Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oil shale - environmental side

Disposal and upgrading of the oil shale wastes by fluid- and gas-phase extraction in chemically active media
Extensive utilization of the oil shale as the main natural resource of Estonia for oil and electricity production has been engendered millions of tons organomineral wastes and to those millions of tons are added every year. Semicoke, fusses and shale ash are oil shale wastes of different degree of technological transformation and contain different content of organic matter. In this fashion the oil shale wastes are unfit for use and hazardous ones and there is no technology for those re-utilization. Just the re-utilization of oil shale wastes is the clue question for continuation of the pre-existing technology of oil shale processing. The main goals of the present project are to work out novel and effective methods basing on sub- and supercritical extraction in chemically active media for separation the organic matter from fusses and semicoke as the liquid product in order to upgrade simultaneously both the organic (into a product similar to shale oil or its fractions) and mineral part (purified as much as possible from organics by the yield of liquid and gaseous products) with the aim for further utilization of the products obtained as well as to determine the character and stability of carbon and sulphur modifications present in shale ash. The project results in utilization of oil shale wastes as an alternative raw material for production of the products needed, estimation and diminishing the environmental hazard of oil shale wastes deposits and that all leads to the significant increase in oil shale processing and to the liquidation of more and more enlarging semicoke and ash deposits - the main source of pollution in Estonia.
Oil-shale mining causes numerous negative changes in the environmental conditions, some of which are unavoidable due to technological, some for economic reasons.
Fortunately environmental achievements also matter for our oil shale companys and they keep up with the regulations and future principes.

Urmas Metsmaa, Henek Tomson, Madis Salumaa 12A

Is it Estonian future?

Urgent action is needed to tackle the "mountains" of e-waste building up in developing nations, says a UN report.
Huge amounts of old computers and discarded electronic goods are piling up in countries such as China, India and some Africa nations, it said. India could see a 500% rise in the number of old computers dumped by 2020, found the survey of 11 nations. Unless dealt with properly the waste could cause environmental damage and threaten public health, it said.
Precious hazard
The report gathered information about current levels of e-waste in 11 nations and also looked at how those totals might grow in the next decade. Globally, e-waste is growing at a rate of about 40 million tonnes per year as consumers, in both developed and developing nations, buy new gadgets and discard their old ones. Many of the older items end up in developing nations. By 2020, China and South Africa could see e-waste generated by old computers rise by 400% by 2007 levels. In a decade, estimated the report, e-waste from mobile phones will be seven times higher in China and 18 times higher in India.
Some nations are happy to take in e-waste to use in order to extract some of the precious materials and metals that go into making modern consumer electronics. For instance, said the report, in an average year global production of mobile phones and computers uses 3% of the silver and gold mined, 13% of the palladium and 15% of the cobalt.
However, it found, in some places efforts to extract these metals are inefficient and do not do enough to handle the hazardous materials recovery produces. For instance, it said, e-waste treatment in China typically involved back yard incinerators which were a wasteful and polluting way to recover precious materials. "China is not alone in facing a serious challenge," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) which issued the report. "India, Brazil, Mexico and others may also face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-waste recycling is left to the vagaries of the informal sector."
The report said Bangalore in India was a good example of how local initiatives could reform the gathering and treatment of e-waste. It urged nations such as Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Morocco and South Africa to set up state-of-the-art e-waste treatment centres now, while the amounts they produced were relatively small. "One person's waste can be another's raw material," said Konrad Osterwalder, rector of the UN University. "The challenge of dealing with e-waste represents an important step in the transition to a green economy."

