Limpar Portugal 2012: "This time we could rely on the local leaders' experience"

Cleanup-day "Limpar Portugal" was held in Portugal for a second time, on 24th of March. All of Portugal was involved in the clean up action. "When you were going around on the streets on 24th of March, you’d see a lot of volunteers in different ages cleaning up and collecting garbage," said one of the action initiators Alberto Ferreira.

The cleanup involved about 250 municipalities, many of them lacking the support and services of the city hall. But the leaders and communities were active and in charge, relying on the experiences they had gained from the previous cleanup action in 2010. The whole country was buzzing this time - on 24th of March the local actions were carried out in thousands of different places all over Portugal.

Portuguese government was not too quick to show it’s support this year, but when the action day came, the president of the country, state’s secretary and the minister for the environment were all cleaning up the waste next to everyone else.

It’s a bit too early to talk about the numbers of volunteers and the amount of collected waste, the team is still gathering the data from the local municipalities. Some of the waste that was collected during the action, was finding it’s way to the waste handling centers during the following week.

What was most important – the action day was carried out with a shared feeling of hope and smiles on all faces of the people who participated.

In addition to cleaning, some extra activities were organized, to support the idea and purpose of the action – there were conferences taking place in different universities about nature and natural resources, organized in partnership with the government and green-minded enterprises. The European Youth Capital team carried out street activities and photography competitions, about which you can see some pictures here:

One of the participants also blogged about the action:

The organizers feel grateful for the people that contributed to the action, it’s clear that there are active local leaders all across the country who are already experienced in getting their communities involved and organizing an action like this.

“It was incredible to see all of the actions and activities carried out in addition to the cleanup – to get through the real message of the action and to raise the general awareness of the whole society. From the photos you can see the contentment in people’s faces. To see all this happening in such a difficult times is incredible - we are really proud of our people,” says one of the leaders of the action, Alberto Ferreira.