I want people to breathe clean air

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Meet Andrii, 19, one of scores of Ukrainian youngsters who are helping to protect the planet by producing biofertilizers from fallen leaves.
Meet Andrii, 19, one of scores of Ukrainian youngsters who are helping to protect the planet by producing biofertilizers from fallen leaves.

Hi there! My name is Andrii and I wanted to find a way to stop people burning leaves in my hometown of Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine. I wanted people to breathe clean air, save the environment and keep animals safe.

So, together with my friends Maksym and Veronika, I founded the Eastern MAVka project. Not only are M, A and V the first three letters of our names, but Mavka is a type of female spirit in Ukrainian mythology that is considered a guardian of forests and nature.

The three of us live in a tiny village near Kramatorsk called Yasnogorka. In small towns or villages like these, people often burn leaves. Every spring and autumn, people sweep their yards and schoolchildren clean up the local area. They collect leaves and grass, not realising the damage they are causing to the environment.

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MAVka initiative
Our project aims to eradicate the habit of burning leaves and offer people an alternative.
Together, we are making a difference to the environment in our hometown. Is there something you can do today to help yours?

Burning leaves kills precious microflora. It can also threaten plants with extinction and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We ask — is it worth it?

My friends and I decided to take matters into our own hands and find an alternative to incineration. Leaf composting became the answer. After we took part in the UPSHIFT programme, we developed our project further and eventually received funding from UNICEF and ING Bank for its implementation.

Our project aims to eradicate the habit of burning leaves and offer people an alternative. With our tools and tips, people can create a small composter. After three months, the leaves will turn into fertilizer with the help of the Oxydol regenerator.

We understand that solving a problem always involves a comprehensive approach. To this end, Eastern MAVka is actively cooperating with city authorities to jointly address issues such as organic waste management at landfills, ecology and eco-education.

Together, we are making a difference to the environment in our hometown. Is there something you can do today to help yours?

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Our project aims to eradicate the habit of burning leaves and offer people an alternative.
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