Pollution

Pollution is a process of making the environment dirty, unhealthy and unsuitable for humans and animals to live. It is caused due to the release of both tangible and intangible contaminants. These can be released naturally or by humans themselves accidentally or deliberately.

More than 200 million people are affected due to toxic pollutants. Due to pollution, there are few countries that have faced defected child birth and increase in mortality rate. Humans are regularly exposed to pollution when they inhale toxic air inside them.

Pollution can be controlled, if not eliminated. Efforts such as promoting green environment, proper disposal of waste, etc are simple steps that lead to great emphasis on maintaining the order of environment.

Preventive measures:

1)Plant trees/cultivate garden to curb polluted air and release more oxygen.

2)Switch off electricity-based equipments when not in use: lights, fans, machines, etc.

3)Make high use of natural energy than electric energy: dry the clothes naturally.

4)Use recyclable products, wherever possible.

5)Avoid plastic bags and use paper bags.

6)Avoid wastage of paper and use both the sides.

7)Restrict usage of hazardous chemicals.

8)Don’t overuse heaters and air conditioners.

9)Use public transport to reduce noise, air and light pollution.

10)Protect Mother Earth by not spilling oil, garbage, sewage water, etc at undesirable places.

11)Stop burning of crackers during marriages, Diwali, etc.

12)Don’t dispose off eatables, packaging in oceans, rivers, etc.

Pollution disturbs our ecosystem and the balance in the environment. By following the above simple points, we all can restrict pollution at our own level.

Each year millions of people die due to various diseases caused by pollution. The key to live a healthy life is to protect the environment from pollution.

The increase in the pollution level over the years by human and natural causes has caused severe damage to the earth’s ecosystem. Lifestyle, habitat, etc everything is being adversely affected. Though natural causes cannot be stopped, but human beings’ accidental and deliberate actions can easily be stopped which surely will result in the control of pollution generation.

Types of Pollution:

Major pollutions and their causes:

Land Pollution – Wastes collated at Earth’s surface, garbage on roads, industrial debris, pesticides, insecticides, etc. Unwanted wastes lying and being decomposed release harmful gases and lead to pollution.

Water Pollution – Wastes disposed of in rivers, oceans act as pollutant in water bodies. Raw sewage, oil spills, chemical refuse, etc create poisonous water and hence lead to water pollution.

Air pollution – Burning of fossil fuels, release of gases from vehicles release mono-oxide, carbon-di-oxide, industrial pollution, nuclear radiations etc lead to air pollution.

Noise Pollution – Vehicle horns, loud music, construction machinery sounds, and other human activities create noise. This affects humans and animals, their natural vegetation and create Noise Pollution.

Thermal Pollution – Manufacturing activities lead to rise in the temperature of water and land. This affects marine and plant life. Such activities lead to thermal pollution.

Ceren Yapici ,Master of Science Student in Environmental Engineering in Stuttgart University

Reference:
https://www.alphaenvironmental.com.au/7-different-types-pollution-explained/

Carla

Hola! My name is Carla, I have been an intern at ACARBIO for over 5 months, and would like to share my experience with you.

I am 26 year old Chilean, studying Sustainable Development at Uppsala University, in Sweden. After spending my first two semesters learning more about the topic, having interesting conversations about different environmental issues and taking walks around the forests covered in snow, I decided to look for an internship which could help me understand how sustainable practices can be applied in real life.

Searching through the website erasmusintern.org the word ‘sustainability’ the first post that appeared was the one of ACARBIO. The description of the internship seemed very interesting to me, as it involved working with the local community in different environmental projects, plus I could improve my Italian skills.

 

I arrived to Tramonti on July 1st, right on the start of the summer. I might say was not an easy to get there. A lot of curves and buses full of tourists, aiming to spend beautiful days in the Amalfi Coast.

I met the ACARBIO team the next day, surrounded by the beautiful mountains and preparing to have an Italian lunch. A thing you might need to know before coming here is that Italian food traditions are very important, and there will be a lot of conversations during lunch time revolting around this subject. If you LOVE food as much as I do, this is a perfect place for you. Enzo, the president of ACARBIO, is passionate about it too and enjoys cooking a lot, so most of the days he prepares lunch for the whole team. However, what he was not expecting is, that someone who is lactose and gluten intolerant will show up in the office (a.k.a me). After the first initial shock, Enzo became very interested in my eating habits, and he was also very nice and kind to let me know whenever he was cooking something that contained flour or cheese, so I could eat something else. During the internship, we discovered that I was able to eat certain things that contained gluten and ‘lievito’, for example the famous ‘pagnotto’, ‘pane biscotatto’ or pizza, and we were constantly doing experiments with food, though sometimes did not go well and I had to suffer stomach ache for some hours.

