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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Five simple eco-ideas

15-year-old Ksenia Nazarieva presents them at the Eco Picture Diary Global Contest in France and suggests implementing them today
18 February, 2014 - 10:39
Photo courtesy of the author

Sorting of plastic, glass, and paper waste into separate containers, using of bio-bags instead of polyethylene ones, developing of ecologically clean kinds of transport in cities, starting to use bikes – this is only one part of proposals made by schoolgirl Ksenia Nazarieva from Sumy aimed at least some improving of the ecological situation. We have known some of the ideas for a long while, but not everyone keeps to them in their everyday lives. Therefore, the schoolgirl says, fulfilling of several simple ecological rules could yield fruit in the future. The girl sent her proposals to the All-Ukrainian Ecology Competition “Eco-Ideas,” where she took the first place. The competition was held in Ukraine for the fourth time, and each time its winners have represented our state at the Eco Picture Diary Global Contest. This time it was held in December in Paris. And Ksenia brought the Best Creativity Award from there.

“My project is five simple ideas, which can really solve ecological problems. I have written them down like an ecology diary and drew illustrations. At first I propose a total change in the lifestyle of people in cities. I give an example how Stockholm over 50 years has turned from the dirtiest capital of Europe into the cleanest and greenest one. It is simply that at some point people understood: to change something they did not need huge money, just good eco-ideas and willingness of citizens to improve their lives. Now the city has ecologically clean transport which works on biogas. Most of people have taken bikes, etc. My second proposal is about replacement of chemical fertilizers by organic ones and maximum use of natural materials. For decomposition of plastic takes 200 years, or even longer. Therefore I propose to replace polyethylene bags completely by eco-bags: made of fabric, wasted paper, biopolyethylene. The leading companies of the world are already offering to use bio-bags they produce with a special component, due to which these bags decompose quickly. Another idea I propose is that every company or person who cuts a tree should plant three trees instead. And there should be a law for this. Every day 29 million trees are cut in the world, and in this way 87 million of trees would be planted on the Earth every day. And the last thing is to replace traditional sources of energy by alternative ones. The Earth has 80 times more energy of the wind than we need today. It is high time we think about this. On the whole, my project is aimed at offering simple solutions for difficult problems.

“Last year I took part in this project as well, winning the third place in Ukraine. At that time I proposed ideas of ecological houses, cleaning of rivers, creation of a plant on turning cars into ecological transport, etc. This victory inspired me to take part in it again.”

In your opinion, what are the most important ecological problems in Ukraine? Which of them must be solved urgently?

“The first thing we must change is the minds of people. Everyone must understand that ecological problems must be solved already today. I don’t like it very much that every day we breathe the air polluted with car emissions. There is a huge amount of garbage we don’t utilize properly or recycle, but leave it in the open air. Every house has so much polyethylene and plastic now that later we won’t know what to do with it. There are many chemicals in our soil, hence in the food products. But what worries me the most is that simple solutions of all of these problems have existed for a long time, and we are not implementing them.”

On what projects-ideas are you working now?

“I come up with new ideas all the time. I always learn with great excitement about new developments connected with solving of ecological problems, I follow the news. I would like to have more competitions on environmental topics which would encourage children to produce ideas on improving of ecology. At the moment I am working on my creative development, broaden my knowledge about the problems of ecology and ways to solve them; I am improving the idea of building of a plant, on which all cars that currently exist could be turned into ecological transport.”

Several years ago civic organizations published a pocket booklet of eco-recommendations for every day. What would be your list of such recommendations for Ukrainians?

“This is a motivating appeal rather than a list. We exist owing to nature rather than nature exists owing to us. We must keep this in mind when we throw waste in the streets of our cities, cut trees, or kill a living creature. We need to understand that it is not hard to sort the waste into different containers. Ukraine was not created for waste deposits. Few people think what happens to the polyethylene bags which we use for 20 minutes and throw away. Is it more expensive to use eco-bags than to be healthy? And for fur-lovers I want to say: they need to understand that a fur-coat is a little child of nature that was killed. We should better have enough of humaneness to feed a homeless animal. Another appeal refers to transport: a bike burns calories and saves money, whereas a car burns money and saves calories. And the last thing is that we always must begin with ourselves.”

By Inna LYKHOVYD, The Day