In August, 10 volunteers from Japan, Austria, Indonesia, Poland, and Russia worked at TSU’s Siberian Botanical Garden as part of the #ECOCAMPTSU international environmental camp. Students took care of the plants, cleared branches and fallen leaves, and participated in workshops on ecology and informed consumption.
This is the fourth volunteer environmental camp organized at Tomsk State University. The first two years, members cleaned the springs near University Lake, and then they introduced the volunteer movement of young people in Tomsk kindergartens.
- The Botanical Garden asked to form a volunteer team because there is a lot of work there and help is always needed. This is very interesting for international students because our Botanical Garden is rich in plants from around the world, including Siberia. We were able to find plants from each country where the guys came from, - said Maria Parshukova, the camp’s leader. - Volunteers worked in the greenhouse and the area of the Botanical Garden on an ecological path. We cleaned up branches and old trees, cleared the trail, planted, watered plants, and dragged the ground. In the greenhouse, they cleaned the leaves of plants of dark plaque from insects that harm plants, cleaned dry leaves, and installed ceramic tiles under the pots.
The volunteers took part in educational lectures and master classes, where they were told about fast fashion, waste recycling, informed consumption of food, and natural and technological resources – water and electricity. They also devoted a day to national cuisine and prepared their countries’ traditional dishes. The camp’s lecturers were employees of the TSU Biological Institute, the companies Clean World and Vegan Athens Tomsk, the zero-waste store Two Lemons, and Tomsk eco-bloggers.
- I am a geologist, it is not far from ecology, that’s why this topic is close and interesting to me. I came to learn more about ecology and to be useful to society, - said Marchin Gorczichevski, a volunteer from Poland. - I liked the camp, I had dreamed of learning more about Siberia because many people in Poland think that only bears live in Siberia but this is not at all true. I feel that we have done many useful things, because there are many plants here and help is needed to care for them.