Tens of thousands take part in nationwide “Let’s Do It!” cleanup day
Estonia held its ninth annual “Let’s Do It!” nationwide cleanup day on Saturday, in which 42,000 residents helped clean and fix up nearly 2,000 sites across the country.
While one of the initiative’s key themes this year was water safety, in conjunction with the country’s 2016 Year of Maritime Culture, volunteers were free to focus on whatever projects were most urgent in their community.
Participating projects included village, community maintenance, environment-related work, and garbage pickup, as well as projects organized by apartment associations and for the benefit of youth centers. In addition to water safety, a number of projects also centered around fire safety as well.
“Let’s Do It!” cleanup days are traditionally held on the first Saturday in May, and each participating community can decide for themselves what projects to tackle. In 2015, over 1,800 projects were officially registered, of which more than 47,000 people across the country took part.
The national cleanup day is organized by the Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF), the Estonian Village Movement, and other associated organizations.
Estonians abroad pitched in as well
In an interview given to morning radio broadcast “Vikerhommik” on Saturday morning, Tarmo Tüür, one of the event’s principal promoters, mentioned that Estonians in other countries lent a hand in their local communities as well on Saturday.
“Estonians all over the world are active today,” said Tüür. “Three projects were registered by Estonians living in Turku, Finland. There was also [a project registered in] Canada, near Toronto, where there is a vibrant Estonian community — they are planning on doing cleanup and maintenance work at Jõekääru Children’s Camp.”
Let’s Do It (“Teeme Ära”), initially organized as a one-off nationwide project in Estonia in 2008 that involved nearly 50,000 volunteers cleaning up a total of almost 10,000 tons of waste across the country, achieved international popularity in subsequent years, inspiring sister projects in other countries across the globe. According to Let’s Do It statistics, by the end of 2011, more than 2.5 million volunteers across 16 countries had participated in related cleanup actions around the globe.
In addition to annual projects in various countries, Let’s Do It! World is organizing a World Cleanup Day for 2018, the goal of which is to engage 150 countries and 5% of the population, or approximately 380 million volunteers, in a massive one-day worldwide cleanup project.