In March we had the opportunity to host guests from Denmark and Sweden in Tampere. The guests arrived in the evening of Tuesday 28th and we started by cooking. We used the Finnish innovation “Pulled Oats” and made delicious pitas. Everyone seemed to be enjoying it and liked this new, more ecological substitute for meat! For dessert we had traditional Finnish blueberry pie, and especially the blue teeth caused by it were a source of amusement.
On Wednesday we started the day with a debating workshop. Debating is a great way to improve one’s argumentation and public speaking skills, critical thinking and especially putting oneself on someone else’s position. We debated on whether or not school lunch should be vegetarian. The ecological impacts of eating a lot of meat were hard to debate, but we noticed that many other things affect the decision as well.
After lunch at the school cafeteria we got to hear about what’s going on in Denmark and Sweden and prepared for the big event on the following day.
In the afternoon we took the bus to Tampere University of Technology to hear about bio- and circular economy. We heard examples of ecological innovations, such as how to produce electricity with waste water.
The evening was spent by walking around in Tampere and especially the beautiful esker of Pyynikki. We walked up and down the famous stairs of Pispala and finished the night with a delicious dinner at a restaurant.
Thursday was an early morning as we started by visiting the company “Koneet kiertoon”. They help to prolong computers’ usage age by changing the software into a lighter one. It was very interesting to hear about the owner’s story and to see how easy it can actually be to get 5 extra years for your computer. Afterwards we went back to the school and our guests visited classes to present them what they’re doing.
Then came the big event for the whole school, started by the school choir with a beautiful music performance. In the event we had a presentation by a Finnish Member of Parliament Harri Jaskari about environmental issues in politics and heard about Crossing Borders and the Eco-hub project, the CO2-committee at Espergærde high school in Denmark and Gilbert’s Ecological Cleaning Company founded by Eric from Sweden. The event went well and I really hope the people got inspiration to make more ecological choices in their daily lives.
Westill had time to visit Nekstiili, a place where they reuse and recycle textiles. We heard about what they do to reduce the amount of textile waste and saw the amazing things they’re able to accomplish there. We also visited a recycling centre where they sell the material. Each button, zipper and piece of cloth was at its own place and the place is a heaven for everyone interested in crafts.
Unfortunately our guests had to leave afterwards, and although I wish we had had more time to get to know each other and share ideas, it was still a great opportunity to hear about what others are doing for the planet and to get new viewpoints.