Eco-supporters met at Helsinki Fair Center
Eco-supporters got up from their chairs to try out tree-excercise and to stretch out.
The first meeting of region's eco-supporters was organized in Helsinki Fair Center. Altogether 120 volunteers in region's cities attended the meeting. The meeting begun with cautious smiles and "Is this seat taken?" questions. In the end of the meeting many had made new friends and loud chatter with bursts of laughter echoed from the congress room.
The meeting gathered together eco-supporters from different organizations of the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa, Kerava and Kirkkonummi. Eva Heiskanen from National Consumer Research Center gave an inspiring speech on how in the beginning every oak has been an acorn. She gave examples how one can inspire his co-workers to participate in energy saving and recycling as well as changing his travel habits.
– People are usually unaware of their habits. Many do not perceive that certain ways of doing things are only habits and not actual rules how things should be done. Changing these habits is usually hard but it can be done if you can challenge a couple of co-workers to set an example. Others will then follow, says Heiskanen. She stresses the importance of feedback. It is important for people to receive feedback for their actions. Knowledge of small advances encourages them to further better their results.
Cities' eco-support volunteers spoke about advances made in their work places. Jyrki Reinilä from the City of Vantaa told about Älä ole apina -campaign that was started at Havukoski school. Other speakers were Elvi Kemppainen from Pitäjänmäki Health Station in Helsinki, Tatu Törmänen from the City of Espoo Youth Services and Johanna Andsten from Espoo Catering. They spoke about courses of action taken in their work places. The speakers were asked a lot of questions and the speeches made the listeners consider whether they could take similar actions in their own work places. Pirita Kuikka from City of Helsinki Environmental Center presented the listeners with the newly opened international eco-support website www.eco-support.net.
In the end people were divided into small groups where they discussed about the good practises the eco-support activity has already brought to their work places. Chatter and laughter filled the room when people shared ideas and considered their wishes for further developing the eco-support activity. In addition to good ideas, materials and tips, people left the meeting with e-mail addresses of their counterparts in other organizations.
Eva Heiskanen tells how many small deeds amount to big effects.
Materials were available in the meeting.
Working in groups helped people to share their successes, to get new ideas and to meet new people.
Cities eco-support volunteers listen to afternoons speakers.
Text and photos: Anne Latto