Source: news.bbc.co.uk

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

AIR POLLUTION

Air pollution means the presence of one or more unwanted substances in air. Air pollutants have a negative impacts on humans, animals and plants, and on air quality.
What causes air pollution?
The main sources of air pollution are the industries, agriculture and traffic, as well as energy generation. During combustion processes and other production processes air pollutants are emitted. Some of these substances are not directly damaging to air quality, but will form harmful air pollutants by reactions with other substances that are present in air.Examples of large-scale air pollutants are VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and small dust particles. When large concentrations of these substances are emitted this negatively affects ecosystems, materials and public health.Traffic is held responsible for one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions caused by traffic are mainly those of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, VOC and small dust particles.Consumers are also partly responsible for air pollution. Firstly because the products they use have caused air pollution during their production and distribution and secondly because heating of houses and offices causes chemicals release into the air.
How does air pollution spread and how can we handle this?
The dispersion of air pollutants mainly depends on physical processes is air; those of wind and weather. How far air pollutants are transported mainly depends upon particle size of the compounds and at which height the pollution was emitted into the air. Fumes that are emitted into air through high smoke stags will mix with air so that local concentrations are not very high. However, wind will transport compounds and the pollution will become very disperse. Rain can remove pollutants from air. This causes precipitation and consequentially soil and water pollution.For environmental agencies it is very important to determine exactly how an air pollutant spreads. Air is not a very complex medium. This enables us to predict the dispersion of air pollutants with computer models. In a computer model dispersion is calculated by means of different parameters, such as wind speed, wind direction, temperature, air humidity and cloudiness. These predictions are of great significance when we are dealing with toxic clouds or radioactive radiation, because these are a danger to human health and because inhabitants of polluted areas need to be warned.


Häli Nelis, Epp Mänd, Krete Kiider; 12D

Implications of nanotechnology

The implications of nanotechnology run the gamut of human affairs from the medical, ethical, mental, legal and environmental, to fields such as engineering, biology, chemistry, computing, materials science, military applications, and communications.
Benefits of nanotechnology include improved manufacturing methods, water purification systems, energy systems, physical enhancement, nanomedicine, better food production methods and nutrition and large scale infrastructure auto-fabrication. Products made with nanotechnology may require little labor, land, or maintenance, be highly productive, low in cost, and have modest requirements for materials and energy.
Risks include environmental, health, and safety issues if negative effects of nanoparticles are overlooked before they are released; transitional effects such as displacement of traditional industries as the products of nanotechnology become dominant; military applications such as biological warfare and implants for soldiers; and surveillance through nano-sensors, which are of concern to privacy rights advocates.
There is debate about whether nanotechnology merits special government regulation, and regulatory bodies such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Health & Consumer Protection Directorate of the European Commission have started dealing with the potential risks of nanoparticles.

Projected benefits
Nano optimists, including many governments, see nanotechnology delivering benefits such as:
* environmentally benign material abundance for all by providing universal clean water supplies
* atomically engineered food and crops resulting in greater agricultural productivity with fewer labour requirements
* nutritionally enhanced interactive ‘smart’ foods
* cheap and powerful energy generation
* clean and highly efficient manufacturing
* radically improved formulation of drugs, diagnostics and organ replacement
* much greater information storage and communication capacities
* interactive ‘smart’ appliances; and increased human performance through convergent technologies

Potential risks
Potential risks of nanotechnology can broadly be grouped into four areas:
* Health issues - the effects of nanomaterials on human biology
* Environmental issues - the effects of nanomaterials on the environment
* Societal issues - the effects that the availability of nanotechnological devices will have on politics and human interaction
* "Grey goo" - the specific risks associated with the speculative vision of molecular nanotechnology

Monday, February 22, 2010

Awore of the consumption

One saving lifestyle base is awore conpsumtion. It is important when we are buying everyday food, clothes or shoes.
Useful tips how to an aware consumer:
*Prefer local products instead of imported goods. Local products doesn't consist preservatives.
*The less packages, the better. It is better to buy one big than several small ones – you get more product and less package. It is better to use cloth bag rather than plastic bag.
*Multiple use glass, recyclable glass, recyclable plastic.
*ecoworkings on the products show thatthere isn't used any artificial fertilisers or poisonous chemicals
*It is better to eat vegetarian food than meat products, because meat production requires five tiems more energy.
The mos environment friendly is to buy cloth bag and avoid buyin a newq plastic bag every time you go to store.
When buying clothes, prefer natural materials to synthetic. There isn't used any un recoverable resources – oil or land gas.
Before buying anything, consider your needs – do you wish to use your shoes on city streets or on rough landscape. It is rewcommended to buy practical design and quality shoes. You should avoid buying products you don't use very often and seems to be low quality. Risto Nõukas, Andri Vanem, Roby Lõbus, Triin Jõgi 12A.

Air pollution in Estonia

Two recently published e-publications on air pollution from 1990 to 2007 show that air pollution emissions have decreased in Estonia. All air pollution emissions have decreased in 2007 compared to 1990. This has mainly resulted from the restructuring of economy and changes in proprietary relations in Estonia since regained independence. Air pollution emissions have also decreased due to stricter requirements in legal acts concerning environment (limit values, requirements on fuel quality etc), which entered into force in Estonia after becoming members of the European Union. Compared to 2003, most air pollution emissions analysed in the survey decreased by 2007, except for CO (on the same level) and heavy metals, which have increased by 10%. Majority of pollutants are emitted in Harju and Ida-Viru county, where most of the polluting enterprises are located.

