Monday, November 26, 2012

Ikea, Coop and Leroy Merlin: Neapolitans meet "Sballati e Compost-i!"

by Annalisa Tancredi

It was a week full of meetings and best practices that promoted by Anea on the occasion of the European Week for Waste Reduction. Within the project "Sballati e Compost-i!" (no-packed and composting) and in collaboration with major brands of supermarket chains such as Ikea, Leroy Merlin and UniCoop Tirreno, free seminars and information points were promoted to raise citizens on choosing products with reduced or reusable packaging.

Launched on November 2011 by Anea (Neapolitan Energy Agency) and the City of Naples, "Sballati e Compost-i!" project aims to reduce the amount of waste (about 35% of the total) and the organic fraction (40% of the total) in the waste, and promote the use of products such as detergents and food on tap (cereals, pasta, rice and vegetables bulk, etc.). composters, cloth diapers, bedding ecological. “Sballati e Compost-i! is a project we are developing in collaboration with partners such as Confcommercio, Confesercenti, Federconsumatori, Legambiente and WWF - said Michele Macaluso, Anea director - The objective is to facilitate citizens in finding and identifying no-packaging products. The campaign, in fact, is having great success with 160 stores joined and 90 unpacked products distributed ".

Thanks their know-how and in collaboration with GDO brands, in occasion of SERR were organized several events involving many Neapolitan citizens.

- for 4 days the Neapolitans companies joining the project, took part of "Infopoint Ecospesa" at COOP in via Arenaccia, providing all information requested by the hundreds of visitors about the characteristics of sustainability of no packed products;
- during 3 free seminars on "How to Make Home Composting" at the IKEA and Leroy Merlin, trainers have explained all the steps necessary to practice composting in private homes and in condominiums to reduce the organic waste fraction.

Finally, during the press conference on Thursday, 15th November, the Anea and the City of Naples, announced the launch of a subsidy for the purchase of compost, to benefit Neapolitans citizenship and condominiums have a garden. The aim is to entrench even more the culture of integrated waste cycle and encourage the adoption of measures that benefit not only to the individual but all the community.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

+ 2000 trees in Emilia Romagna thanks to Hera’s e-billing

by Annalisa Tancredi

It's time to stop with the usual bills: for every 50 new customers who switch e-billing, will be planted a new tree in one of the 40 green areas in Emilia - Romagna.

This year, on framework of European Week for Waste Reduction, the multi-utility Hera has launched a communication campaign to promote switching e-billing associated with the planting of 2.000 trees in the served area. The aims is to create new green spaces to improve air quality, urban environment and to encourage the reduction of 200 tonne/year of CO2, savings 2 million sheets of paper.

The cities of Bologna, Modena, Ferrara, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena and Rimini Have already taken part in the campaign and they will support the planting of 10 different kind of trees. Philip Bocchi, Hera Corporate Social Responsibility Director speak to us about campaign details.

On framework of the SERR, HERA Group launched the campaign to promote e-billing. People will profit by it both as customers and as citizens. Could you describe bennefits?
The benefits of switching to e-billing can be divided into three categories: environmental, social and on services. Environmental because the bill will allow on-line savings of over 2 million sheets of paper per year, preserving of natural resources and compensation of 240 tons of CO2, with the elimination of printing and delivery of bills and the planting of trees. The cost savings of the Hera Group will be invested in the cultivation of new trees and the development of urban green areas in order to create a tangible benefit to the citizen who regains social gathering places. Finally, the satisfaction of customers Hera is a consequence of a much more efficient, secure and available 24-24h service.
Among the means of communication used, there are social networking sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Why this choice?
In addition to traditional ads inside the traditional bill, website, newsletter and press conferences that we are promoting in all participating municipalities, we chose also to use social networks, especially Facebook and Pinterest: the first because through the mechanism of "Like” people can amplify dissemination effect, instead Pinterest is the perfect tool to give visibility of various kind of trees showing the idea of urban green areas.

