Oksana Akulova is coordinator of the EcoWiki project. In the interview, we will talk about Oksana's personal experience in eco-friendly lifestyle and talk in more detail about the project.
When and how did you first become interested in the green / eco / lifestyle?
OA: It happened about three years ago, when there were plans to build an incineration plant near my house. The situation made me think about what to do with waste and how to reduce it.
What personally motivates you to lead a sustainable lifestyle?
OA: It's important to preserve nature for future generations. The main motivation is the changes that occur in people's behaviour as a result of my activities.
What keeps you going when you face difficulties?
OA: Success stories of those people who achieve real change and understanding why I am doing it.
How did your daily life and habits begin to change?
OA: At first, I organised a separate collection of waste at home, attended a separate collection campaign, and then started organising campaigns myself.
What, in your opinion, allows you to implement these types of practices in the place where you live?
OA: Support for the local administration, youth associations that help as volunteers in the actions, the project “Collector” provides great support and the involvement of local residents participating in the actions.
What were the difficulties in the transition to an eco-friendly lifestyle?
OA: At first, other members of my family did not share my views on the way of organising a household.
Are there any eco practices you would like to start (under favourable circumstances)?
AO: At the moment, I already have significant experience in various eco-practices, but there is always something to strive for. In the future, I would like to start composting food waste...
About the project "EcoWiki"
Source: ecowiki.ru "Navigator for all, who want to help the nature".
Tell us about your project.
OA: The project was created in 2017 by the ECA Movement. Ecowiki.ru is an ecological guide for everyone who is ready to act on a personal or community level to preserve nature. On the platform, there are a variety of materials for people of any level of involvement in the eco theme, to take real action to preserve nature (articles, video blogs, how to organise events, online marathons, for the protection of eco-rights, instructions, etc.)
Describe the core values and principles of the project.
ОА: The Portal publishes instructions and algorithms of actions, as well as successful experience in the field of environmental issues, in an accessible and colourful form. Their goal is to help any person easily and quickly begin to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle and involve others in it, to unite with like-minded people for collective action to preserve nature and improve the quality of the environment. All materials are simple, clear and colourfully decorated.
How do you motivate people (community members / project participants) to share your values?
OA: You can't motivate people to share values. If the values are close, the person will share them. We try to convey to people the importance of nature conservation, show how environmental problems are touching them right now and explain how small steps can contribute to the solution. Value comes through it.
What eco-practices are being implemented by the project?
OA: We provide tools for everyone who wants to do something to preserve nature on a personal and community level. Our users study free online courses from experts, master eco-habits, conduct events utilising our instructions in different regions of Russia, and receive legal assistance in protecting eco-rights.
What is needed to implement the project's aims?
ОА: The main information resource is the project website. Of course, the main driving force is people: the project team, a team of experts and a team of activists in different regions.
How can citizens participate in the work of the community (project)?
OA: The simplest thing is to use the portal materials: study articles, watch webinars, take part in training, organise events based on our materials, as well as tell your friends about it and attract them as users. As volunteers, you can start participating in events organised by activists in different regions.
What do you think motivates people to participate?
OA: Different target audiences have their own motivations: someone wants to start living ecologically, someone wants to get answers to questions, someone wants to take instructions on how to solve specific problems, someone wants to find like-minded people and support.
What is the project based on?
OA: A network of activists in the regions, a community of experts, portal users. In financial terms, the project is being implemented using grants and awards, as well as with the support of commercial partners.
Has the current situation (COVID-19) affected the work of the community (project)?
OA: The work of activists in the regions has become more complicated due to the ban on holding live events.