Pollutants emitted by transport and industry have a significant effect on the quality of ambient air. Acidification is caused by emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitric oxide – these compounds react to water vapor in the atmosphere and fall down as acid rain. The main sources of sulphur and nitrogen are industry and power production, although most of nitric oxide is emitted by transport.

In addition to nitric oxide and sulphur dioxide many hazardous substances like heavy metals, sulphur hydrogen, ammonia, formaldehyde, particulate matter etc. are emitted by industries. Within the EU, limits on atmospheric release and concentration are established for hazardous substances and acidifying gases.

Air pollution damages public health, causing e.g. respiratory diseases or allergic symptoms. It also affects the condition of landscapes, water and damages buildings.
In recent years, an increase in concentrations of NO2 has been observed in Tallinn and Kohtla-Järve (Ida-Viru county) due to upsurge in road transportation. Concentration of sulphur dioxide has remained low and shows a decreasing trend as a result of positive effects due to use of sulphur-free fuels and cutting of emissions from point sources. Most problematic is the concentration of particulate matter (PM10) – the limit values are often exceeded in the monitoring stations of Tallinn and Kohtla-Järve.

The quantity of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds emitted by stationary and mobile sources of pollution has decreased by 59% and 51% respectively, compared to 1990.

Greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 54% by 2005 in comparison with 1990. Estonia is among ten biggest per capita emitters of carbon dioxide in the world. Estonia emitted 12.2 tons of carbon dioxide per capita in 2005. The main cause for higher carbon dioxide emission is energy production based on fossil fuels. In 2005, the oil-shale related carbon dioxide emissions accounted for 71% of the total carbon dioxide emission. The emission of carbon dioxide caused by fuel combustion activities decreased 55% by 2005 compared to 1990.

The stability and continuity of the decrease in emission rates have been secured by environmental legislation promoting installation of modern filter systems and adopting environmentally friendly techniques.

Source: keskkonnainfo.ee

Elisabet Arge, Tiina Seppel 12A

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Deforestation

Today forests cover about 30% of mainland. Before global wood cutting started forests covered over 60% of mainland. In Estonia forests cover nowadays about 47%. Deforestation is limited in Estonia and until 1950's the area of forests has started to grow. The general principle in Estonia is that you cannot deforest more than the forests grow in a year.

What is Deforestation?
Deforestation is defined as the destruction of forested land. It has proved to be a major problem all over world. However, the rates of destruction of forests are particularly high in the tropics.

Causes of Deforestation
The causes of deforestation vary form place to place. The most common causes, however, are logging, agricultural expansion, and mining.

Effects of Deforestation
Deforestation has been the cause of many problems facing the world today such as erosions, loss of biodiversity through extinction of plant and animal species, and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Importnace of Vegetation
Deforestation consequently decrease the supply of oxygen found on earth. Oxygen is essential to the existence of all living things and without it every living creature (including humans) will not be able to sustain life. In addition, forests provide homes for many important species such as the Northern Spotted Owl which can only survive in the northwestern United States . Furthermore, forests prevent desertification by replenishing nutrients in the land. These are just a few reasons why forests are soon important.

Ats Põdra, Kristina Oolu 12c

Nord Stream

Monday, February 8, 2010

Greenhouse effect

The greenhouse effect is where the temperature of the Earth increases. This happens as less heat is radiated back from the Earth than is received from the Sun.
The atmosphere becomes clogged up with "greenhouse gases" such as carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and methane. This lets the heat from the Sun in but stops some of it from be radiated back out again.
This is just how the glass on a greenhouse works. So the inside of the greenhouse gets warmer and warmer over time.
In the case of the Earth the warming up has happened very slowly over decades and centuries. However the levels of greenhouse gases have risen sharply recently.
As the temperature of the Earth increases it is predicted that we will see changes in weather patterns, including drought and flooding.
The Polar ice caps may melt and so produce raised sea levels. Low-lying areas will be flooded including many major cities.

