Estonian civic initiatives going global
World Cleanup 2012
A new civic movement is spreading across the globe with the goal of cleaning up all the illegal garbage in the world – Let's Do It!
The movement started in 2008 in the little Nordic country of Estonia, where a call went out to help clean up the whole country in a single day. As a result, 50 000 people – 4% of the whole population – came together to pick up 10 000 tons of illegal garbage from roadsides, forests and towns in just 5 hours!
But it didn't stop there – since 2008 the bold one-day-one-country cleanup model has been a success in multiple countries around the world. Today community cleanup days co-ordinated by local organisers have been held in 16 countries with the help of over 2.7 million volunteers. Since the Estonian idea kept getting more and more global attention, it was decided to cook up an ambitious plan for a world-wide cleanup. Through co-operation with organisers in different countries, an international movement was born that calls together active citizens who want to help make their local neighbourhood and the entire world a cleaner place.
World Cleanup 2012 is the first global endeavour of the Let's Do It! movement. It will bring together active people and organisations from 100 countries that will be leading one major cleanup day in their respective locations between 24 March and 25 September 2012. Over 70 countries have already given word that they will be participating.
The true goal of these trash cleanup initiatives is not simply to get together and remove garbage – it's a way to highlight littering as a reflection of more profound problems in society and the world as a whole, while simultaneously showing people that the solution is right in front of them and all they need is the initiative and a slight change in their mindset. The organisers of the movement in different countries will also be doing everything they can to start a dialogue with their respective governments and make concrete recommendations for reforming waste management by taking into consideration the principles of environmental preservation and sustainability. The goal is to see a shift from waste management to resource management.
The large team of Estonian volunteers, led by Let's Do It! creator Rainer Nõlvak, will play a key role in the success of this undertaking. Starting from 24 March 2012 a wave of one-day countrywide cleanups will sweep over the world, resulting in millions of tons of gathered waste, a cleaner environment, and renewed and deeper connections between people, communities and nature.
More information: www.letsdoitworld.org
Bank of Happiness
The idea of the Bank of Happiness came to the founder of the organisation, Airi Kivi, when the exhausted but happy organisational team of Let's Do It 2008 (the big community cleanup day held in Estonia) came together after the successful conclusion of the event. They held a brainstorming session with the goal of finding exciting new challenges. The clear understanding of the fact that there is a gap in society between humane caring and economic well-being resulted in the idea for a new organisation, for which a founding document was promptly drawn up.
The goal of the Bank of Happiness is very simple – to make everyone happy!
The bank founders believe that the formula for happiness lies in noticing others. People want to help others but often don't know how.
www.onnepank.ee – that provides a safe environment for individuals to request or share favours or services. Every person has something he or she can do well or likes to do, and the Bank of Happiness gives people the opportunity to inform other bank users that they have a talent or service they're willing to share. When people dedicate their personal time to helping others, they are able to bring great joy to someone in need – something very simple for one person might just be the thing someone else is missing.Or sometimes they know that there are people who need help but don't know who they are and how to reach them. This is where the Bank of Happiness steps in. A website was created –
The purpose of the initiative is completely sincere and purely focused on the desire to do good for all of society. Participating in the Bank of Happiness is easy and fun. A bank user can experience new things and meet interesting people, plus it is the only bank where EVERYTHING is free of charge!
The idea of promoting non-monetary values in order to help people find their way back to a deeper self has received very positive feedback from all over the world. Therefore the online environment, which initially was only in Estonian, has now been translated into four other languages and new needs and offers can be added in English.
The Bank of Happiness wants to make people think and act with their hearts. The Bank is meant for all those who value good deeds and have the will to do good without asking anything in return. Looking at the increasing number of new members and posts on our website, it seems that fortunately there are a lot of people out there who share these same values.
More information: www.onnepank.ee