As we head into 2021, allow us a look back at all we achieved in 2020 with the help of our members and supporters.
1. DOCUMENTARY SCREENING
In the very beginning of the year, before any restrictions, we screened the film Cowspiracy, to help others better understand how animal agriculture impacts the environment and majorly contributes to climate change. The screening was followed by some Q&As and a presentation from a registered dietitian that explained how to have a healthy and balanced plant-based diet.
2. NEW CAMPAIGNS
Eco Food Delivery We’re persuading food delivery apps and delivery/take-away outlets to offer an “Eco Option”, excluding unnecessary disposables such as plastic cutlery, condiments, drinking straws and napkins. We managed to convince the “Wolf” delivery app to add our suggested “Eco Option” feature to their app for all customers to have the option to select upon checkout. And a few cafes we reached out to are now offering the “Eco Option” and a “Reusable Straw” option on their app stores. You can get in touch with us if you’re a business interested in adding either of these options to your delivery store to help reduce waste on the island!
Bin your Butt This campaign aims to decrease cigarette litter throughout Cyprus, by encouraging smokers to rethink how they dispose of their cigarette butts. As part of this project, we are installing Ballot Bins which allow smokers to vote on a variety of entertaining questions, by putting their cigarette butts in a slot below the answer of their choice. The litter stacks up behind the clear glass front in two columns, showing which answer is more popular. The bins are already used in several European countries and proven to reduce cigarette butt litter by 46%. Contact us if you’re interested in having one of these bins or can help us reuse/upcycle the cigarette butts collected from the bins!
Refill Cyprus A behavior change campaign created to help people reduce plastic pollution by making it easier to reuse and refill their bottles in public spaces. As part of this project, we are installing Water Refill Stations – providing free, filtered and chilled drinking water in busy recreational areas. This exciting project begins with the installation of our very first Refill Station in Cyprus, which has been placed on the Yermasoyia seafront. More info about the Launch Event can be found here and we soon expect to see the project expand across the entire island – more stations will be installed soon!
3. ENERGY GLOBE AWARD
Refill Cyprus has been nominated for an Energy Globe Award, the world award for sustainability and is today’s most renowned environmental prize worldwide. Project evaluations will take place in Spring and the winners will be announced in June-November 2021 – so please send us some good vibes! 😊
4. Awarded “ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR”
We are very proud to have been awarded Environmental Organization of the Year by ELAFI Animal Welfare Awards! We look forward to continuing with our actions to be able to reshape society in a way that will benefit us humans and the incredible creatures with whom we share our precious planet.
We’ve continued to carry out clean-ups during 2020, as and when COVID-19 restrictions made this possible. We held and participated in clean-up events at Yermasoyia Dam, Lady’s Mile Beach, Avdimou Beach, Akrotiri roadside and Amathos River.
- Some of the most found items were:
- Disposable gloves, a sad consequence of the pandemic. They are particularly dangerous because they are so light that they can be blown to waterways by the winds.
- Disposable masks, another item made necessary by the pandemic. Let’s remember to dispose of them properly or, even better, use reusable masks.
- Aluminium cans, which could have instead been donated to charities that recycle them to raise funds for good causes. Such as “Cans for Kids” and “Cans for Cats”.
- Plastic water bottles, many of the times half full or full of water – polluting the environment and also contributing to wasted drinkable water. An easy solution to avoid this waste would be to switch to reusable bottles. If you’re in need of one, consider The Refill Bottle by EkoNest. With every bottle purchased, €5 will be donated directly to our Refill Cyprus campaign.
- Bottle caps, one of the top five most found items of litter on beaches worldwide. Even if they are small, they still put wildlife in danger.
- Cigarette butts, another extremely dangerous small item because the filters are made of plastic, they contain toxic chemicals, and increase the risk of wildfire.
6. SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH
We campaign constantly on social media, to raise public awareness of the harms caused by waste in the environment, the improper disposal of waste and other negative climate-related issues caused by human activity.
7. FIVE “GREEN GIVEAWAYS"
- Compost Bin Giveaway, to help prevent food waste
- Shampoo Bar Giveaway, to help reduce plastic waste from packaging
- Water Filters Giveaway, to help reduce plastic bottle pollution
- Wildlife of Cyprus Book Giveaway, to educate about the biodiversity of our island
- Zero Waste Lifestyle Kit Giveaway, to help reduce their waste caused by everyday items
8. PARTICIPATED IN
- Veganuary, which encourages people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. Tip: 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the meat and dairy industry. Eating less can help protect the planet and animals.
- Environmestrual Week, which aims at making sustainable period products available for everyone. Tip: Consider reusable menstrual products, they are the best choice for your wallet and the environment.
- European Week for Waste Reduction, which aims at promoting the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle philosophy. Tip: Don’t buy when you don’t need, choose reusable products and recycle what you can when you generate waste.
- International Compost Awareness Week, which aims at increasing the number of people that compost at home. Tip: Composting is a win-win! You not only properly get rid of your food waste but you also gain nutritious soil to use for your plants.
9. DONATED TO FAMILIES IN NEED
In the ongoing spirit of giving, we donated tons of freshly pressed olive oil and fruit from the EkoNest garden and a box of bamboo toothbrushes to families in need during the holiday season. The fruit and olive oil was excess and would have eventually gone to waste, so what better than to avoid food waste and feed those in need at the same time? 😊
If you have anything around the house that you don’t need, such as food, kitchen appliances, clothes or other useful items, consider donating them to families in need. “There can be no greater gift than that of giving ones time energy to help others without expecting anything in return.” – Nelson Mandela
You can help support our efforts by:
- Becoming a member of Let’s Make Cyprus Green – For only €35 a year to help clean up our island and planet!
- Making a donation – So we can continue to expand our current and develop more community projects!
Each and every one of us is responsible for the future of our planet. Together we can make a difference!