Kristiina Tänav, Marek Hendrikson, 12D

THE ESTONIAN TYRE ASSOCIATION - MTÜ Eesti Rehviliit

The Estonian Tyre Association is a non-profit organisation and the oldest manufacturer’s liability watchdog in the country. We organise the collection and recycling of old tyres. Our members are Estonia’s largest producers and importers of tyres. It is in the best interests of all of these companies that tyres, as problem products, be reused as effectively and in an as environmentally-friendly a way as possible, as is required by the state’s Waste Act and scrap regulations.
MANUFACTURER’S LIABILITY
The Waste Act applies the principle of manufacturer's liability to problem products, which means that the manufacturer is obliged to ensure the collection and recycling or removal of the waste produced by products it has manufactured, sold or imported.
Manufacturer’s liability applies to those companies – producers, importers and wholesale and retail sellers – who are obliged to take responsibility for the substances contained in their products, the components of the products and the products as a whole from the moment of their production to the point at which they become waste.
In the case of tyres, European Union member states are guided by this principle of manufacturer’s liability, according to which importers and producers must finance a system of used tyre collection and recycling. Tyres have been included in the list of problem products in Estonia since the state’s scrap regulations were updated in July 2005, and manufacturer’s liability thus also applies to them.
In reality, implementing this principle has generally meant that producers or importers add a recycling fee to the price of a new tyre, with the money collected in this way forwarded to the manufacturer’s liability organisation. This organisation then arranges for the collection and recycling of the tyres, outsourcing services from the waste management sector.
Tyre recycling has been obligatory since 1 January 2006.

How we can save the Planet useing LED Bulbs?

LED bulbs can save you thousands of dollars on your Electric Bill. LED bulbs will help make the Planet we live, a cleaner one. LED bulbs last so long, you won't need to change them for years. Finally, The incandescent & Fluorescent bulb will be obsolete in 10 years.
Benefits of LED Bulbs
- Save money and energy by using LED bulbs. Generally, an LED consumes less than 0.1 watt to operate. This incredibly low consumption means you will save on your energy costs right from the start.
- The typical LED bulb will last for 50,000 hours. This is over 10 Years of light from One Bulb used half the time. Compared to an incandescent bulb, which lasts 1,000 hours, a halogen bulb lasts 2,000 hours, and a compact fluorescent bulb may last up to 10,000 hours.
- The extremely long life of an LED bulb will virtually eliminate your maintenance costs. There will be no need to change light bulbs throughout the year.
- The solid state technology of an LED is very durable and can withstand high levels of shock and vibration. Its able to operate in extreme temperatures cold, or hot. (-35° C to 80° C).
- LED’s convert almost all the energy used into the light output, making them a highly efficient light source. LED’s generate less than 30% of the heat of traditional lighting technologies. With minimal heat generated, LED’s are safe to the touch and do not produce any harmful UV rays.
- LED’s are environmentally friendly, they are made from non-toxic materials unlike fluorescent which contain Mercury.
Material used: Eesti Loodus, detsember 2009
www.ledbulb.com
By: Sigrid Selberg, Triin Lehiste (12.d)

Estonian forests and Let's do it project


The forests of Estonia
Almost a half of the territory of Estonia is covered by forest. Forest is a living place for lots of animals. Forest has always been important for Estonians (food, building material, vacation).
Trash in forest
Placing trash away into an "invisible place" (in forest) harms forest and its ecological system permanently. Chips of glasses, plastic or dangerous trash might harm animals who live in forests. Trash that lies under the forest spoils the beautiful view. Estonia spends about 2 million EEK taxpayers' money for cleaning the forests every year.
Cleaning action "Teeme ära" (also mentioned in an ealier post)
Civil initiative "Let's do it! 2008" planned with voluntaries´s help clean up forests, beaches and roadsides in one weekend. The main purpose of the organizers was involving everybody: schoolchildren, retired, young and old, Russians and Estonians. By the data of the union there were about 7000 tonnes of garbage and to carry it together during one day it would had needed 40 000 people.
On the 3th of May 2008 more than 50 000 people came together to clean the forests and other natural places. In 5 hours about 10 000 tonnes of garbage was carried together.
(Elo, Marge, Kadri, Elis, Siiri)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wind Generators

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Environment and health

Many environmental risk factors have been associated with asthma development and morbidity in children, but a few stand out as well-replicated or that have a meta-analysis of several studies to support their direct association.