Aside from food, this internship made me realize the amazing nature we have in our planet, and how NGOs work. The office of ACARBIO is located in the Parco Regionale dei Monti Lattari, which a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The team aimed to support the candidature of this Amalfi Coast to become a Man and Biosphere Reserve, but due to political reasons and changes in the administration of the region, this has been slowed down. In the view of this, ACARBIO decided to take another route and be part of different youth projects related to sustainable development.

When I arrived in July, the Erasmus + project ‘The Green WE Make’ was about to start, which brought together 30 participants from different parts of Europe to be part of sustainability discussions and team work activities. Meanwhile Antonio, Enzo, Cornelia and Emilija were living in the local school of Minori, I was adapting slowly to my new life in the mountains, while preparing the project Make It Blue. This project was developed from the 31st of July until the 22nd of August in the beach town of Minori. My friend Emilija and I were team leaders for the 20 volunteers that came to spend their summer holidays in a different way.

This was the fourth edition of Make it Blue, which aims to raise awareness about the pollution on the beach, by doing environmental workshops with the kids, cleaning the beach every day and doing flash-mobs or artistic interventions with what has been found in the sand. This year, we found around 9.000 cigarette butts in only three weeks, as they contain plastic and can enter the Ocean with the wind or waves, it becomes a danger for the marine fauna because they can mistake them for food. Aside from this, I had the opportunity of living in the beach town of Minori, take a swim in the warm sea and enjoy the stunning view.

After this project, I went back to the office in Tramonti, spend time a lot of time in the garden, where everyday I picked up tomatoes, eggplants, basil, chilli-peppers, figs, pears or apples, and helped Antonio and Cornelia with the Erasmus+ project applications. This type of projects, offers a great chance for young people to engage in activities related to local traditions, sustainability and intercultural exchange, so I would recommend anyone to apply for them if possible.

As soon as the autumn came, the chestnuts and walnuts started to fall, and the Re Fiascone tomato sauce production started! If you have not heard about this type of tomato, a heads up: it is an ancient re-discovery and tastes amazing. With the help of work-awayers from Germany, USA, Argentina, Uruguay and Turkey, the jars were cleaned, labeled and put in boxes, to be sent across the Atlantic Ocean. I must say that after these weeks, I appreciate much more a home-made or artisanal product, as I realized all the work that is behind and the planification it requires to put all the ‘parts’ together.

During November, Cornelia and I had the task of preparing an activity for the elementary schools of Tramonti and Minori, in the context of the UNESCO Week of Education for Sustainable Development, which had as main topic “moving away from plastics: a path to be built”. We decided to do a presentation about plastic pollution in the Ocean and how it affects the ecosystem, especially on marine life (as you may guess I got inspired by the Make It Blue period), and a beach cleanup with the kids of Minori. It was an unforgettable experience; the children were very keen on picking up the trash and were able to realize how their own beach gets polluted by visitors or locals. After taking from the sand almost 5.000 elements, mainly composed by plastic, they were asking us “when is the next one?”, which gave me hope on the next generation.

By the end of this last project, I realized that my passion for protecting the Planet grew stronger, that with all the experiences lived in this internship, I re-connected to nature and specially the Ocean. This would not have been possible without the support of the ACARBIO team: Enzo, Antonio and Cornelia, who decided to go on a different path that most people take and work for a good cause, something that gives back to the community and the Earth, and I am very glad I could spend this time with them.

Another very important part of my time in Tramonti, was the intern’s life in the apartment in Pietre. Long summer afternoons playing music in the balcony, with Emilija, Lorenz and Tania, transformed into cozy movie nights and local wine parties with Jenny, Jarek and Cornelia. I am entirely grateful to have met such amazing people and been able to spend half a year with them.

If you are still wondering whether you should do this internship, I can assure it would be a life-changing experience and will help you understand many things, not only about NGOs, but also about yourself. Life is too short to live it always wondering what if… give it a shot, you will not regret it!

