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Russian “Step to Ecosupport” Project Experts Studied Green Solutions In Norway

"Step to Ecosupport" project experts of "Friends of the Baltic" NGO get acquainted with practical green solutions that implemented in educational and municipal areas in Norway. Simple steps for proper disposal of waste in schools, kindergartens and at home, green energy for heating houses, support of ecological transport is only small part of experience that can be useful to Russian ecosupporters.

The Norwegian Society for nature conservation (NSNC) is a long - standing partner of "Friends of the Baltic" NGO for SPARE project (School project for the rational use of resources and energy). The specialists of the International Department of NSNC and guests from Russia discussed the development of SPARE project, collaboration of non-governmental organizations on the issues of climate change, sustainable energy and environmental protection.

Staff of NSNC not only work with projects for nature conservation, but also apply environmentally responsible decisions in office. The kitchen has a water filter, which allows employees to not buy water in plastic bottles, substantially reducing the use of natural resources and energy. Separate waste collection is also a part of office kitchen, all staff members are aware of that before you dispose of the packing materials in a bucket, you need to crush It in order to reduce the space occupied by waste. It helps to reduce the number of vehicles that transports waste, and, therefore, the amount of fuel for transportation. In the corridor they have a bike which can be used by every employee during the day.

NSNC expert on energy efficiency Dag Arne Hoystad showed what practical solutions are applied in Asker, town situated in 20 km from Oslo. In 1996 local landfill was closed, and now new owners produce methane and use it to generate heat and electricity using a Stirling engine. 290 Kilowatts of energy are produced here each year, which Iggyset company sells to the Asker grid. This quantity is enough to heat and electrify 50 houses. Stock amount of methane should be enough for another 30-40 years. Also there is a space for the reception of separately collected waste. Residents bring it to the site and put in different containers, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, organic waste (branches, garden waste...), glass.

Each year Iggyset company conducts tours for fourth-graders. Students are told what is happening with separately collected waste and how waste is becoming new resources and how they can help to save energy and resources. For all eighth-graders municipal government organizes another tour type - acquaint them with examples of energy efficient solutions and "green" energy sources.

In municipality of Asker, Bjorn Norby, adviser on environmental issues, spoke about the role of the municipality in achieving a clean environment for residents. 43 out of 49 schools in Asker are certified with Green flag, after a few years, according to Bjorn, 100% of schools will participate in the project. The main issue of school work and Asker municipality is transport. Majority of children and adults go to school or work by bikes, many parents bring up several neighbor children on the same car, to reduce traffic load. Citizens and government work together to make Asker a “Bike village”. Through privileges for electric cars emissions of carbon dioxide by 2020 will be reduced by 20% in Norway. Here it makes sense, since the energy for electric cars not produced by burning fossil fuels but by hydropower stations. Now owners of electric cars can use special road lines for public transport and don’t pay vehicle tax.

By 2020, it will be prohibited to use fossil fuel for heating homes in Asker, soon such equipment will not be sold. The municipality informs owners of diesel boilers about it. During next 6 years, city plans to use geothermal energy for heating private sector, along with biofuel (pellets). In this case, all newly built homes in the country must be "energy passive" or “energy active” (homes that can share energy with other objects).

The last visit of the trip took place in the Noclean kindergarten, which has EcoLighthouse certification. This certification confirms that the institution has a system of eco-management, teaching kids according to the principles of sustainable development. Stuff and kids save water, energy and resources. Also there is separate waste collection - and even 3-5 year-old children without reminders throw paper trash in a separate box.

Kindergarten participates in the Rainforest Foundation program. The Fund has calculated the ecological footprint of milk bag. Throwing 200 packages of milk to recycling kids "saved" sloth, i.e. recycling saved forests from cutting down the trees. So children are aware of connection between our daily consumption and environment. The study of local natural is a part of daily activities in the kindergarten. Kids go to the local pond, studying the plants and animals living here.

It is noteworthy that the local authorities in Norway use all the channels of communication to inform the community about how to keep the environment clean and livable. For example, Dag Arne Hoystad received a letter from the municipality of Asker the day before arriving of “Friends of the Baltic”. The letter contained a foldable box for used batteries and a booklet about how to protect the environment from hazardous waste. Also in the envelope was a bag-reminder that unnecessary clothing can be put into a special container. Very old clothes go for recycling, and wearable will go to the local charity shop and gain a second life.

Experts of "Friends of the Baltic" NGO use received in Norway experience for Ecosupport trainings in educational institutions for consultations and development of a distance learning course for new ecosupporters, to exchange information with partner organizations.

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