Energy Days on clean and efficient energy in various formats were being organised across Europe and Eastern Partnership countries, including Belarus. From virtual guided tours, webinars, virtual exhibitions, online yoga sessions, each event will be displayed on an interactive map visible on the EUSEW website. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the events moved to a new online format under the motto: "Beyond the Crisis: Clean Energy for Green Recovery and Growth".
These Energy Days are a way of involving citizens in sustainable activities and integrating local communities in the clean energy promoting. Furthermore, they highlight the importance of sustainable energy to citizens and businesses by helping them to discover opportunities and challenges to achieving a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.
More than 20 Belarusian cities that have signed the “Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy” initiative are organizing 456 activities between the June and the end of September 2020.
Along with organizing local events, the residents and the city administration representatives of the Covenant signatory cities were able to take part in two online contests held by the Belarusian office of the “Covenant of Mayors - East” EU-funded project. The results were published here. Participants of the events also took part in the contests and received prizes within the framework of the EU-funded “Strengthening the Covenant of Mayors Movement in Belarus” project.
Thanks to the winner’s video, the residents of Zeĺva not only can see how ‘green’ their city is, but are also able to share their eco-friendly habits during the Energy Days in a Facebook group ‘Zeĺva - the green city’, as well as to play beach volleyball, clean the forest during a ‘Clean Forest’ bike-marathon and to prove that recyclables can have a new life.
“I am sorting domestic waste, feeds the homeless animals with food leftovers, do not use a coating for nails in a manicure salon, which is harmful for your nails and for the environment and use a cotton bag that is always with me”, - comments on her eco-habits Zelva resident.
A week-long online ‘Ecomarathon’ in Pružany district was very popular despite being a virtual one. The participants were sharing their achievements on the social media and the organizers were very busy counting the total mileage.
The #беражэмразам (savingtogether) challenge in a Facebook group “Energy Days in Pružany” has set the agenda in Pružany city, as well as #10daysofgreen challenge by Karma city on Facebook and Instagram pages.
“As a result of the Eco Challenge, we made a small contribution to the environment, which is a big step for nature. Children have learned something new, and will share them with their friends, I am sure”, - Andrey Podshivalov, director of the Karma regional center for creativity of children and youth, shared his opinion on the new format of the event.
‘My Two-Wheeled Friend’ contest for the best original bike-decoration was a new format of event for Pružany inhabitants.
Republican Landscape Reserve ‘Jelnia’ in Šarkaŭščyna district became the ideal place to learn about the carbon circulation cycle in nature. The summer camp ‘Soniejka’ of the secondary school #2 has taken the children on an educational trip along the “Nature of the native land” eco-trail. The kids were able to familiarize with the plants, animals and birds and to learn more about the Jelnia swamp role as part of the ‘Europe’s lungs’.
In Navahrudak district the residents took part in a selfie-poster contest, has shared their eco-friendly habits and ideas for advertisements aimed to popularize waste sorting practices. During the ‘On your bike!’ contest they were making bike trips to the tourist sites of the district and shared their impressions and photos on social media.
Elena Perko, the head of the Industry department of the Navahrudak district executive committee has emphasized the importance of participating in the Energy Days activities: “Sustainable Energy Week is another step for Navahrudak and our district towards becoming ‘greener’ and improving the energy consumption culture of our residents”.
The Polack district has set the new record with 70 Energy Day themed activities. The educational institutions, cultural centres and children camps were organizing quests, ecological actions, information hours and workshops, drawings exhibitions, online quizzes and contests, surveys etc.
The ‘Polack’ Cultural Centre calls for saving energy. In order to help learn about the earliest electric devices, history of electricity and principles of power station operation, the Centre has created a virtual excursion called “Energy evolution. Energy Efficiency”.
The Viciebsk city administration has launched “Buslik gives eco-tips!” - a series of eco-themed videos for the urban screens aimed at raising the residents’ awareness of climate change and resource consumption issues.
In Mahilioŭ teachers helped the kids to systematize their knowledge about energy and its rational use by creating a set of mind-maps . World Nature Conservation Day was marked by a ‘Brighter together!’ flash mob.
As part of the summer camp activities in Pinsk there was a range of events organized by the local educational institutions for various target groups. The activities included flash mobs, quizzes and drawing contests, online survey, contest on using the recyclables for handicraft and essay contest themed ‘Save energy today - save the nature future!’
Energy Days in Pinsk were concluded by collecting used batteries and energy saving lamps. 17 kg of waste were collected and sent for further disposal during this event co-organized in partnership with ‘5th Element’ electrical equipment store.
Two support structures – IPO Ecopartnership and Interakcia Foundation – helped to carry out Energy Days in Belarus with the financial support of the EU Delegation to Belarus. All photo reports of Energy Days are posted on the website of the Covenant of Mayors in the Eastern Partnership countries and on the Belarusian webpage of the Covenant of Mayors . "EUSEW2020 in Belarus" photo album is filled as the photo appears.