Environmental tobacco smoke, especially maternal cigarette smoking, is associated with high risk of asthma prevalence and asthma morbidity, wheeze, and respiratory infections.Low air quality, from traffic pollution or high ozone levels, has been repeatedly associated with increased asthma morbidity and has a suggested association with asthma development that needs further research.

Recent studies show a relationship between exposure to air pollutants (e.g. from traffic) and childhood asthma.This research finds that both the occurrence of the disease and exacerbation of childhood asthma are affected by outdoor air pollutants.

The dark side of lively trade – Baltic Sea endangered

Big oil pollution occurred on the coast of Estonia – hundreds of sea birds are dead, up to 5,000 birds are in danger. World Wildlife Fund helps to organize the cleaning of birds. (ELF)

Oily birds are collected to the north-western coast of Estonia, to Nõva fire depot. There after
the birds are taken to the Zoo in Tallinn. ELF people and the Tallinn diving club members are among the voluntaries. According to ELF, the Estonian oil spill response has been neglected already for years. The Executive Manager of the fund Jüri Salm finds it sad that something should always happen before serious attention is paid to those matters.

Possibilities of Estonia for oil spill response and saving birds are very defi cient. Also the readiness of Finland to respond to oil spills is not suffi cient but Finland has passed the law which allows to impose a fi ne for the faulty ship also in international waters. Since the protection of the Baltic Sea is a common concern of the Baltic Sea states, the supervision forces should be joined.

Dioxin threatens food chain

Tests have shown that some species of Baltic fish have too high levels of dioxin and the EU has called for a ban on sales of fish exceeding permitted levels from July 1.
Dioxins - cancer-causing toxic chemical compounds caused by burning plastic, fuel and rubbish - are hard to break down once they get into the food chain. They are also found in dairy products, meat and eggs.
The Baltic Sea has been exposed in the past century to heavy pollution, much of it deriving from industry in Russia's coastal cities of St Petersburg and Kaliningrad. Sweden is a driving force in efforts to clean up the sea and measures have been taken by the ex-Soviet states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as they apply for membership of the EU. But the problems are far from solved and dioxin levels in fish remain a health risk in the region.
Among fish species with excessive dioxin levels is the Baltic herring. A smaller variety of the herring found in the North Sea, it is the main source of income for fishermen on Sweden's east coast. In 2001, the total herring take on Sweden's Baltic coast amounted to 11,700 tonnes, and Baltic herring is a staple of the region's food culture.

More about recycling

As you can see from the previous posting, there are a lot of bright ideas how to recycle your old clothes etc. You just have to be creative!
Recycling seems to be everywhere these days. Supermarkets offer reusable bags and recycling bins in their doorways. “Made from recyclable materials” is on many products. Still, goods that could be reused or recycled are tossed in the trash. (Source)
We carried out a poll among 40 people in different ages to find out how much they know about recycling. Only 50% of them are recycling their garbage! 37,5% of the respondets doesn't know how to classify wastes. 32,5% answered that the containers locate way too far. Adults were more aware of recycling than teenagers.
Let's see what the future brings!

Here are two very useful videod about recycling
(These are not made by us!)




By the way, did know that how long does it take to decompose:
Banana peel - 2 months
Cardboard milk carton - 5 years
Wooden baseball bat - 20 years
Leather baseball glove - 40 years
Aluminum can - 350 years
Plastic sandwich bag - 400 years
Glass bottle - maybe never, undetermined
Foam cup - maybe never, undetermined

For every ton of paper we recycle, we can save 17 trees from being cut down to make new paper.
(Source)

Learn more about recycling: Wikipedia, Recycling guide, How to recycle anything



Piret, Triin, Siim (12a)

Live greener by reusing everyday items

Go Green - recycle old clothes into new forms to save the environment
One simple thing we can all do to be kind to the environment is reduce the amount of trash we produce. It is revealed that almost 85 percent of the 70 pounds of textiles the average American purchases each year ends up in landfills. This is an environmental disaster that can be easily avoided because clothes and fabrics are so easy to recycle and reuse. As a matter of fact, you can make a big difference by doing some very simple little things around your house.

