Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

Is the story of all of us! 🙂

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Right from the diary of 14 year old Anne Frank, read by the ever so elegant, charming and wonderful Audrey Hepburn! 🙂

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Seven of the world’s most extraordinary! 🙂

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World cleanup 2012 is here! 🙂

85 countries are scheduled to do major cleanups between March and September 2012. Romania is scheduled for the 12th of May as well as Turkey, Bulgaria and Republic of Moldova. If you want to participate, check the link above. If you have never done it and you cannot participate to the actual official event in your home town and country, do not lose hope!

Cleanups can be easily organized if you:

  • discover a place that needs to be cleaned,
  • talk with the city council,
  • set out a date and a time in advance,
  • put up an announcement at your local school, institution, public library or cafeteria (the more the better and it can be a very simple notice with the date, the time, the place and the reasons why; you might also need permission from the owners so check with them first before placing the notice),
  • buy heavy duty garbage bags and gloves (check your local supermarkets for sponsorship)
  • and last, but not the least, find fellow enthusiasts!

There’s plenty of resources and support online (if you cannot find it in your own community). Find inspiration in others’ activities and photos if you’ve never done it before (you can also check our photos from our cleaning sessions in Cluj-Napoca!)

The idea is to DO something about it!

We live in a world in which the power to consume has grown exponentially with every day in the past decades and with that, the issue of disposing the leftovers (electronics, plastic, glass, food…).

HOW we do it is of major consequence for the health of our environment, the planet….of ourselves.

I have always found the garbage and the trash on the streets, in nature, next to riverbanks, incomprehensible! Even now, after 6 years of studying psychology (and basically learning how to get and accept people for who they, what they think and what they do), getting involved in community projects, doing my best to have and spread eco-friendly behaviors, I am still amazed and shocked to see people throwing stuff on the streets, not realizing that the need to recycle is not a luxury or a fancy hobby but a MUST! Is it lack of care, lack of education, lack of access to recycling centers?… I always wonder!

Have you ever looked around and watched people, in supermarkets, buying their daily/weekly groceries? carts filled with food and things most of them ALL packaged! what will happen with the packages, where will they go? what will happen to them afterwards? in a day, a year, 2/3…

Now, think of all the people, out there, that are buying stuff in the cities nearby yours, then in all the other states or counties, then in the other countries, right now, in just ONE DAY! Then imagine them doing that every day, every week, every year, from now on. Isn’t that a bit scary? so much stuff, most of them getting in the trash dumps, at the outskirts of the city, that will keep growing and growing, polluting the Earth, then the waters!

Having that in mind, becoming aware of all the things we buy and pondering if we REALLY need them, managing waste in an environmentally friendly way or learning to become creative with the things that we already have so that we do not buy senselessly becomes, I believe, a necessary attitude to acquire (seriously now, do you really need that extra big TV when your old one works perfectly fine, or that iphone just because it’s “cool”, new, and everyone has them right now? …and it goes the same for food and clothes!)

Think about it!

Eco Steps Team

p.s: Romania is gathering her forces here! 😉

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Source for this inspirational photo here!

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From their transient states to their multifunctionality, trees are also beautifully depicted in art.

Here’s an interesting doc, made at the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), about the ways in which they are timelessly captured, as well as about all the significations they take in doing so.


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And do it while you still have them!

John Muir was an American naturalist and conservationist leader who understood, even on the verge of the beginning of  the last century, the importance of conserving, protecting and using nature’s resources in a thoughtful and respectful way.

Respectful towards us, animals, trees and the entire ecosystem.

Then, giving nature’s back some untouched space to grow and get wild just as she chooses. National American Parks were thus imagined and established.

He was a pioneer in his own right that would further set the tone for our work, all of us who love our planet, our trees, flowers and fresh air and are striving, with little and grand gestures, to protect and conserve it.

More about him here.

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Photo taken in Neulengbach, Austria. May, 2011

* habitat

* shadow

* recreation

* our daily oxygen (14kg daily)

* the cooling of 10 ACs working 20h/day

* peace

* a friend always ready to listen to our incessant talk, mental or verbal, without interfering (!)

* wood for our desks and tables

* apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, oranges… well, you get the idea.

