The Hiiden Opisto institute is the emission reducer of the month

News 2019-11-18 at 18:30
Researcher Teemu Helonheimo from SYKE, Hiiden Opisto Principal Anne Kotonen, Office secretary Terhi Aalo, and Assistant Principal Eija Terävä, along with Urban Content Director Eero Ahtela from Lohja. © Jenna Kotilehto

The Hiiden Opisto institute was granted the Hinku act award this October. The institute chose Hinku activities as one of the themes for the 2019–2020 academic year. The institute promotes awareness of a climate-friendly lifestyle through means of teaching and information as part of the Hinku actions of the City of Lohja. The Hinku theme is strongly visible in the visual look, courses, lectures, events, and exhibitions of the institute, which operates in Lohja, Vihti, and Siuntio.

"Climate-related matters are extremely topical right now, and we wanted to make a positive effect on this major environmental challenge",  says planner Karoliina Salmela from Hiiden Opisto.

Versatile range of courses guiding towards a climate-friendly lifestyle

The teaching at Hiiden Opisto throughout the academic year will point out in many ways what we can all do in our everyday lives for the good of the environment and climate. The course range includes a total of 27 courses related to the Hinku theme.

The range includes courses encouraging recycling, courses on excess food, vegan dish courses, a ‘Towards a non-plastic food services’ lecture, and teaching about beekeeping, among others. Examples from the arts and handicrafts include courses on the restoration of old furniture, and even a course on building straw hanging mobiles from recycled materials.

"Hiiden Opisto is an exemplary promoter of climate awareness and acts in the everyday life of the residents in the region through teaching and tangible actions. The Hinku theme spanning over the entire academic year provides a good opportunity to promote climate issues and a sustainable lifestyle",  says Communication Specialist Hannele Ahponen from the Finnish Environment Institute.

"Hiiden Opisto, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, remains in wonderful touch with the times. It supports the residents of the area in skills related to a climate-friendly everyday life in a time when a record number of people are willing to participate in climate work in their own lives. The residents play a significant part in achieving the emissions reduction targets in Lohja, and the work by Hiiden Opisto is truly valuable", says Lohja’s Hinku coordinator Jenna Kotilehto.

Tips for everyday environmental acts are also shared on the social media channels of the institute and regional events. Even though the main emphasis of the Hinku theme lies in teaching, the personnel of the institute is also encouraged to carry out ecological acts in their work, by utilising public transport, riding a bike to work, or simply sorting their waste.

Lohja and Siuntio participating in the Hinku network and the Canemure project

The Cities of Lohja and Siuntio joined the Carbon Neutral Municipalities (Hinku) network in 2013 by decision of their City Councils. The main objective of the Hinku network is to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from the 2007 level by 2030. The remaining emissions are to be sequestered in carbon sinks and compensated for.

The Uusimaa region is one of the seven regions participating in the six-year EU Life IP Canemure (Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities) project to promote the mitigation of climate change, coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute. One of the subprojects is focused on the mitigation of the climate effects of construction, housing, and traffic on the 2021 Housing Fair area in Hiidensalmi, Lohja.

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