With a little imagination, some cosmetic changes such as a dash of paint, an embroidered motif or an altered hemline can transform a dress. Pieces that are beyond salvage can be used to make baby clothes.
A father’s jeans will easily yield enough material for a son’s pair, and a skirt can be used to make a smart blouse for a little girl. Old dresses can be simply closed at the bottom and hung on hangers to make laundry bags. If the bottom is closed by Velcro or buttons, clothes can be easily removed for washing by opening them. The legs of old jeans can be cut off and the bottom sewed close to form the bag. The pockets on the jeans can remain, as they will be handy to keep wallets and keys. Strips from the leg of the jeans can be used to shape the straps.

Pieces of cloth can be pasted on a paper background to form art work for the children's bedroom. Exquisite embroidery from anotherwise outdated dress can be cut out and framed. Create hand puppets from old socks. Buttons removed from shirts can be glued on to make the eyes. Cotton T-shirts can be turned into kitchen wipes or polishing cloths since they are very absorbent.

You can donate your old clothes to charity, but be careful of donating not very shabby clothes, because these can truly help people who need it. Used clothes, such as plankets, footware, can be reused also by giving them to homeless schelters and different church organisations. Childrens clothes, toys and different needments can be donated to orphanages.
Junk mail envelopes – Cut them up and reuse them as scratch paper.
Shoe boxes can be used as file boxes and be stored under your bed.
Old tires – These make great tire swings in the back yard!

Did you know that you can send old sneakers to Nike and they will use the rubber soles to make new playgrounds? It is advisable to buy sneakers with high quality and which have practical design, in order to withstand each kind of weather and training. You also have to consider with footware maintenace requirements. Purchases, which find little use and appear to be not quality should be avoided.

You should be motivated by material, economy and maintenance when constructing and refiting. Use the sun to heat the house placement and oritation when planning window. For one demand, people use a lot of nonreproducible natural resources and their duration of use is very short.
After discardion it takes 100 years for a plastic ware to decay and for cardboard ware to turn into soil several years, because both of them are covered with wax. Although they are advisable to use on garden parties and birthdays, because they give the pary solidity and dignity. It is environmently friendly to wash he diches in a basin not under running water, so that the water waste can be possibly low.

Some facts about reusing items:
Clothes manufacturing is a big international business, which often results in big negative environment effects and in useage of low-price workforce.The most common type of clothes are cotton and polyester.
Cotton is a very comfortable material but its manufactoring is full of defalcation. To produce one kilogram of cotton, you need 10 000 gallons AKA 20 bathtubs full of vater! To make the matters even worse, you need to count on the usage of plant poisons direct and indirect effect on the environment. A big amount of cotton is produced in countries with cheap workforce. 23% of all cotton ,that grows in the world, reaches to Chinese factories.
Synthetic clothes material polyester, which of are fleece clothes made of, is turning from year to year more popular. It moulders in the dump at least 500 years, because it is oil based.
In local eco shops you can find clothes, that are made of ecologically grown cotton, wool, flax, silk or cannabis.
Clothes made of cannabis are notably environmently friendly , because the plant grown better than the weed. All kinds of weeding work nad care are redundant.For the fields, cannabis is like a relaxation. It's growing is environmently friendly and easy.
It is also wise to use flax textile, because you don't need to process it with pesticides. But it's processing into softer fabric is remarkably harder.
The list of possible uses for old clothes is endless. This is a versatile material that only needs to time and imagination to ensure that it does not go wasted. Recycling fabric is small way towards a safer environment.


Kadi Mägi, Kerli Reinart, Elin Ligi, Karin Köster 12A

Friday, February 5, 2010

Waste sorting system in Estonia (Pandipakend)

On May 1, 2005 the deposit system proceeding from the Packaging Act entered into force in Estonia. Eesti Pandipakend LLC (EPP) is a recovery organisation established for the purposes of organising the recovery of packaging subject to the payment of a deposit. The EPP was founded on the basis of the principle of liability of producer provided for in the European Union (EU) Directive on Packaging and in the Estonian Packaging Act.

Estonian Pandipakend LLC organises nothing but the recovery of beverage packages.
The aim of the EPP- it organises the nation-wide collection and recovery of packaging and packaging waste subject to deposit. For that purpose the EPP creates and operates a transparent and effective nation-wide system of collection and recovery of glass, plastic and metal non-refillable packaging (packaging waste) subject to deposit (deposit packaging) of soft drinks, beer,cider, perry and low-ethanol alcoholic beverages.

The recovery of packaging waste helps to keep Estonian nature cleaner. Every year 1000 tons of beverage packaging pollutes our environment which means that each year recoverable material worth approximately 10 million kroons is thrown away as waste.
Every beverage package made of plastic, metal or glass can be reused instead of continuously wasting raw materials.

