Let's Do It!: Movement for activating communities to take the lead



Let's Do It! movement, which is bringing together more than 80 countries in a World Cleanup 2012 action this year, is activating a global network of civic leaders, scientists and experts to gather the most efficient and sustainable solutions for waste handling, production and product design, applicable for communities and enterprises worldwide.

"Though the capacity and performance of incineration and recycling plants continue to grow, they cannot match with the constantly growing waste generation rate," claims the Waste and Recycling Assessment conducted by Alexander Iscenco, coordinator of the Research Project on Waste Management at University of Copenhagen. "As a result, they recycle a maximum of 11% of all waste, while the rest most certainly ends up in legal and illegal landfills that pollute air, water, soil, flora, and fauna, as well as cause health problems for us," concludes the research report.

Grassroots civic movement Let's Do It! (LDI) which is activating and connecting local civic leaders to organize cleanup actions in more than 80 countries this year, has started to work towards a package of systemic solutions for tackling the inefficient waste management systems worldwide. "Cleaning up the waste and raising the awareness of local communities is the first and important step, but it's certainly not enough", says one of the founders of the movement, Rainer Nõlvak. In his opinion, current global efforts have been too inefficient and too slow: "United Nations has been the platform for dealing with global waste. After 20 years, after all the climate talks, we emit globally 38% more CO2 than in 1990. As to how many billions of tons of waste we produce each year, we have no reliable statistics at all. Despite the efforts, we're in a big mess. To really get things moving appears to be out of the hands of many governments."

The movement leaders are now searching and discussing approaches that would integrate education, awareness raising, more efficient and sustainable waste handling models for communities, sustainable production and design into a united global bottom-up effort. "We also need to look into how we can rearrange our current policies to support sustainable solutions by making them sustainable also economically," says Nõlvak. Many solutions, he says, are already there. "The only way how we can get things really moving and improving, is to engage people and design appealing solutions directly with communities and private enterprises."

One example is an initiative called Let's Do It! Delhi, active in India's capital city. They designed a novel solution in co-operation with the city government to tackle corruption in New Delhi waste management system, engaging citizens and communities directly so that they can report about the unkempt territories via social media sites. Anita Bhargava, a woman behind the initiative, believes: "Green growth can be encouraged by global incentives and by every individual and company in India, participating in ways big and small."

This year, LDI is inviting people to organize country and city-wide cleanup actions in cooperation with their communities. At this point, volunteer leaders in more than 80 countries have taken up the challenge.

The preparation for the World Cleanup 2012 action in each country and city starts by mapping the illegal dumping sites with World Waste Map applications, followed by a massive campaign inviting large numbers of volunteers to help clean up together during one specific action day.

On 13-15th January 2012, LDI will hold a conference in Tallinn to kick off the project World Cleanup 2012. Team-leaders from 46 countries will share their ideas and experiences in organizing city-wide or country-wide cleanup days, therefore offering a knowledge base to all the civic leaders behind the cleanup actions that will be carried out this year, starting from 24th of March.

The Let's Do It! World Cleanup 2012 conference will take place at the Radisson Blu Olympia Hotel in Tallinn, Estonia and is supported by The Rezidor Hotel Group, Carlson, Enterprise Estonia, Open Estonia Foundation, Skype, Estonian Air, Rimi Baltic, Kalev, Elion, Tahe Kayaks and Hagar.

The journalists who wish to attend and cover the conference are welcome to contact tiina [at] letsdoitworld [dot] org.

World Cleanup 2012 is a joint volunteer action, led by the grassroots movement Let's Do It! The aim of the movement is to connect local leaders who are able and willing to engage their communities and societies to solve pressing issues through direct action and cooperation.

Read more about the action and different ways how you can support or join: www.letsdoitworld.org 

Press release, 10th of January, 2012

Press release in other languages, .doc format

English: Let’s Do It!: Movement for activating communities to take the lead »

French: Faisons-le! : Mouvement pour la prise d'initiative des communautés »

German: Let’s Do It! Eine Bewegung, die die Gesellschaft auf den Plan ruft »

Portuguese: Let’s Do It!: Movimento para activar as comunidades a assumir a liderança »

Spanish: ¡Manos a la obra!: Movimiento para activar a las comunidades a tomar la iniciativa »