In 2009, within Voices of the Future Competition on World Pulse I had a chance to interview a great environmental activist in Moldova. Check my journal "Luxury of being young"
Valeria Șvarț-Gröger is a dedicated environmentalist. In her 20s she studied Environment in the country, later moving to Germany with her husband, but keeping her environmental ideas alive. Half Georgian and half Jewish by ethnicity she's known in the environmental community of Moldova as a great activist. In the past she was running small ecological awareness projects, including planting trees and promoting the use of bicycle as means of healthy transportation. She traveled with a projector through villages, presenting Al Gore's documentary on global warming “An inconvenient truth”. She was totally convinced that ecology and environment should be mandatory in schools and universities.
Five years ago, she mentioned that “Environment is a field that is absolutely not developed in Moldova and there are some drastic problems going on”. In search for solutions she started sharing her ideas with the society: “Usually people don’t think about waste management, about how they use water, electricity; they really don’t have time or will to think about these issues.”
Valeria noticed at an early age people’s habit to accumulate the waste without thinking about its’ management. The quality of water was below standard levels and people were not allowed to swim in lakes or rivers. Valeria also mentioned that “Improving drinking water quality, used in the faucets, would be a solution to a better healthy living”. Seeing in other European countries the luxury, where people could drink safe waterfrom the faucet, she realized that few of them valued this phenomenon.“
Where is she now?
Today Valeria isBachelor of Science in Geoecology, Master of Science in Integrated Natural Resource Management.At the moment she lives between two countries – Germany where she is finishing a Master’s degree and her native Moldova where she serves as president of an ecological organizationEcoVisio.
Through this organisations, for 3 years, Valeria manages to bring people together to speak out for a better environment.
“IarmarEco” - a Fair for Ecological Opportunities and Social Entrepreneurship in Moldova, organized recently its' 3rd edition with the efforts of many non profits, start ups and simply people interested in healthier life style. The goal of the eco-fair was to inform people about possibilities to change their daily routine into a more active, healthier and sustainable lifestyle.
More than 80 producers were able to present their E-Free products products. Tea, fruits and vegetables, honey, organic saladas, jams, cereals, herbs, candies, natural beauty remedies, handmade jewelry purchased or made within the workshops organized, were a great success among visitors.
“This particular tea contains orange and lemon peels, as well as rosehip. Our teas a all natural”
“What a great idea - as to not waste the peels. One can make a jam out of them. Remove the white part, add some sugar, water and bring it to boil.”
“We sell baskets with Ecologically preserved walnuts and plumes. WE don’t use smoke to preserve them ”
One could also attend workshops, where a pair of jeans was immediately converted into a bag. In another workshop one could design his own T-Shirt, personalizing it with some creative ideas. “We love to recycle old clothes and bring something new to the market.”
Another participant explained how to save on energy. The solution was - electrical bulb that produces same intensity of light and only consumption of 9 W.
While parents were curious in the Eco-products offered at the Fair, their children were involved in Eco - activities, designed in the children's area. “I am creating some apples from the plastic bottles”.
Visitors purchasing something at the “IarmarEco” Fair could participate in a raffle and win ecological products. Prior to the event, people were encouraged to avoid the use of plastic bags, and bring their own bag and cup.
Last, but not least, people were able to communicate with members of few existing Eco-Villages in the country.