Aleksandra Zasukhina came to the eco-center to donate recyclables and… stayed there to work. Photos provided by the heroine of the publication
On June 5, World Ecologist Day, we spoke with Alexandra Zasukhina, an SMM specialist at Vyatka Without Garbage. The girl came to conscious consumption and disposal of garbage before she even got acquainted with the ecocenter.
“I studied in Kemerovo at the Kuzbass College of Architecture, Geodesy and Construction,” says Alexandra. – Consequently, the issue of land, nature and soil was not foreign to me, it was constantly raised there.
After graduation, the girl moved to Kirov. As I drove the train, I saw a plethora of bags and plastic bottles near the cities, even in those places where there are no settlements. And I realized that this problem must be solved and I must act immediately.
“Then I decided to give up plastic bags,” says Alexandra. – Then I met people who classify all waste in general. And I was inspired to expand the list of things I would go to the collection points. The issue of ecology concerns everyone, no matter how busy or indifferent we are. After all, this is not even a subject or a sphere, but simply the world, its rules. And although we now have to learn again to be environmentally friendly, in reality, separate waste collection is a natural stage of resource formation. Not something difficult and extra, but a natural process.
FROM VISITOR TO VOLUNTEER AND EMPLOYEE
So the girl came to the Vyatka Without Garbage eco center. First, as an ordinary city dweller, choosing recyclable materials and later volunteering in the reception room – helped guests properly dispose of waste in bins. Literally in the first week he remembered all the factions, although he had not understood them at all before. During this period, Alexandra saw in the center a variety of visitors – both in terms of wealth and age, but united by one idea – to reduce the weight in nature, to reduce the amount of garbage.
The girl helps to organize various educational events. Photos provided by the heroine of the publication
– Here you can meet a grandmother who was walking down the street, found a pipe and decided to hand it over. And you can – a deputy who brought private things for recycling, – says the woman Kirov.
As a profession, Alexandra specializes in SMM, which deals with promotion on social networks. Then he started doing this for the ecocenter. In addition, the girl helps to organize various educational events here: festivals, ecological classes, lectures and she conducts master classes on embroidery from recycled materials.
“I really like explaining to people what separate waste collection is, why it is needed, what a valuable contribution they can make to nature conservation right now,” said Kirov. – And of course, I like to cover the activities of the eccentric on social networks, to attract new people, to present creative information. Ecology inside and out is a fundamental idea for me, which inspires me to move forward.
Due to her busy work on various creative and environmental projects, it is sometimes difficult for Alexandra to compose the works correctly and let herself exhale. And in an ecocenter it is not easy to gather an audience for an event or to explain the importance of a topic in an accessible way. However, it sees meaning in its activities and there are great prospects in the work of the ecocentric. Moreover, it is increasing daily: both in terms of the volume of raw materials collected and in terms of the number of people participating.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO JOIN THE EFFORTS
– I see opportunities for further expansion of the ecological center, – shares the citizen of Kirov. – And inside the city – the organization of additional points, and outside – the opening of branches. We are proud of everything we have at this stage. This is a unique place, because it combines many ecological directions under one roof: acceptance of raw materials, sorting, book crossing, ecological cosmetics store, educational platform where lectures, master classes, games, etc. take place. We also grow herbs using hydroponics and teach the cultivation of the city to everyone. We also accept clothes for exchange and recycling.
The center not only cultivates grasses using the method of hydroponics, but also teaches the cultivation of the city to everyone. Photos provided by the heroine of the publication
In addition to the ecological center, the Eco-Neighbors project has been helping Kirovites clean up nature for many years. Gathers the inhabitants of a house or a neighborhood for a common tradition of recyclables. Neighbors spend the proceeds of this money on improving and landscaping the area. As a result, a culture of separate garbage collection takes root in the inhabitants of Kirov, nature is protected from garbage and yards turn green.
The center also works to organize interaction with other public environmental organizations and individual environmental activists.
– I would like to unite them all under one roof, – says the girl, – because working together we can be even more efficient. As for the regional Ministry of Environmental Protection, its head is a regular visitor of our ecological center. Alla Albegova has been separating waste for a long time and for the whole regional government we are giving lectures and excursions for the second month. We explain that healthy environmental habits are not difficult.
HOW TO GIVE THINGS A SECOND LIFE
As a true ecologist, Alexandra is passionate about recycling. When he left the bags, he started sewing cloth bags and reusable bags for vegetables and fruits. The girl notes that it was not the easiest task in terms of creation, advertising and implementation. New products also required new materials – so Kirov’s wife got the idea to use fabrics that had left the market but were nowhere to be found.
– I would go to the houses of the elderly people in the villages, I would get them Soviet fabrics – sometimes even rolls, – Alexandra shares. So are their grandmothers. From these I sewed bags in a “patchwork” style, ie from pieces. Sometimes I made them from old clothes, and this is one of the most popular ecological directions now, called “upcycling”.
Literally, recycling is “wider use”, the secondary use of materials and things that are no longer needed in the same quality. That is, their transformation. Before society faced the industrial revolution and overconsumption, it was the rule of life: change, lengthening, shortening, adapting to other needs. In the 20th century, recycling was used by people who were creative or poor. In the 21st, as awareness of environmental issues has increased, it has become a fashion trend, part of conscious consumption.
For example, the Vyatka Without Garbage Eco-Center hosts tutorials for making nylon tights, check paper, wine cork reminder boards, and shoe boxes.
“Now I have some pieces of leather from the production in my hands,” says Alexandra. – I’m thinking of organizing a series of tanning workshops, so that even such seemingly useless scrap can get new life.
The organization organizes workshops for the construction of reminder boards from wine corks and a shoe box. Photos provided by the heroine of the publication
ADVICE OF ECO ACTIVIST
– Cellophane bags can be easily and beautifully replaced with shoppers (fabric bags – Ed.) And shopping bags. First, they last hundreds of times longer than regular bags and look cool and elegant. For reference: every year, from 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide, ie over one million per minute. Now think about how to respond to the checkout: do you need a package?
Replacing dishes with your own container is a very important ecological habit. Worldwide, 32 million trees are cut down each year to make disposable paper cups! And now there are cups for every taste, color and volume.
– Replace disposable shoe covers with reusable ones. Like it or not, in many institutions they have to be worn. Greenpeace estimates that 900 million shoe covers are used in Russia each year. But with reusable, you can not participate in these statistics!