How we did it
1. We put all the garbage on the map to create the ugliest map ever!
From October 2007 until april 2008 we geomapped with the help of hundreds of volunteers about 10 000 tons of waste littered all over Estonia. One of our core-team members, Ahti Heinla, developed special software based on Google Earth. It allowed us to place all the illegal dumping sites on a Google map, visible to everyone on the web. Our partners Nokia, EMT and Nutiteq provided us with phones, connection and special software to make the mapping process easy and fun. Each of the illegal dumping sites was given an ID code on the map, relevant descriptive data and a photo. Such details made later a thorough logistics planning possible. The map was located online, on our webpage during all the mapping period. By april 2008 we had located more than 10 000 specific dumping places on the map.
2. Engaged partners from the private, public and NGO sector to participate in the process.
From the beginning it was clear that we could never do it alone, or as an organisation – we needed the support of many organisations and countless individuals if we really wanted our dream to become reality. In few months we managed to attract an extensive circle of partners from public, private and NGO sector. They supported us with the means available to them, with their communication channels, equipment, workforce, materials etc. With us were the largest telecommunications companies in Estonia (EMT, Elion), the biggest energy producer and provider (Eesti Energia). One of our strongest partners was Estonian Network of Nonprofit Organizations. We have also received financial and non-financial support from Ministry of the Environment of Estonia, the personal support from the President of Estonia and many other governmental organisations and institutions.
3. Built up a network of local leaders who helped to plan and manage the clean-up day locally.
The co-operation of local leaders was necessary to make this clean-up action a success. We engaged 1-2 local leaders from each of the 227 local governments in Estonia. They helped us to plan the clean-up in the local area and were also responsible for organising the food and necessary materials for volunteers during the clean-up day. The local governments were responsible for organising the waste transportation of non-hazardous waste. Core-team members in co-operation with producers’ responsibility organisations were responsible for handling electronical wastes, tyres and hazardous wastes.
4. Last but not least – the communication!
Media was the key partner through all the process. It was never just about the garbage – it was about engaging people from all the corners of the society and change the way they see their sorroundings and their own role in creating it all. The key was that from the start we perceived and treated media as our partner and participant. Without the real support from the journalists in national and local level, we couldn‘t have brought our message to so big audience. In addition to extensive media networking from october 2007, we needed to give things extra boost at the final end. In March and April 2008 we launched broadest media campaign ever in Estonian history. We had twenty Estonian cultural leaders, artists, musicians etc giving their own personal message to the audience – about why it was important to take part in this big step, why they personally felt the necessity to participate. Campaign involved national and local TV, radio, print media channels, internet, outdoors and other alternative mediums.
15th of March – Beginning of the media campaign
21st of March – We start to register volunteers for the clean-up day
3rd of May – Big Clean-Up Day
4th of May – Thank-You concerts in three biggest cities – Tallinn, Tartu, Narva