By purchasing the products packaged in the packages bearing the EPP emblem and returning the packages you can help to preserve nature and make our environment cleaner!

In the year 2007 Eesti Pandipakend collected 204 miljon subjects,which is 23%more than in the year 2006 when there was collected 166 miljon subjects
This is thanks to the estonians growing environmental knowledge and caring for the future.This shows that we care about our home, forests and mainly the next generations well-being.

Also in ours school - Kuressaare Gymnasium the School Youth Council has organized a nice project. A box where students can put their plastic bottles.

Environmental problmes with building NordStream

Environmental concerns raised with the Nordstream pipeline are that the construction would disturb the sea bed, dislodging World War II-era naval mines and toxic materials including mines, chemical waste, chemical munitions and other items dumped in the Baltic Sea in the past decades. Thereby toxic substances could surface from the seabed damaging the Baltic's particularly sensitive ecosystem.
Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren had demanded that the environmental analysis should include alternative ways of taking the pipeline across the Baltic, as the pipeline is projected to be passing through areas considered environmentally problematic and risky.
Estonian scientist and former politician Endel Lippmaa raised concerns over the pipeline's planned path crossing zones of seismic activity in the Baltic Sea.


Karl, Aare, Sass, Taavi.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Supernetto/Säästumarket

SÄÄSTUMARKET- the store where you can quickly and conveniently buy groceries, household and seasonal goods at unusually low prices.

Supernetto/Säästumarket is the first and only hard-discounter chain in Baltics that provides its customers with the basic limited range of everyday food and non-food products without extra service.

Low price – Supernetto/Saastumarket offers the absolute lowest prices for basic foodstuffs and non-food goods
We offer a limited range of quality products without extra service.
For this reason, the products sold in Supernetto/Saastumarket are always approximately 10 to 20 % cheaper than in super- or hypermarkets.

Quality assortment of everyday needed basic products.
Our fast turnover and big volumes guaranteeing the good quality for fresh products
The private label products are the ones that provide good prices. At the moment there are already about 100 private label products representing 30 brands – these products one can buy only at Super Netto/Säästumarket stores. Besides the assortment of the private label goods is regularly updated and replenished.

video
Estonia: Säästumarket started in Estonia with it’s first store in Tallinn in March 1999. Current network coverage 57 stores
Latvia: Supernetto entered Latvia with it’s first store in Riga in June 2002 and expansion phase started from June 2003.
Lithuania: Supernetto entered to Lithuania September 2005 by opening seven new stores

Corporate responsibility campaign in Estonia - Let’s Do It! 2008

The Idea
Since Estonia regained its independence in 1991, illegal dumping of garbage in our forests had been a growing problem. The amount of garbage littering our nature had grown too big for our government to tackle alone. And the problem was not in the garbage itself, it was in the mindset of those people who didn’t respect our nature. So we knew that we had to do something drastic to shake things up, to make a real change in people’s thinking. So a group of active citizens with the support of Estonian Fund for Nature, came up with an outrageous plan - to clean up Estonia from illegally dumped or littered waste, in ONE day! For that we needed at least 40 000 volunteers all over the country.

Research work done during the campaign
One of the founders of Skype, Ahti Heinla, developed a special garbage mapping software based on Google Earth. Then we engaged volunteers all over the country to participate in the regional garbage mapping weekends. In co-operation with Nokia and EMT we presented the volunteers with easy to use mapping devices which consisted of GPS mobile phones with special positioning software, so that they could send all the necessary infomation about the garbage dumping site straight to the garbage map. This made the mapping interesting and fun social event for the participants. This resulted as a map of illegal garbage including more than 10 000 different illegal dumping sites all over Estonia.

Strategy
Our communication was based on simple but powerful values - oneness, caring, respect towards the environment. We needed to engage everybody, so we based our communication on values which connected with large groups of society.

Media as a partner
We looked at media as our partner not just an observer - our goal was to get the journalists on the same boat with us. Therefore we practiced open and honest communication from the beginning. This was a public project and so we built up a large contact circle of journalists from all Estonian media channels, who we kept informed with the progress of the project. We also held regular open meetings where we expected media and other interested citizens to take part in. This approach helped us enormously at the most critical stages of the project - when some local municipalities were resistant to join us, the media channels raised the issue and demanded that the local governments would follow the public values and people’s interests. Also at the registration period there were more than 10 different leads from newspapers cheaf editors which urged people to register and join.

