When: September 8th, 2012. Russian National “Subbotnik” (a.k.a Volunteer Cleaning Day)
Where: Akademgorodok beach (Novosibirsk)
Who: 15 volunteers from Azoft
Why: To make the world a little bit better.
End result: 3 hours spent. 150 bags of trash collected.
Last Saturday, September 8th, was Russia's official “Subbotnik”, a day when Russians all across the country are encouraged to volunteer by cleaning up our environment. In Novosibirsk, hundreds of people went out and cleaned the streets, neighborhoods, and local parks. And so did Azoft.
In case you've never been to Akademgorodok, I must mention that it is located in the outskirts of Novosibirsk and is literally surrounded by a forest, with a local beach just a 10-minute drive away from Azoft office. While most Akademgorodok residents cherish and admire this proximity to nature, not everyone takes care to preserve its beauty. Now, let me rephrase that: everyone likes to have picnics in local forests and beaches, but not everyone picks up their crap afterwards.
Azoft isn't just a software development company with programmers coding all day and looking no further than their monitors. We care about our city, our beaches, forests, and the people surrounding us, so we decided to do our part and fight a battle with trash that was piling up at our local beach.
Turns out, picking up trash can be rather interesting. While picking up and sorting through whatever others have left behind, one might come across some unexpected items. For instance, we found an X-ray film showing someone's foot. The film spent unknown amount of time in the sun and something must have happened to it – the black and while image somehow turned into a colorful one. We also found things like underwear, sunglasses, and other accessories. Not surprisingly, most common were the plastic and glass bottles.
Within 3 hours, Azoft team members together with several other volunteers have collected 150 bags of trash. Might seem like a lot at first glance, but having looked around, it is just a fraction of what is still there. We ordered a garbage truck to come by in the evening and take the bags away.
For the most part, the people who were visiting the beach and relaxing while we cleaned seemed impressed – they thanked us, even applauded us. However, there were also those that littered right there in front of us and couldn't care less.
The day was certainly well-spent. After the job was done, we had a picnic ourselves, grilled barbecue, played Frisbee, spent a nice day outdoors, had a great time with colleagues and friends. Thank you to all volunteers who participated!