THE END / THE BEGINNING

After bazillion different complications (Murphy’s law, I guess) I finally landed in Naples and got on the shuffle bus to Maiori. I’ll never forget this journey. Some bald guy was driving like crazy, hitting the horn every time he was passing the car that dared to be slower, of course everything while talking on the phone. In Neapolitan.“Well, it doesn’t get any more Italian than this, does it?” I said to a terrified, elderly lady from UK who was sitting next to me and kept repeating “Sweet Jesus” every time we would take a curve.

After an hour our bus arrived to the coast. I got off, looked at the view ahead of me and gagged. I sat on the bench and spent an hour listening to the sound of waves, admiring the sea that was just simply too blue to be real and observing people sunbathing on the beach. I have to admit, it was pretty good first impression. And, as I learned during the following weeks, I only got better.

I’ll come back to the views later, but for now, let’s talk work.

To be honest, after rather poor experiences with internships in Poland, I wasn’t  expecting anything more than copying documents from 9 to 5, fortunately I couldn’t be more wrong. First of all,  you need to know that ACARBIO is nothing like a typical office. There weren’t any gray walls or narrow boxes. We were working in a charming, cozy cottage adapted to the needs of the office, immersed in the greenery of Tramonti. I wasn’t copying documents, I actually learned a lot. I had a chance to improve my English and Italian by writing and translating articles for the website, I learned how to write ERASMUS+ projects and how does WordPress work, I was making maps, mapping terraces in Corsano, I helped rescue from abandonment an old shelter in the middle of the woods, I was planting salad and fennel seedlings (in the middle of November!) and I became an expert in labeling jars 😉 with “red gold” – an antique variety of tomato called Re Fiascone, that ACARBIO basically saved from extinction.

Since I’ve already mentioned tomatoes, the time has come to talk about food

Thanks to Enzo, the president of ACARBIO, I had an unique opportunity to try a real, home, Italian cuisine. From products cultivated in association’s garden, he was able to create truly exceptional dishes. I didn’t realize how good can taste pasta (which by the way Enzo made by himself couple of times) with pumpkin, or potatoes, or beans, or poppy seeds (SIC!). I got to eat probably the best risotto in my life, I learned how to prepare a proper coffee (not as simple as you might think), I tried deadly spicy peppers and had pleasure to observe the process of making  pane biscottato. Enzo taught me how to make pagnotto (google it), and believe me, it is worth to apply for this internship just to try his pagno-pizza. Oh, and I almost forgot about Chilean, Chinese and Austrian dinner! So much delicious food, so much stress when finally came the day of Polish evening…

Let’s go back to the views for a second.

Amalfi Coast is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Full of small, picturesque cities “attached” to the mountains that literally fall into Tyrrhenian Sea. There are lemon orchards, olive groves and vineyards everywhere you look. I used to spend my days off on visiting absolute ‘musts” like Amalfi, Positano, Salerno or just wandering down alleys of less known, but equally beautiful Minori or Atrani. I absolutely fell in love with Ravello that towers over entire Coast and had so much fun during the trip to Capri that I took with ACARBIO team in September. While sitting on a chairlift that was taking us up to the summit of Mount Solaro I realized that I’m actually afraid of heights, but God oh God it was worth it. The views were just breathtaking.

Path of Gods

Let’s move on to the last part of my story, the most important one – people

I met a lot of  fascinating people whose open-mindedness, intelligence, passion, commitment for work and bravery were absolutely inspiring.

I’m gonna start with super nice and understanding locals who would always pick us up when we were trying to hitchhike.

Then workawayers: Claudia (probably the nicest person in the world) and Felix with whom I had pleasure to do the Path of the Gods, eat pizza in the garden in Ravello, chill on the beach in Maiori; Chemi, Mauro and Mona with whom we would go for a beer after work, Amber –three weeks that she spent in ACARBIO for me were probably the most entertaining of all.

The amazing staff of ACARBIO: Enzo – chef, Mcgyver, visionary with head full of ideas; Antonio -super intelligent, super funny and just a tiny bit nerdy (still in a good way) mystery guy who liked humming to hard rock songs. Talking nonsense with you during lunches was a pure pleasure! Cornelia – she was the one who glued ACARBIO together. Super-well-organized, always thinking three steps ahead, very passionate about her job, the only one who really understood polish way of consuming alcoholic beverages, which I consider a tremendous asset :); Valeria who preferred baby spiders and praying mantis over puppies and kittens. I guess that’s how passion for entomology manifests itself. I’m sure that we’ll read her first article in Nature in no time.

