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        Yesterday at SuomiAreena, Spark took part in the panel discussion “Bridge over polluted waters – How to save the Baltic Sea? At the event, Moomin Characters announced that they are arranging a 75 year anniversary campaign during 2020 to collect money to clean up the Baltic Sea. Spark is proud to be a close supporter of the #OURSEA campaign, which is going to be the largest campaign for the Baltic Sea to date.

        “The truth about the state of the Baltic Sea came to everyone’s attention at the latest during the blue-green algae summer of 2018, and in a terrible way. That’s when the idea to start a campaign, supported by the Moomin community, to save our sea was born”, explained Roleff Kråkström, CEO of Moomin Characters.

        The #OURSEA campaign is carried out together with the John Nurminen Foundation, an organisation taking concrete action on their mission to save the Baltic Sea and its heritage for future generations. The year 2020 marks the 75-year anniversary of Tove Jansson publishing her first Moomin novel. As the sea is a vital part of the Moomin universe, Moomin Characters wants to celebrate the anniversary with a campaign that both raises awareness of the condition of the Baltic Sea and aims to raise one million euros to fund the John Nurminen Foundation’s work to save the Baltic Sea.

         

        “Engaging a large number of people to tackle a serious environmental problem together is exactly what Spark Sustainability is all about, so we are thrilled to take part in this campaign”, says Spark’s CEO Amanda Rejström.

        “We really believe that giving people concrete tips for how to directly mitigate the eutrophication of our sea, as well as the chance to help fund systemic measures to reduce the nutrient load on it, will create enormous momentum for the cleanup process.”  

        In addition to showing that huge things can be achieved when many people join forces, the role Spark is taking on in the campaign is to raise awareness of how the Baltic Sea’s situation is connected to climate change. The eutrophication of the Baltic Sea is accelerated by the effects of climate change, and thus fighting climate change and helping the Baltic Sea go hand in hand. In addition, many of the actions we can take both at home and as a society in order to mitigate the eutrophication of the sea are simultaneously climate actions. By tackling one, we can mitigate the other problem too!

        Official #OURSEA logo, Moomin swimming

        The official #OURSEA logo.

         

        “We are really excited to collaborate with Moomin Characters on this campaign, in particular since Spark and the Moomins share the same core values: respect for nature and for each other; adventure and boldness, and last but not least playfulness”, says Amanda Rejström. It’s a match that feels really natural, and we look forward to seeing what results it will bring!”

        “Moomin Characters believes strongly in the work that the John Nurminen Foundation is doing for the Baltic Sea and the work Spark Sustainability is doing in terms of climate change and engaging people, and we want to help raise capital for the important cause of saving our sea.” Roleff Kråkström says. 

        During 2020, Spark Sustainability will participate in and co-host several events related to the #OURSEA campaign to spread awareness and increase knowledge about eutrophication of the Baltic Sea, and how it’s related to climate change in particular. Spark will also be consulting Moomin Characters on climate-smart business practices.

        Climate-friendly Baltic Sea actions

         

        1. Add more climate-friendly proteins, such as beans, chicken or fish to your diet.
          • The reason it’s good to reduce consumption of red meat is that the production causes both greenhouse gases and releases nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) via manure, wastewater, and fertilizers for feed.
        2. Eat local fish that isn’t endangered, and avoid farmed fish.
          • Fish is a relatively climate-friendly protein source, in particular species that can be fished close to land since that requires less fuel. Local fish also remove nutrients from our sea, which reduces eutrophication. However, targeting only certain, large species causes a disturbance in the natural ecosystem, and farming adds to eutrophication.
        3. Buy energy-efficient and durable equipment and electronics, and keep them for as long as possible.
          • Reducing the need for new products reduces emissions from production, hence slowing down climate change. This is good for the sea since a warmer climate would lead to heavier rainfalls and milder winters, which in turn would increase the amount of nutrients that reaches the sea. Electronics often contain hazardous substances that can cause harm if not disposed of correctly, thus ending up in our sea.
        4. When shopping, prefer preloved clothes. Choose natural fibres such as wool and cotton if you can.
          • The production of clothes requires a lot of energy, thereby causing a lot of emissions and contributing to global warming. A warmer climate leads to heavier rainfalls and milder winters, which in turn increases the amount of nutrients that reaches the sea. Fleece and other synthetic fibres release microplastics during washing, which is why it’s better to go for natural alternatives.
        5. Use muscle power, public transportation or shared rides to get around.
          • Fuel combustion in cars generate greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, as well as particle and nitrogen emissions that end up in the sea through atmospheric deposition. In addition, the wear of tyres releases microplastics that end up in the sea.
        6. Embrace the concept of staycations! Travel by train instead of flying whenever possible.
          • Flights contribute to global warming by emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases, and a warmer climate leads to heavier rainfalls and milder winters, which in turn increases the amount of nutrients that reaches the sea.
        7. Have a boat? Be a good captain and keep the bottom clean to avoid unnecessary fuel consumption.
          • Less fuel consumption means less greenhouse gases, and slowing down global warming is good for the sea since a warmer climate would lead to heavier rainfalls and milder winters, which in turn would increase the amount of nutrients that reaches the sea.
        8. Buy emission-free electricity to support the production of clean energy.
          • The more emission-free electricity we produce, the less fossil fuel we need and the less greenhouse gases we emit. This helps slow down global warming, which is good for the sea since a warmer climate would lead to heavier rainfalls and milder winters, which in turn would increase the amount of nutrients that reaches the sea.
        9. Take care of your clothes and make them last longer by only washing them when necessary.
          • Longer lasting clothes means we need fewer new items, thereby avoiding greenhouse gas emissions from production. Fewer washing times means less chemicals and microplastics end up in the sea.
        10. Use your vote!
          • Tax reforms and legislation that favour sustainable operations are efficient ways of steering society towards a cleaner, cooler future.
        11. Any climate action is actually a Baltic Sea action as well, since climate change will speed up eutrophication by causing more storms, rainfall, and nutrient runoff around the Baltic Sea. A warmer sea will also lead to more algae that keep us from cooling off in the water during hot summer days.

        List inspired by John Nurminen’s Foundation.