16 countries involved a total of over 2,2 million people in nation-wide 'Let's Do It!' cleanup actions. These massive cleanups, that took place from March to May, aimed to tackle the global waste problem by engaging a big part of the society in real actions.
"People learn best by doing, not by being told. This is why we stand for massiveness, because setting an example and getting your hands a bit dirty is essential to change some negative patterns in the society. 'Let's Do It!' doesn't have a narrow target group and we don't focus in children or young people - we are convinced that the problem can only be solved when all social and age groups become a part of it," commented Kadi Kenk, the Head of Coordinators of Let's Do It! World.
According to Kenk, 'Let's Do It!' is not like any other waste cleanup: "It's not only about educating, it's about actually getting rid of illegal waste. And we don't promote simply cleaning, we promote cleaning it up - the whole country and in just one day," she added.
Countries like Malta, Czech Republic, Croatia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Cyprus, Greece, Estonia, Sweden, Turkey, Italy, Hungary, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo had their cleanup actions covering the whole country. Additionally, regional cleanups also took place in Albania, Finland, the United States and in Romania. Albania's coastal cleanup action that was organised in the framework of the Mediterranean cleanup campaign 'Let's Do It! Mediterranean' involved almost 50,000 participants, including media, politicians and celebrities.
Despite the war going on in Ukraine, the civic activists pulled off the most successful cleanup campaign in the country. At least 500,000 volunteers united in 2832 locations on April 25th, exceeding the hopes of the organisers who didn't managed to register half a million participants, but admit that the actual number must have been higher.
"Ukrainians need to feel united and distract their minds from the terror and sorrow going on in our country right now. Even in warzones like the Donetsk region, 17,000 people took part in cleanups and we consider it very impressive," Iuliia Markhel, Head of Let's Do It! Ukraine admitted.
The annual country-wide cleanup was held in Lithuania also on the 25th of April, with 250,000 volunteers. Because the action is already a tradition, six times less illegal waste was collected than in the first years. The amount of waste collected from all over the country was less than 2000 tonnes. The Northern neighbour Latvia had an action on the same day and it united 175,000 volunteers.
"Latvians are inspired by such large-scale civic actions and like the feeling of being united for a good cause. We are moving towards a country-wide no-litter policy in order to concentrate on improving the environment in the future," Evija Grinmane, representative of Let's Do It! Latvia commented.
The 'Let's Do It!' movement began in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 people came together and cleaned up their entire country in five hours, removing 10,000 tonnes of waste. Today, Let's Do It! is a global network of 112 countries, having engaged ca 13 million participants.
The countries participating in 'Let's Do It!' actions' can be seen here: www.letsdoitworld.org/countries and upcoming cleanup dates can be seen here: www.letsdoitworld.org/cleanup_dates_2015. Photos of different cleanup events can be found here: mediabank.letsdoitworld.org.
Let's Do It! World Cleanup 2015 is supported by by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid fund, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, the Open Estonia Foundation, Skype, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, QlikView, Tallink Group, DHL Estonia, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Estonian Air, Interlex Translations, Meedius Estonia, Sendsmaily and EuroPark Estonia.