And finally, last but definitely not least, Carla and Jenny, my amazingly awesome flat mates. I’ll never forget our conversations in the kitchen, drinking wine from pizzeria, playing guitar and singing like crazy, watching movies and Chinese talent shows. We had so much fun that I could write an entire book about it. Can’t wait to meet you again!

All good things come to an end, and so did my adventure in ACARBIO. I came back home as a totally different man: more confident, calmer, wiser. Now I look at the world form a totally different perspective and I’m very excited to start this new chapter.

I had the time of my life. Thank you guys for making saying goodbye so hard!

Jarek Stawarz

How to prevent plastic pollution?

 

UNESCO week for ESD 2018, had as main topic “moving away from plastics: a path to build”, where ACARBIO and Club per l’Unesco di Amalfi, visited the middle schools of Tramonti and Minori discuss about this topic and reflect on the trash present on the beach.

Plastic has become a global concern, due to its characteristics and low producing price, it is used in almost everything. It has some advantages, as it is durable and light weight, becoming a disposable element for humans. However, it will remain in the environment for centuries. Did you know that only 9% of the plastic in the world gets recycled, 12% is burned to produce energy, and the rest 78% is left either on a landfill or in the nature?

If you are interested in helping prevent getting more plastic into our world, here are 5 simple R´s that can make a big difference everyday:

  • Refuse single use plastic: When going to a store and seeing fruits wrapped in plastic, the choice not to buy them, can send a message to the producers and make them change their packaging or totally avoid it, at the end, who needs an orange wrapped in plastic? When going out for a drink, refuse the plastic straw! Click here to check the environmental impacts of this type of single-use plastic
  • Reduce the plastic consumption: Have you heard about products sold in ‘bulk’? this is used mostly by shop owners when they buy to the producer. However, there are certain stores which allow the costumers to carry our own container and buy products like beans, lentils, nuts, without the package. This considerably reduces the amount of plastic you don’t need

Resultado de imagen de glass tupper}Picture from: pixabay

  • Reuse: Do you have plastic bottles around you house? Reuse them to carry water, make an ashtray or use them as an eco-brick. There are houses and buildings all over the world that are built with this material!
  • Recycle: The importance of recycling lies in the fact that the more we recycle, the less new plastic is produced. There are 7 different types of plastic, and there are certain recycling centers which contain the specific differentiation. What is important for all of them is to CLEAN them properly before putting them into the bins.

Resultado de imagen de recycling point

Picture from: assignment point

Even though recycling is very useful, it may not be possible with every plastic item, therefore, we arrive to the last ‘R

  • Rethink: knowing and being conscious about the products you buy is the most relevant action you can take. What would this product do to marine life if it reaches the ocean? Is it possible that this plastic-cotton bud will end up in nature even though I put it in the trash? These are questions that can make the difference when thinking of buying a new product or using a plastic made element.

 Resultado de imagen de rethink plastic

Picture from: Rethink Plastic Vietnam

 

As this year’s UNESCO Week suggests, moving away from plastics is a road that must be built by every single one of us, and we hope this information can contribute to this to try to make the ocean and the planet plastic-free.

 

 

“Passeggiata patrimoniale”: Le tante viste della Valle delle Ferriere

In Costiera Amalfitana si possono percorrere molti sentieri e partecipare a passeggiate molto particolari. Una di queste è stata la passeggiata patrimoniale organizzata il giorno 22 settembre 2018 dal Club per l’UNESCO d’Amalfi nella Valle delle Ferriere ad Amalfi. Anche se ci troviamo a metà settembre c’è ancora un bel caldo, con più di 30 gradi.

 

La valle delle Ferriere è una Valle situata nelle montagne, si estende da Scala e porta giù ad Amalfi. Rappresenta una Riserva particolare per la Costiera amalfitana. Lì si trova un habitat con un microclima temperato durante tutto l’anno. La posizione protetta permette anche un clima molto umido e ricco d’acqua. Tra le specie particolari e protette lì si trovano la salamandra pezzata e una specie di felce (Woodwardia radicans) protetta e a rischio d’estinzione. Salamandre sono amfibi che dopo la sciusa delle uova vivono per un periodo nell’acqua. Poi, una volta sviluppati, vivono sulla terra. Sono molto sensibili rispetto a inquinamenti, cioè, già le persone faccendosi un bagno inquinano le acque troppo per renderli invivibili alle salamandre. Purtroppo questo succede, nonostante ci stanno cancelle e segni lì che cercano di fare le persone sapere. Il particolare della felce è lo sporangio del maschio, che cresce sotto le foglie nei periodi di riproduzione in autunno. La qualità dell’acqua lì è ottima. La Valle è stata scelta come destinazione della giornata della passeggiata patrimoniale, organizzata dall’UNESCO per apprezzare i passaggi segreti in tutto il mondo.