What are the results and expected results? 
The official campaign started on 6th November and the number of new members will be published regularly on the site To date, there are 23 city participating and together we hope to plant 2.000 trees in 40 green areas which n. 17 will be made by new while the remaining n. 23 will be expansion of green areas just existing. Among the new areas there are also bike paths and school gardens that increase the value of social action.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lesson number one: reduction!

by Valentina Tibaldi

The bell is ringing, it’s time for waste reduction. In the Comprehensive School G.B. Monteggia in Laveno Mombello, the reflection on waste reduction includes concrete actions aiming to educate young people to have a more reasoned relationship with… their garbage!

Along with the EWWR (European Week for Waste Reduction) style, the underlying belief is that preventing an overproduction of waste is easier than we think: we just need common sense and the right amount of creativity. 

Which snack generates less waste? The school managed to create a well-structured educational project starting from daily experience and ordinary questions like this. First of all, the project is based on a competition, where students have to use their skills to find the best way of approaching the issue of waste reduction. In order to win an award made of papier-mâché and other recycled materials, they are going to become: skilled communicators thinking up effective claims and coordinate graphic for the message they want to deliver; wise strategists drawing up a list of useful actions to reduce waste production; practiced craftsman designing different containers in order to make a proper separate collection of rubbish; estrous artists finding innovative usages to potential garbage.

But this is not the end. In fact, if reducing our own waste is easy, finding new ways of reducing it can be even funny: from November, 19th to 23rd, severe guardians of trashcans will be controlling their classmates’ behaviors, while artistic and informative exhibitions about environment sustainability will be filling the halls of the school.
In these terms, the event crosses scholastic borders, aiming to become a permanent project, extended to pupils’ families. With a unique purpose: transmitting to adults that same consciousness young people learn and experience at school.

Manuela Trevisan, teacher and promoter of the project together with Alessandra Annoni and Paola Zarini, claims that: “this project makes students feel real protagonists and part of a bigger system. United we stand: if all of us take even a small step in the right direction, then we can do many great things”.

In this way, European Week for Waste Reduction becomes what it has always meant to be: a Month, a Year, a Lifestyle.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Barter Week for a sustainable holiday

by Sofia Lorenzini

In the last years the barter is back to being used always more by all people who want to save money and at the same time to have a more human trade. For this reason the website has promoted the initiative Barter Week, to be held from 19 to 25 November 2012, for the fourth time.

The Barter Week is also affiliated to the European Week for Waste Reduction 2012, they both aim to improve the quality of our lives with more sustainable habits and trades. The B&B can promote and spread initiatives related to their management, while participants of the European Week for Waste Reduction can become travellers aware of the Italian B&B resources linked to the territory and the quality of life.

The increasing number of Italian Bed and Breakfast, over 2000 currently, affiliated with will be ready to make you stay in their facilities in exchange for goods or services. Throughout all the Barter Week there will be no money payments, in order to push both the guest and the operator to focus on the human aspect of hospitality and the opportunity to exchange experiences and expertise. With the help of the crisis, barter is making us rediscover the value added to the simple holiday of a cultural exchange experience. The initiative also encourages the imagination of travellers with offers to the B&B, most of all the creation of photo, videos and websites.

Travellers have three ways to search for a sustainable holiday: they can go to the official website, choose the place to visit and contact the manager; they can look at the "Lista dei Desideri dei Gestori“ (Wish List Managers) and find an offer that suits them; or they can propose their own barter to all regional or Italian B&B. In the section “Proposte dei Viaggiatori” (Proposals Travelers)  you can enter your offer of barter.
If you're a B&B and you want to partecipate you have to add to the list on the website

There is also a Facebook page which currently has more than 73,000 fans, growing at a rate of 500 per day, constantly busy with offers and requests for exchange.

