Green HSE Сleans up Moscow region’s Lake Relax
Members of the student organisation Green HSE volunteered to clean up nearly 30 meters of lakeshore around Moscow region’s Lake Relax, as well as 60 square meters of the surrounding forest. The volunteers managed to collect more than 50 120-liter bags of trash.
The location was selected due to the fact that an HSE Tourist rally took place there. Members of the Tourism Club had been to the lake several times and witnessed first-hand the amount of trash surrounding the water. This is why they immediately volunteered to lend Green HSE a hand in organising the Saturday trip.
‘About six months ago, a friend from the Tourclub was telling me how they went to a wonderful lake with a nice forest around it, and about how everything would have been perfect had there not been piles of trash sitting everywhere,’ comments Green HSE President Kristina Pokrovskaya. ‘That’s when I became determined to organise this event. And it was clear almost immediately that we would team up with the Tourclub, another organisation that loves the outdoors.’
Plastic and glass bottles, food wrappers, heaps of rotting trash, a wooden ladder, even a TV – the amount of trash there was astounding. The team collected all of the trash into bags and took it to a large dumpster in the courtyard of 2/8 Khitrovsky Lane in Moscow. University administration provided the volunteers with a truck to haul out the trash, and they helped with other logistical issues as well.
‘The trash we collected was too dirty to recycle,’ one of the trip’s organisers, Tatyana Fedorova, notes. ‘It was important to send the waste off to the right place. Unfortunately, very few people understand how necessary it is to clean up after themselves when spending time in nature. Recycling is step two,’ Tatyana says.
There ended up being so much trash that the team did not have enough trash bags and had to buy more. After they had filled up all of the bags, the volunteers, now with a clean forest and an even cleaner conscience, had lunch. They huddled around the fire to enjoy their meal and have a hot cup of tea, and of course they sang songs to not only the guitar, but also the harmonica as well thanks to a few musicians from the Tourclub.
‘Aside from being a lot of work, each trip like this is an excellent opportunity to enjoy nature, spend time with friends, and talk about your plans for the future,’ Kristina says. ‘Green HSE already has its traditional events, for example, our electronics recycling event in November (which is soon by the way, so don’t throw out any of your old electronics!) and our screening of the film EcoCup. We think that this type of environmental camping trip will become one of these events, and next year we plan to go to a different area outside of Moscow to make our world just a little bit cleaner,’ she concludes.
The team of Green HSE, an ecological student association, took first place in the category ‘Kind Team. University’, where the largest number of participants (2,025 contestants) took part. Eight volunteer teams from Moscow universities made it to the final round of the competition.
On June 3, a meeting with Chris Thaller, Head of Creative Projects at Runtastic by adidas and founder of the Parley Foundation, who is involved in a project to gather and recycle oceanic plastic, will take place at HSE University.
The environmental student organization Green HSE has launched a service for the separate collection of plastic waste. Special yellow containers can be found across HSE buildings. For now only plastic bottles can be collected for recycling.
Green HSE, a student environmental club, is taking part in the upcoming Moscow Flower Show, an international festival of gardens and flowers. As part of the HSE project ‘A University Open to the City’, students will give a presentation on mini parks, the goal of which is to revitalize one of Moscow’s abandoned mini parks or courtyards.