Proprio perché si tratta di un habitat prezioso, per motivi di salvaguardia non si può accedere nella Riserva se non accompagnati da una guardia forestale. Infatti, per l’accesso serve un permesso dalla guardia forestale. Basta scrivere una mail o chiedere telefonicamente alla Guardia. Sulla via nel bosco, a volte si vedono anche rifiuti di passeggiatori. L’accesso ristretto esiste comunque per un motivo. Innanzitutto, si tratta di un ecosistema delicato. Il Guardia ci spiega come cercano di aumentare la sensibilizzazione delle persone. Entrando lì senza permesso risulta anche in una multa alta. Visitiamolo ma con rispetto. Attraverso l’escursione guidata, siamo stati fortunati perché abbiamo potuto ricevere informazioni oltre a quelle che si vedono di solito sulla passeggiata. Siamo stati accompagnati e abbiamo visto posti e piante nascosti nel terreno.

Nel passato, nella Valle c’erano delle piccole fabbriche: ferriera e impianti d’elettricità idrica. È anche per via di quel periodo che la Valle ha questo nome. Oggi ci sono rimaste perlopiù rovine ed è un posto dove si possono vedere resti d’architettura industriale, le ultime ferriere furono abbandonate negli anni 50. L’impianto d’elettricità idrica è stato ristrutturato e produce energia per la Costiera. L’acqua delle sorgenti e dei fiumi, essendo di alta qualità, viene anche utilizzata nelle abitazioni della Costiera.

Sulla via si trovano anche piccoli sentieri, dove si può prolungare un po’ la giornata, riprendere le forze, e avere altri momenti di tranquillità. Questo habitat prezioso rappresenta un’opportunità per vivere la bellezza, lì, dove si trova un’altra faccia della Costiera.

 

Cornelia Kramsall * student in Environmental Management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Science Vienna

“passionate about projects and ideas to enjoy life while greening the world – let’s keep spreading the word”

THE CASE OF GRAPEVINE MURDERER. WHY TRAMONTI’S VINEYARDS SURVIVED?

 

Tramonti is undoubtedly one of the best quality vine producer in the world. Did you know that it is also one of few places in the world that avoided the attack of Phylloxera, an insect that in 19th century led to the collapse of the wine industry?

Quality was always the most important thing for the wine producers from all over the world. That’s why for hundreds of years winegrowers tried to select only those wine grape varieties that were giving the best quality fruits. The price that had to be paid for the high quality of the product was the enormous sensitivity of the grapevine to the diseases. How high this price would be the farmers were to learn in the second half of the 19th century, with the arrival to Europe an inconspicuous visitor from America (at least at the first sight) the phylloxera.

 

PHYLLOXERA BECOMES A WROLD TRAVELLER

But how did this small aphid appear on the Old Continent after all? With the help of man, of course. Eurpoean winegrowers began to import grapevine seedlings from America; seedlings in which phylloxera lived. In the past, the poor thing had never managed to reach Europe, it would die before the ship could get to the port. But the situation changed drastically with the take-up of steamboats. The three-week journey was no longer lethal for phylloxera. It arrived to Europe and, unfortunately for all wine producers, liked it there very much.

 

THE FIRST STRIKE

It all began in France. Phylloxera attacked for the first time near Avignon, in 1863. A new disease that was causing the withering of leaves appeared. Two years later, farmers noticed that some infected plants began to die. By the end of 1867 phylloxera, operating undercover, completely destroyed few large vineyards near the Lower Rhone.

 

THE INQUIRY

Concerned farmers turned to the Société Centrale d’Agricolture de l’Hérault (very esteemed at the time argicultural society) with a request to investigate the matter. A three-man committee initially focused on the study of dead grapevines. They didn’t find anything suspect so decided to dig up sick, but still alive plant. That was when they discovered that the roots were covered with a yellow coating. After looking through the magnifying glass, it turned out that the yellow spots were in fact colonies of microscopic insects. It was named phylloxera vastatrix (because of the resemblance to phylloxera quercus, an insect that was attacking the oak leaves). Further research had shown that phylloxera vastatrix was ​​in fact the same species that was attacking leaves in American vineyards and that it could very quickly reproduce on the roots of healthy European grapevines.

