Studies and surveys about Latvia’s ranking in Europe and the world usually emphasize our high levels of poverty, mortality and corruption rates. Is there nothing to be proud of, except for our ice hockey team and the Song and Dance Festival?
Yes there is! An annual study conducted by Yale University confirms that, on a global scale, Latvia is one of the greenest countries in the world! “homo ecos:” has closely followed the Yale University study entitled Environmental Performance Index (EPI) and believes that Latvia has a real chance of becoming the greenest country in the world!
EPI is a quantitative investigation, which collects national environmental results, using the most relevant available data. The research has been going on for years now, but highly detailed data are available online especially for the recent years of the study. The researchers analyse 25 different environmental criteria for each country. Even though the research does not include several crucial criteria, because it lacks comparative data from all the countries, it does offer a general sense of the environmental situation in the world.
In 2008, Latvia was ranked as the 8th greenest country in the world. In 2010, our situation worsened and Latvia dropped to the 21st place. Since then, things have gotten better again, and in 2012, Latvia ranked as the 2nd greenest country in the world!
In order to raise social awareness about the conclusions of the EPI report, and about the different criteria where Latvia has particularly good or particularly bad results, “homo ecos:” has organized social campaigns “Latvia – the Greenest Country in the World”.
In 2010, the campaign disseminated general information about the Environmental Performance Index. (More info in Latvian)
In 2011, the campaign paid special attention to CO2 emissions, educating people about the harmful consequences of raised CO2 levels, and convincing people to change their behaviour to diminish their own CO2 footprint. (More info in Latvian)
The following year, in 2012, “homo ecos:”‘s social campaign revolved around the Baltic Sea. Latvia’s biggest body of water is a unique one: it’s the largest brackish and most shallow sea on the planet! However, the Baltic Sea is threatened by pollution produced by individuals and surplus minerals from agriculture. The campaign focuses on raising awareness and appreciation for the issues surrounding the Baltic Sea, and encouraged people help clean up “our” sea. (More info in Latvian)
In 2013, the topic of the social campaign was Food Waste. Every day, large amounts of valuable food are wasted, both in the production chain, and at home. The campaign informed people about the detrimental influence of such wastefulness, and offered tips and suggestions to reduce food waste in our homes. (More info in Latvian)
The 2014 campaign focuses on Food Packaging. The food we buy in supermarkets is shipped in ever increasing layers of cardboard and plastic. Although some of these packaging materials do improve the life span of the products, they also add to the enormous amount of household waste we throw into landfills. More about the campaign “Uzmanību! #Maisbergs!“.