Raising the awareness
To bring the problem into the limelight, we created the ugliest map ever - the garbage map. Local mapping events carried out an important role in engaging the local media and community leaders to the campaign. Because we needed all the active people and municipalities to co-operate with us, we needed to bring the problem into the local context. This was done successfully by the mapping events all over Estonia during the period from October 2007 till april 2008.

Massive media campaign
Built on the general support and raised public awareness we could compose the biggest ad-campaign in Estonia ever - including TV, radio, outdoors, internet, print media etc. Famous estonians came with the campaign to voice their support and personal take on the issue. All the clips for the TV, print and radio were produced by our partners for free, also the media channels gave us a lot of free space, the amount of the public support was especially evident in the internet - people could download banners from our site, to put them up on their websites. During the campaign Let’s Do It! campaign banners were on more than 1600 different websites.

Results of the campaign and evaluation
More than 50 000 volunteers came out on the big clean-up day - 3rd of May 2008. During the campaign we attracted more than 500 different partners who supported us with all the means available to them. Campaign also received recognition from large audiences abroad - journalists from USA, Europe, and especially neighboring countries, Associated France Press, Reuters and Deutche Welle World were with us that day. BBC run a short newsclip on the big clean-up of Estonia. The news about the event reached as far as India and Singapore Times.

Our neighbors followed our idea - in Lithuania there were thousands of people cleaning up the nature on 3rd of May, Latvian activists also organized successfully a major clean-up day on 13th of September which engaged 40 000 people all over the country.

Estonian Ministry of Environment, The State Forests Center and The Environmental Investments Center supported us with 500 000 Euros. But if we look at all the actual work and non-monetary resources received from out partners and volunteers, the actual cost of the campaign would have been 22 500 000 Euros.

The short movie about the campaign in English
video
The movie about the campaign in Estonian
The movie about the campaign in Russian

Recycling system in Estonia

Did you know that recycling one aluminium can save the same quantity of energy which is needed for the TV to run for 3 hours. Recycling one ton waste paper saves 17 trees, 1400 litres of fuel, 4000 KW energy and over 26,000 litres of water. Recycling plastic takes 70% less energy than making new plastic. Recycling glass creates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than making new glass. Recycling one ton of plastic bags saves 1700 litres of fuel.

Recycling and sorting garbage became popular in Estonia just a few years ago and it takes time to get used to it.

5 easy things to remember about sorting garbage:
1. Don't worry too much - In the beginning do as much as you can and don't worry about the rest. It is no use to make things complicated from the start and then realise that sorting garbage is too hard. It's important to remember that even a little bit helps.
2. Recycling garbage means more than just sorting it - Even giving away your clothes for charity is recycling. Ones old is someones new!
3. Practice makes perfect - You shouldn't worry if it isn't going so well at first. In time sorting garbage will be an everyday activity.
4. Everyone's effort makes a difference - Don't forget this!
5. Simplicity foremost - You shouldn't invest a lot of money for special trashcans. You can store paper into paperbags.

Sorting garbage - what and how?
Garbage can be divided into different groups: paper and carton, biodegredable garbage, packages, dangerous garbage and everything else is named mixed garbage.

This is where to put them:
Paper and carton container: Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, ads etc.
Biodegredable garbage container: Food leftovers, plants, etc. When sorting biodegredable garbage one must remember that it should be put into paper bags and food products with plastic packages should be separated from the plastic.
Package container: Plastic, glass, and metal packages.
Dangerous garbage collecting site: Old medicine and other medical products, batteries, products containing mercury.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Estonian nature conservation celebrates its 100th anniversary

European nature conservation in its traditional meaning was born at the beginning of 20th century, when an obligation to preserve and keep for future generations rare species and remarkable natural features – such as a jet, a tree growing in a sacred grove, an erratic boulder or a white-tailed eagle – was acknowledged. One started to place under protection impressive natural memorials and to establish the first nature conservation areas.

100 years anniversary quiz (in Estonian)

Estonian pupils started the project

This week Estonian pupils started measuring their everyday usage of energy and water. We also will put up some info in our blog about Estonian environmental subject. We welcome all new members from all over Europe as well, please join us in our mission of changing our habits :)