 

PANDEMIC

In 1870, the insect appeared in virtually every vineyard in France. Soon after, phylloxera “wandered” into Portugal, Turkey, Austria, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland. In 1875, it attacked also Italian vineyards. After 1880, basically all European vineyards, from the Balkans to Russia, were infected. The plague reached even Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

 

THE REMEDY

After many studies, it turned out that “the root form” of phylloxera did not attack the roots of some American grapevines. Thus, traditional varieties of European grapes were grafted onto stocks of their American cousins. A large-scale replanting of the vast areas of destroyed vineyards has begun. The nightmare ended and viticulture in Europe has been saved. But before that happened, the phylloxera had changed forever the wine map of the world. The wine industry was on the verge of collapse. In 1888, 68 thousand hectares of vineyards were destroyed in France alone! Hungary, which before the attack of phylloxera was the second wine producer in the world, at the late 19th century had to import it to satisfy their own needs.

 

HOW DID TRAMONTI SURVIVE?

Also in Italy, several tens of percent of the vineyards were destroyed and entire towns in the south of the country were almost completely depopulated. Fortunately, there are areas that phylloxera didn’t reach. One of them is Tramonti. How did it happen that this area survived? The volcanic soil turned out to be a savior. The baby Phylloxera (larva) couldn’t move in the non-homogeneous, humus-deprived environment. The aphid, for its part, didn’t like windy climate. Therefore, today, Tramonti is one of the few places in the world where you can see a 500-year-old grapevine, which happily avoided the attack of a murderous insect.

BIOgas – BIOsolution to the Problem of Organic Waste

 

Our energy demand is in constant growth. In countries such as India and China, the problem is so serious that power blackouts are on a daily basis. In addition to energy demand, also the amount of waste generated increases year by year. The waste is produced literally by everyone. Every sector of the economy, every household.

The problem also concerns agriculture, both in the case of multi-hectare farms and home gardens. We want to eat healthy, so we start to grow our own vegetables and fruit. But what to do with their inedible parts after the harvest? Unfortunately, it often happens that they are being stored in random places or burned. You can see (and smell) it also on the Coast. The ecological effects of both these activities have very serious consequences. It’s ironic: we contribute to the production of greenhouse gases by wanting to be more eco friendly.

But maybe it is possible to use all this waste that we produce for the benefit of the environment? The solution can be biogas. The same methane that, released from landfills, contributes to the greenhouse effect, can be successfully used for the production of green energy.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The key word is “methane fermentation”. That’s the name of the four-stage process that produces biogas. In very simple terms, different types of bacteria decompose organic matter, closed in a special concrete tank, into simpler and simpler chemical compounds (soluble organic molecules, volatile fatty acids, acetic acid). The final product is biogas consisting of methane (40-70%), carbon dioxide (30-60%) and small amounts of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide. Purified biogas (dried and devoid of contaminants, such as carbon dioxide and sulfur compounds), can be used to produce electricity (combustion in special engines) or heat. Post-fermentation residues are an extremely nutrient-rich fertilizer! The benefit is therefore double!

Even though in theory everyone can build a makeshift mini biogas installation, for the production to be really profitable, specialized infrastructure is needed. That costs money, so the production of the biogas on every farm, at least for now, is just a dream. But even one functioning biogas plant in the region can significantly contribute to the improvement of the local environment.

Make it Blue 2018!

The free beach of Minori is also ours

Minori, 31 august 2018

The fourth version of Make It Blue started on July 31st, 2018, with the arrival of volunteers from all over Europe. As past years, the Make it Blue project is done in collaboration with YAP Italia and the Municipality of Minori, and it is a work camp dedicated to clean the beaches, support the local community and create awareness on beach and ocean pollution present in the region.

In this edition, there were two different workcamps, each of them lasting 12 days, with the same camp leaders / coordinators, our interns from Uppsala University: Emilija Žilinskaitė & Carla Cecconi. Both workcamps overlapped for 3 days, which benefited the information exchange from one group to another, giving tips and relevant knowledge about the daily activities and experiences lived in Minori.

