urban ecology – environmental construction, dust and noise pollution, use of inappropriate detergents from household chemicals, etc.
The high level of overconsumption among citizens in combination with the low level of awareness leads to the generation of a large volume of waste that is not separated and recycled. This affects the ecology of the urban environment – its vision, friendliness, pollution and level of hygiene. The high level of noise, radiation and dust particles in the air, together with the poor awareness of citizens about the impact of these phenomena on their health, leads to a lack of adequate precautions.
In Varna, there are a small number of initiatives that offer a variety of environmental activities and practical skills for an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
The city needs information and educational campaigns for citizens about local environmental problems and challenges, as well as practical solutions, opportunities and good practices for solving them.
The wide variety of project activities – paper collection and recycling campaign, eco-construction camps, screenings of ecofilms with accompanying discussions, workshops for biosaps and household chemicals, educational presentations and traveling exhibitions, expands the message of the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development for a more environmentally friendly way of life to reach more people and let them recognize themselves in it. The project relies on the principle “For everyone something” – different spaces (urban, rural and virtual), different topics (recycling, eco-building, biocosmetics, urban pollution), different approaches (actions and campaigns, camps, screenings, workshops, discussions, training blocks). In this way, the message of an ecological and sustainable way of life, a greater awareness of the choices we make and the “green footprint” we leave, has the potential to reach more people.
The project contributes to increasing the number of participants in the actions for separate collection and recycling of waste, increasing the amount of recycled waste and the number of trees saved from felling down, which is part of the organizational goals of the Public Environmental Center for ustainable Development.
The project contributes to the promotion of the organization’s new initiatives at the local level, its development over time and the progress made in relation to older but well-functioning initiatives.
Volunteering, as a sustainable model for supporting and developing civic causes, is popularized among the local community and provides an alternative to solutions around socially important issues.