For decades Greece has been a favourite destination for tourists who wanted to enjoy the beautiful sea, take a sip of the rich culture topped off with a handful of fun. Since the 1960’s onwards, Greece has welcome an array of visitors from adventurous hippies to posh jetsetters, families and- more recently- fans of all inclusive package holidays. There is something for everyone in Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos but also in other, less well-known but equally stunning islands of the country.
Over the years Greece has depended and wisely invested in the profitable tourist economy but has it done the same for the local environment too?
‘Clean It Like Greek’ is an initiative aiming to make Greece the cleanest country in the world. Its ultimate goal is to cultivate environmental consciousness to the residents and visitors of the country, to advance eco-tourism and the spirit of nature preservation. This involves the precious islands but also other wonderful spots in the mainland and the program has a 3-year timeframe during which actions to clean beaches, forests and mountains all over Greece will take place. Clean It Like Greek is implemented as part of AQUAHELP Foundation’s environmental support strategy.
‘Clean It Like Greek’ enjoys the support of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT). The organisation’s president, Mrs. Atzela Gerekou, has been a selected as the program’s ambassador Her contribution is invaluable not only due to Mrs. Gerekou dedicated support in ecological issues but also because of her deep knowledge in the inner workings of Greek tourism industry and her connections with the local administrations across remote and more connected locations in Greece, which facilitate the creation of long-lasting collaborations between AQUAHELP Foundation and participating areas.
How realistic is this project?
Let’s be honest! Greece has the potential to be one of the cleanest countries worldwide although this will not happen overnight. Many things have to change, starting with the most important of all: Mindset.
Clean It Like Greek has two objectives: The first one is to motivate and the second one to support.
Through symbolic actions, cleaning activities and entertaining events happening in selected locations across Greece, such as Kos, Kastelorizo, Crete, Chalkidiki etc., Clean It Like Greek promotes the message that caring about the environment can be creative and rewarding. The program enhances the ecological consciousness by embracing all citizens and putting their individual and collective skills into use. Together we can have fun and make a difference!
At the program runs on a pilot basis, we have already visited a few places and held activities such as the
At the same time, AQUAHELP Foundation continues with dedicated research to understand the particularities of each location. To support eco-friendly actions and inspire new ones, cooperation is key. Working towards this direction, AQUAHELP holds discussions with local authorities such as municipalities and nature organisations, to pinpoint the specific needs and requirements of each area and find ways to support them in the design of sustainable solutions with a positive environmental impact.