Two teams together!
Back row: Katerina K, Vanja, Otto, Antonio, Katerina T / Middle row: Clara, Rozi, Lucas, Héctor, Mona, Emilija, Tanya, Anna /Front row: Gloria, Bianca, Carla

All of the volunteers, which came from 12 different countries, Slovakia, Estonia, Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Finland, Serbia, Russia, Denmark, Lithuania and Chile, decided to spend their summer holidays in a different way, motivated to be part of the change, and were constantly giving ideas on how to improve the trash situation in Minori, for example setting signs for the trash containers indicating what should be recycled in there.

One of the main element that was found by the volunteers on the beach, were cigarette butts, left by the smokers on the sand. The people who do this may think that it is ‘just one cigarette’, however, during 21 days of beach cleaning, there were at least 9.000 of them collected. This situation inspired the groups to do a Flashmob that showed the reality of the problem. Making a 20 meter cigarette line, along with two big carton cigarettes filled with cigarette butts, the volunteers marched on the 11th and 19th of August, around the three free beaches of Minori, saying out loud ‘All of these cigarettes we found them on the beach, and you… where have you put yours?’, trying to provoke a reaction on the visitors of the beach.

After both flash mobs, there was considerably less trash found on the beach, however, during the following days, the situation did not improve and went back to the initial state. With this, there were days where the spirits and motivation were low, also after the food truck festival, when the beaches were filled with food cartons and napkins; Nevertheless, there were inspirational situations that made us all be positive about the impact we are generating with the Make it Blue project: Kids on the workshop were able to differentiate the trash and recycle in a proper way, two little girls followed the volunteers while cleaning the beach and asked to join and help, and uncountable people approached the team to congratulate them for their work and the example that is being set for the younger ones.

Aside from the working life, our volunteers also enjoyed their free time, with local food dinners prepared by our friend Alfonso, beach parties, concerts, music events organized by the municipality, and lindy hop lessons, led by Emilija!

 

We are very happy to have been able to host this project for the fourth consecutive year, and very proud of all the people that came here and gave their time and knowledge to Make it Blue again!

 

 

10 TIPS ABOUT ITALIAN COFFEE FOR BEGINNERS. The perfect after-lunch-ceremony.

Obsessed about culinary? No way! Did you ever wonder about the Italian way to make coffee? Well, coffee is not coffee. And the difference is noticeable. But don’t worry, there are 10 easy tips to cook Italian coffee:

  1. Use a “caffetiera”. It’s those old style, metal coffee cookers that have 3 pieces and you put them directly on the stove. “Nespresso”, what is that?
  2. Always in company. A coffee machine for one coffee will be considered something sad. Coffee is a social ceremony, and is never enjoyed for something as banal as “to wake up in the morning”.
  3. Fill the right amount of water. It should be right up to the valve, not more. Otherwise the coffee will get too watery.
  4. Fill the right amount of coffee. So the filter needs to be full with a small hill on top, but not pressed. If you press it, the coffee will start to get burned.
  5. Let it cook for the right amount of time. The moment only foam comes out and you hear the familiar noise, turn the flame off. Otherwise it will get burned.
  6. Stir it. Otherwise the first person will have too light coffee, and the last person too strong coffee.
  7. Have the right temperature for the cups. They are supposed to be warm enough to keep the coffee warm, but not too hot to burn you.
  8. Have the right amount of coffee in the cups. It’s a sip, not more. A sip.
  9. Amaro o dolce. But NEVER, never drink Cappuccino after lunch.
  10. Don’t wash the caffetiera with soap. Otherwise the coffee will start tasting strange. And trust me, it will be noticed.
  11. Remember, that coffee is not a beverage, it is an art, life style and faith-related topic. Never underestimate the importance of good coffee. And don’t let yourself get distracted during the preparation process!
  12. Of course there are more than 10 rules. What did you expect? 10 exactly? Numbers… one is like the other. So no one ever counted them, nor will ever count them, and there will be even more rules for more experienced people, more tricks on how to always improve the result. Or more local secrets about different styles of coffee.

So, in case you thought Italians are obsessed with culinary, I’m sure this simple manual will make you change your expectations. Remember, there is just simple rules to keep in mind to arrive at the perfect after lunch ceremony 😉

Stay tuned for more tips on Italian coffee!

 

Cornelia Kramsall * student in Environmental Management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Science Vienna

“passionate about projects and ideas to enjoy life while greening the world – let’s keep spreading the word”