Volunteers mark Earth Day by collecting trash by Tbilisi Sea
Cleaning trash, conducting exhibitions or preparing workshops about environmental topics – people took different ways to celebrate the 51st Earth Day. In the week starting from the 19th April, several events took place all over the World, including Georgia, to promote the environmental issues our society is facing.
In Tbilisi, volunteers from the Youth Association DRONI organized trash picking by the Tbilisi sea shore. “We wanted to do something for environment and for the city. Tbilisi has beautiful parks and green spots, but most of the time, when I walk around, I see a lot of trash scattered around, which is really a pity, because most of the people seem to consider it normal” said Chiara Cattaneo, main organizer of the event.
And that is why on Saturday 24th April, passerby in the park close to the Gino Paradise Aqua park in Tbilisi, could have seen more than twenty people, browsing through the bushes, filling the trash sacks with rubbish.
“I have always been picking trash in the streets in my everyday life, but this is my first time trash picking in a group. I wouldn´t have thought that there will be such a huge amount of waste. My first bag was full after only 15 minutes of trash picking!” said Amanda Eisenhut, one of the participants of the cleaning event, who comes from Austria.
In total, the volunteers filled more than 30 bags with trash in less than two hours.
“I would recommend everybody to clean up their cities, even if you simply pick up a few plastic bottles. Every little piece of trash has an impact on our environment and it feels good to be part of a little change. After all, everybody benefits from that kind of events, not only the planet, but also the people and animals,” claimed Amanda.
According to the organizers, the idea was not only to get rid of the trash in nature, but also inspire others.
“The most powerful thing is seeing curious people looking at you cleaning the trash, sometimes even asking “why” or if they can help. That is what happened this Saturday as well. Some random people in the park joined our group with cleaning,” explained Cattaneo.
Apart from trash picking in Tbilisi, there were other events held as a celebration of the Earth Day in Georgia. The Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) organized series of Rural Innovation Knowledge Hubs in Gori, trying to give opportunities to especially women and girls from remote and vulnerable communities, to develop their skills. The Student´s Council in Chiatura and Association Chiatura Union on the other hand organized Environmental Week, which contained events such as street cleaning, exhibition of items made of waste or tree planting.
The celebration of Earth Day is a memorial of huge natural catastrophe, which took place in 1969 in United States, Southern California. After the blow-out of local drilling rig, millions tons of oil leaked to the waters of Santa Barbara Channel. More than ten thousands sea birds, seals, sea lions and dolphins died because of the oil spill.
This catastrophe was the impulse for the recently developing environmental movement. One year after that, the activists, who were rescuing the animals covered in oil after the blow-out, organized the first Earth Day to spread the information about environmental problems. Since then, the Earth Day is being celebrated on the 22nd of April, in more than 200 countries all over the World.