More than Half a Million Volunteers Join in Waste Cleanups in 9 Countries
Lithuania broke the participation record this year and Let’s Do It! Lithuania (“Darom”) involved 260,000 people. Among the tonnage, volunteers were surprised to pull up a muddy Volkswagen Golf and a soviet grenade from the Danes River. International Affairs Manager of Let’s Do It! Lithuania, Vaida Kaduškevičiūtė Petravičė, said, “Darom has become a tradition and people cannot imagine April without it. It’s become a civic movement that encourages people to be more responsible for their own issues and for all our wealth. It doesn’t matter that we collect less waste each year, but as long as we find trash in nature, we won’t stop.”
Lithuania’s Northern neighbour Latvia involved a massive number of volunteers as well – 190,000 people came to participate in the cleanup day. Citizen activists also took part in various activities/projects to improve public space and bring together communities.
Belarus turned out 23,000 volunteers to tackle trash in 500 locations and Cyprus registered 15,000 people.
In Greece, the 60,000 volunteers were again joined by the Samos Divers whose boats transferred what they termed “disturbing” illegal trash from clear blue waters to waiting trucks along the shoreline (see the video here). Kosovo’s team celebrated the Earth Day by cleaning the border with Albania in Vermice (see the gallery).
Hungary initiated a four-day event beginning April 28 with 128,000 people spreading out to the countryside from 2240 meeting points.
Massive clean ups also took place in Bosnia, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Ukraine.
Let’s Do It World is the outcome of a massive volunteer initiative, pioneered in Estonia in 2008, when 50 000 volunteers cleaned up 10 000 tonnes of illegal waste in just five hours in the northern European country’s forests. Officials estimated that the initiative saved local governments three years of work and 22,5 million Euros. The idea quickly caught on and has since spread globally, with over 100 countries having developed massive cleanup events.
Let’s Do It Foundation is an accredited member of the UN Environment Program.
Supporters: the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid fund, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Skype, QlikView, Tallink Group, DHL Estonia, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Interlex Translations, Meedius Estonia, Sendsmaily and EuroPark Estonia.