From the words of the promoters: "With the Barter Week you can spend a weekend out of town and discover Italy off-season creating new friendly relations based on respect and trust. You can make up a different holiday and have plenty of human contact, exchanges of experience and professionalism going back to the origins of hospitality and gratitude. Save on the cost of a holiday embracing the philosophy of "not what you have but what you are and you can do."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

EWWR 2012 break all records!

by Francesca Morra

Ready for the European Week for Waste Reduction 2012? For 8 days will promote public awareness on the theme of waste reduction and try to realize the spirit of that reduction with practical actions. This 4th edition is characterized by breaking all records: the latest press releases issued in fact speak of more than 10,000 shares validated across Europe with the aim to inform and above all to convince people to produce less waste through the adoption of simple everyday actions.

Once again the "Week" has exceeded all expectations: 35 organizers, 23 countries and involved 10,793 shares officially validated. 5,261 are Italian! This number was announced during the official presentation at Ecomondo on November 9. This shows how the SERR works also in Italy, where it is organized with the support of CONAI (such as Main Sponsor) and CIC (Italian Composting Association).

To involve even more all Project Developer this year the Italian Organizing Committee (composed by Ministero dell’Ambiente, Federambiente, AICA, Provincia di Torino, Rifiuti 21 Network, Provincia di Roma, Legambiente, e i partner tecnici ERICA soc. coop. ed Eco dalle Città) has proposed three actions to be organized today, November 17. These have been enthusiastically received by many Project Developer who then organized nine reconstructions of the logo of SERR (organized by associazione HART, Circolo territoriale jonico Rifiuti Zero, associazione Qedora, Oratorio Santa Maria Maggiore, Comitato San Michele di Pagana, Comitato Civico Ripuliamo Civico e Terrasini, Comune di Arzachena, Augustea Holding spa, Comune di Rivalta); 5 NoTrash Mob (organized by: Comitato San Michele di Pagana, Ecogaia, Associazione R-esistere & Co, Rifiuti Zero Lentini, Comune di Capaci) e un Freeze (organized Comitato Civico Ripuliamo Civico e Terrasini).

Despite the underlying belief that the important thing is to take part, we remember that the most important actions will be proclaimed during the Awards Ceremony to be held in Rome on December 12 with the support of Sartori Ambiente, Edizioni Ambiente, Ecostore and General Beverage. Also this year, with the collaboration of Evvivanoè art exhibitions Cherasco (Cuneo), the winners will received a work created specifically for the awards.

Unfortunately they can’t reward everyone, but the SERR became social: secretariat propose to all the Project Developer to tweet their actions by using the hashtag # SERR12. The best tweets will be collected and disseminated. Follow the official page and on Facebook, and also on the websites of Media Partner: Econews, Rifiutilab, Gsa Igiene Urbana, GreenReport, and Alternativa Sostenibile and Free Service (Ambiente & Regioni).


Monday, October 22, 2012

Chinese pedestrian crossings turn green

by Sofia Lorenzini

Chinese cars market is still the biggest in the world, with more than 500 million cars that congestion streets e make air unbreathable, with consequences on environment, given that 40% of carbon dioxide comes from cars.

China Environmental Protection Foundation decided to create the campaign “Green Pedestrian Crossing - More Walking, Less Driving”, to make Chinese citizens aware on environmental issues connected to car traffic, inviting them to do something, in their own way, walking more and driving less.

Jody Xiong, creative director of design agency DDB Group China, created some installations made of giant canvases, 12.6 meters long by 7 meters wide, laid across the pedestrian crossing of 132 streets in 15 cities, in the middle of busy crossroads, places where pedestrians and cars meet. On the canvases Xiong drew big trees without leaves, and on every corner of the pedestrian crossing he placed sponge cushions soaked in green environmentally friendly washable and quick dry paint.

Xiong explained: "As pedestrians walked towards the crossing, they would step onto the green sponge and as they walked, the soles of their feet would make foot imprints onto the tree on the ground. Each green footprint added to the canvas like leaves growing on a bare tree, which made people feel that by walking they could create a greener environment."

Also Deputy Mayor of Shanghai participated to the campaign, which caused a lot of curiosity between the pedestrians, who went on the crossing just to walk on the artwork, and the campaign got the media attention, that brought out the news. By the end of the campaign, 3,920,000 people had contributed to the paintings.