Environment Week – From trash exhibition to waste dinner

Viher tiimiHENVI  isoEnvironment Week culminates in Swap Day, where you can get rid of things that are gathering dust in your cupboards, as long as they are in good condition.

A University-wide cleaning day? That’s what’s coming on the Friday of Environment Week, but with a small difference.

“Unlike Cleaning Day, when the city turns into a giant flea market, on Swap Day, only objects change hands, not money. The event is self-organising, so a group of colleagues or students, for example, can set up their own swap table. The aim is to increase both environmental awareness and a sense of community,” explains Anni Leppänen of the Green Team, which organises Environment Week.

Organised for the second time this year from 6 to 10 October, Environment Week extends its events to all campuses.

Small acts, big impact

The topics of Environment Week are closely tied with everyday life. This means, for example, tips on conserving energy as well as events on energy solutions and transportation.

But the week is not without amusements! Participants can create a work of environmental art, join a dinner of waste food, or see a trash exhibition. A photography competition will also be arranged to coincide with Environment Week to showcase the University’s most impressive environmental effort.

The goal of Environment Week is to emphasise the small everyday acts that we can do to protect the environment. The Green Team hopes that during the week, members of the University community will stop and think about their relationship with the environment.

“Everybody at the University could use the week to try something new with an open mind, such as having a vegetarian lunch, or another small everyday act. If every member of the University community were to consider even the smallest environmental acts during the week, we would accumulate a huge environmental effort!” points out Meri Norola of the Green Team.

Green Team hard at work

Primarily students have organised Environment Week. The Green Team, which involves students from the Viikki and Kumpula Campuses and operates under the Helsinki University Centre for Environment HENVI, have made the practical arrangements.

The students have been working part-time for the Green Team during the autumn. The 21 events of Environment Week have demanded a great deal of dedication from the organisers, who have also learned much.

“We’ve had to keep more balls in the air than ever before. While planning the events, I’ve been able to apply the theoretical environmental knowledge I’ve acquired during my studies in practice,” says Antti Seppälä of the Green Team.

The Environment Week programme

Text: Tiina Palomäki
Photo: Linda Tammisto
Translation: University of Helsinki Language Services