This past Saturday we organized in Gjøvik the first Spring Cleanup Day. Steffen Csirmaz, the manager of HI Gjøvik Hovdetun, came up with the idea after seeing that a lot of trash was thrown on the streets during winter and, consequently, hidden under the snow. Now that the weather is getting warmer and the snow started to melt, a lot of rubbish showed up on the streets.
Thus, we planned on Saturday to gather people from Gjøvik, meeting everyone at the train station located in the city center, and walking towards the hostel, cleaning up the trash that were in the streets on the way.
At first we were scared about how many people would show up for the event. We thought “who would want to voluntarily pick up trash on the streets?!”. Turns out that a lot of people did! We had over 30 people showing up to help out, and a lot of them brought their small kids too! One of the families even came with a very young baby and a stroller, but that didn’t stop them from helping out.
Seeing that many people helping out filled us with a very good feeling! It means that people are becoming more engaged with the community and with causes such as protecting the environment or even just keeping your own city clean. Marte Skogul one of the participants said:
The event has so many good qualities! It’s an activity for me and my family which helps us participate in our local community and at the same time teaches my kids to take care of the world around them. And the responsibility for throwing litter around is much higher when you have experienced picking it up after someone else.
After a couple of hours collecting trash everyone gather together at HI Hovdetun for coffee and cake, and we got the chance to get to know a little more about the people that were helping us out.
By the end of the event, all the trash picked up by the volunteers was collected by Østlandet Gjenvinning, the company responsible for waste and recycling in the area. They weighted the amount of trash picked up and we had a total of 220kg! Impressive!
Written by: Yousra Makanse and Renato Albernaz
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