During 2019-2021 thousands of people have participated in the SATAKOLKYT project that inspires people to explore the seaside of Helsinki and pick up litter. Together volunteers have cleaned 260 kilometers of the shoreline which is twice as much as the city's 130-kilometer shoreline on the Baltic Sea. SATAKOLKYT project will continue until next year.
SATAKOLKYT-project began in 2019 and was originally planned to end in December 2021, but received an extension for next year through an additional grant. "We are very happy that we can continue the work for the Baltic Sea and the beach clean-ups", says project coordinator Karoliina Eronen. "Next year, the project will focus especially on young people," Eronen continues. The project will continue until the annual Baltic Sea Day in late August 2022.
There have been individuals, school classes, groups of young people and organizations involved in the clean-up. Many companies have also participated as part of the staff wellbeing days. "Especially during the pandemic, the importance of urban nature has grown in the daily lives of many people. The littering of the Baltic Sea worries many people, which has certainly inspired them to take action", Eronen says. "According to the feedback from the volunteers, collecting rubbish is rewarding, as you can immediately see the work you have done", Eronen continues.
An interactive map can be found on the campaign's website. That shows when which beach was last cleaned. Anyone can book a piece of the beach line on the map for their clean-up. When a beach is marked as cleaned on the map, its color changes from red to green. "With the help of the map, a single beach cleaner joins to a larger community. In this way, we can see that no one does this alone, but together we can do more", Eronen explains. She assures that the map service will be available also after the project ends in time. "In addition, we are developing our map service so that we can support outdoor activities for groups of children and young people in the Helsinki area", says Eronen.
Spring and summer are traditionally the top season for beach clean-ups. Instead, in the winter, snow can cover the trashes below. However, there are many different nature destinations to explore around the seashore of Helsinki also during winter. "As a sustainable Christmas present, you can also take your loved one for a cleaning trip to the beach," Eronen suggests. The gift card for the beach clean-up trip can be downloaded free of charge from the project's website. "With a gift card, you can give a fun experience, and at the same time you help to protect the Baltic Sea." To make cleaning as easy as possible, you can borrow the cleaning equipment from libraries.
Source: Helsinki City, Department of Culture and Leisure