* a hugging buddy

* perfect peak-a-boo spot

And now, what they protect us from:

– light

– heat

– noise

– noisy neighbors 😉

So…what are you waiting for? go and hug one!

More wonderful things about them here.

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Let’s Do It!” campaigns are major corporate responsibility actions that involve lots of people happily volunteering for a massive cleaning during a short amount of time, a day usually, all over their countries. Two years ago, Estonia set the tone. New Delhi embraced it with wisdom and grace whilst Portugal, Austria, Slovenia, Ukraine and Latvia have organized or are in the process of organizing similar events as well.

Claudia is one of our dearest volunteers, who joined our forces a couple of years ago. She is fiercely independent, loves to take impromptu journeys whenever and wherever her fancy strikes, is a bon vivant in the truest French style – a culture she highly admires, and a most original fashionista at heart and trough her style.

Here is her tale of this great adventure that involved over 200 000 people who during just one day, cleaned the whole country up. Now that’s major autumn cleaning! 🙂

Romania, we did it!

On September 25th, this year (2010), Romania took the national garbage out for the first time. Inspired by the experiences other countries had, more than 200.000 volunteers decided to participate in “Let’s do it, Romania” and it must have been the biggest social responsibility event in Romania, so far. More so, I am convinced most people will not like it to be also the last one.

At a quick review, the event was successful although there’s plenty of garbage still to be collected. People got involved, gave an example to others, awareness was raised in people’s conscience, and most importantly, children learned a valuable lesson. A reason to be proud of your country.  However the best feeling, the true success was felt in the hearts of the volunteers… the kind of satisfaction that came from being an active part of it.

Each team has a story, I’m sure it’s a catchy one, but ours is always better 😉

Our team was a small one. At first. We were 4 adults and my 10 year old nephew. That morning we were assigned with a region comprising 3 villages. Despite the little misunderstanding at the beginning, our GPS coordinates were not very accurate, we found tons of PETs and wrappings thrown away randomly.

The first village was simple. We caught the attention of the whole population. People thanked us and were happy somebody sent young people to clean after other young but irresponsible people; their own. By the way, I haven’t seen too many old people making mess around themselves. Oh, I almost forgot, we spoke to the mayor as well.

Her  team: her sister, mom, Andrei, her nephew, with the mayor.

Before we got to the second village we found a very beautiful lake whose shores were ”hiding” so many filthy things you could not even imagine.

The next village had, however, an even bigger surprise; this time, a positive one. The first houses we encountered, located near the lake, were surrounded by tons of garbage. We started to clean their surroundings when we were joined by some children; at first two, and then another 4 and so on. Some of them belonged to the gypsy families that were living in these houses around the lake, and unfortunately people in the village would regularly throw their garbage in their “front yard”. The last thing I would like is to sound judgmental. But there were some very open conflicts in that village.

However that didn’t stop any of the children from joining our little cause, and from giving a helping hand. Children’s innocence and lack of prejudice should inspire us all. These children just joined for the fun of it and they were glad to help us along without asking anything in return. And there was obviously no conflict of ethnicity between them, like there was between “grown-ups”. If I come to think of it, images speak better than words.

The children, happy to join in and help 🙂

The kids helped us for several kilometers and we collected more than 10 large sacs together. We were truly impressed by their willingness to be good and to do positive things in life and to learn. After all that hard work we had to delight ourselves a bit.

A car full of happy kids 🙂

Sharing and being together.

There would be so much more to extract from such an experience, but as said in the beginning, the most important thing is to be a part of it. I sure hope “Let’s do it, Romania” will have other episodes, and that keeping our world clean becomes a MUST. We know for sure it can be done.

Thanks, Clau! 😉 Here is the link for this national activity.

The Eco Steps Team

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Mangalia, Romania. July, 2010

Sign on the Romanian seashore, in Mangalia, that is raising awareness concerning the plastic bottles left on the beaches and thrown in the sea.

Mostly, teaching us that it is OUR responsibility to not throw them away randomly but to dispose of them correctly, aka in the trash/recycle bins, and to pick them up when we see them.

This issue has been finally identified and acknowledged as a public concern by the local authorities! it’s a start in the right direction, even if it begins with a simple public sign 🙂

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