Ecological flashmob “Trees instead of flowers”

The team of the NGO "SMART CITY HUB" has been taking care of the development of people's environmental awareness and the implementation of eco-projects in the Ukrainian capital for several years in a row. The idea of the flash mob "Trees instead of flowers" arose in early 2019 after checking the air quality in 34 schools in Kyiv as part of the project "Safe School". The situation was monitored by the NGO SMART CITY HUB together with the Public Lab. It turned out that the concentration of nitrogen dioxide, poisonous gas that is a product of fuel combustion, is significantly exceeded in the air. Prolonged contact with this substance causes a general weakening of the body and can cause various diseases: respiratory failure, sinusitis, bronchitis, lung cancer.

According to experts, nitrogen dioxide is present in the air in large quantities due to the proximity of schools to roads with heavy traffic. So last autumn, our team initiated a "Trees Instead of Flowers" flashmob for Teacher's Day for the first time to create a natural protective barrier of trees between the road and the school. The flash mob was actively supported by partners who not only helped with the purchase of seedlings but also together with the Kyiv Smart City team helped with the preparation of the territory and planting. Pupils and parents brought more than 1,000 saplings of trees and bushes, which they planted around educational institutions. Thanks to the joint efforts of the participants of the flash mob around the schools, decorative apple trees, an alley of forsythia bushes, spirea, deytsia and other plants will bloom in spring.

Creating a protective barrier of trees between the road and the school is one of the most effective ways to solve the problem of air pollution. Involving more schools, planting more seedlings will reduce the concentration of toxic gases and improve air quality. This year, as part of the all-Ukrainian project "Landscaping of Ukraine" with the participation of educators, parents and students will be the second eco-flashmob "Trees instead of flowers." The event is part of a global program to plant 100 million trees in 100 countries, proposed at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos. The goal of the flash mob is to plant more than 1,000,000 trees in one day and thus set a record for Ukraine in the largest tree planting. And to involve all concerned citizens in a common cause aimed at improving air quality on the territory of educational institutions and restoring the ecosystem of Ukraine.

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