City launches a new campaign: “YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!”

The City of Ostrava has launched a new campaign – “YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!” – which is targeted at all citizens. The campaign aims to involve as many local people as possible in environmental conservation – as well as raising public awareness of how each of us is personally responsible for our environment.

In recent years there have been major improvements in the city’s environment – a fact reflected in Ostrava’s bid to become European Green Capital 2020. The City’s future plans will implement the principle of sustainable development, and the City is already implementing or planning a range of projects and other activities that will have a positive impact on the health of the general public throughout the Ostrava metropolitan area.

Of course, each individual person plays an absolutely key role as a custodian of their own environment. So the City of Ostrava is now calling on the general public to play an active part in environmental conservation – to make their own contribution to the mosaic that will improve quality of life for everyone.

The campaign focuses on two key topics: Water and Cycling.

In the Water component of the campaign we are promoting tap water as a better alternative to bottled water. The most recent independent tests of tap water quality in the Czech Republic have once again proved that Ostrava’s tap water meets all legal limits for drinking water, and in the case of nitrates and nitrites it meets special legal standards for water that is suitable for baby formula preparation. Our tap water ranks among the best in the country – and it tastes great too!

The key advantage of tap water is that it is always fresh. When water is bottled, there is a long delay between bottling and consumption – weeks or sometimes even months. In the case of tap water, there is no more than a couple of hours’ delay in getting the water from the source (or reservoir) to the glass. With bottled water it’s not enough to ensure that the bottling process meets all applicable standards – storage is very important too. If the bottles are not stored correctly, there is a substantial risk that bacteria could multiply inside the bottle. And another important downside of bottled water is the huge environmental burden represented by the plastic packaging – the production, transport and recycling/disposal of the bottles themselves are all energy-intensive. So bottled water is not only completely needless – it’s bad for the environment too.

The other main focus of the campaign is Cycling. Unlike most cities, Ostrava has three main urban centres (the main city centre, Poruba and Ostrava-Jih), and that makes cycling rather more complicated than in other urban areas. However, the city has an extensive network of dedicated cycle routes (250 km). So we are calling on citizens to cycle to work rather than going by car – an ideal way not only to help the environment, but also to keep fit and healthy. The City of Ostrava is the local coordinator of this year’s “Bike to Work” competition (have a look at Sustainable Urban Mobility Theme, Projects part). Cycling offers a range of environmental advantages and other benefits: it is quiet, it is free, it does not produce greenhouse gases, and it is good for our health.

The slogan “YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!” challenges Ostrava’s citizens to act. So don’t delay, make a difference today!

The campaign is being launched at the beginning of April and focuses on three main locations: the main city centre, Poruba and Ostrava-Jih. There will be posters and billboards next to major roads and pedestrian walkways, on benches, in trams and at public transport stops.