Last year, Poles generated an average of 358 kg of municipal waste per person. Of the total 11.7 million tons of garbage, less than 86 percent was collected from households, and only 26.7 percent was recycled.
Waste management is a problem for big cities and small villages
Skillful waste management is a challenge for every region of the world: residents of major cities, as well as rural areas or areas visited primarily for tourism, where the effects of increasing garbage are observed on a daily basis.
How to change this situation? The ubiquity of mobile devices and the technological capabilities at everyone's disposal open up an opportunity to effectively counter litter. This is the basis of a nationwide environmental project that has been launched, with the new EcoHike app at its core.
What is the new EcoHike app all about?
It allows smartphone users to mark locations where they find trash and label them accordingly. The locations so tagged are visible on a virtual map accessible from within the program and allow others who care about the environment, including activists and representatives of institutions, to respond.
EcoHike was created on the initiative of an engineer from the technology company GlobalLogic, who noticed a growing number of illegally dumped waste around him while hiking. He decided to use his knowledge and skills to design a solution to counteract environmental litter. With the support of his colleagues and using technology provided by the organization, he created an application that can now make a difference in Poland
Karlina Busz, marketing director at GlobalLogic
The new app is expected to become one of the core elements of a nationwide environmental project that will encourage eco-friendly activities. The initiative will integrate people who want to care about the environment and local communities in a joint cleanup of the places we live and visit.
They collected trash with the EcoHike app in Sulistrowice
The benefits of such cooperation can be seen from pilot actions using EcoHike. One such initiative took place in Sulistrowice in the Ślężański Landscape Park in the Sobótka municipality.
The meeting included cleaning up part of the Sulistrowice Pass, the area around the monumental pedunculate oak at the foot of Mount Sleza and the area around the Sulistrowice lagoon.
For many years the community of Sulistrowice has been active in the field of ecological education and respect for nature. The Sulistrowice Association, which functions in the village, regularly initiates activities for the benefit of the natural environment, to mention the organized competition "Let's change lawns into vegetable gardens", which promoted vegetable gardens grown with respect for nature. The new opportunities for cooperation and coordination of activities will certainly make it much easier for us to take care of the region's environment and offset the negative effects of active tourism, which has so far caused damage to the natural environment and devastation of village infrastructure
Alicja Krupa, mayor of Sulistrowice
EcoHike in the coming months will enable each user to come up with grassroots initiatives and coordinate the activities of communities from different parts of the country. At the same time, it will provide a platform for communication and interaction for activists, public institutions and companies, who will be able to react more efficiently thanks to information from residents.
Crisis situations will be avoided with EcoHike
Implicitly, the program is intended not only to assist in the fight against environmental pollution, but also to help detect earlier situations potentially leading to environmental disasters, such as the illegal discharge of sewage into rivers or the disposal of hazardous waste into forests.
In the version of EcoHike being launched in Poland, littered areas can be easily and quickly marked and places requiring intervention can be found, helped by GPS technology. Besides, the developers have taken into account the collected suggestions of users in the aspect of the offline interface.
In the new version available to Polish viewers, they can use the function of saving both geographic regions and tags with photos. A single photo with a given location is enough to mark a littered area. Now EcoHike allows you to create public or private events on your own, as well as join already created initiatives.
You can share cleanup actions with friends
In addition, the developers have taken care to promote cleanup events. Users can share news, invite friends to follow the initiative's page on social media, as well as monitor tags, observe activists or configure the program's filters according to their preferences.
Through technological innovation, we can change the world. The EcoHike app is a perfect expression of this, and we are glad that with its help everyone will be able to become part of an ever-growing community that cares about a cleaner world. We believe that the EcoHike project in Poland will be well received and will allow all of us to take better care of the reality around us. The EcoHike application covers the entire country, is fully free of charge and integrates a community that cares about the cleanliness of public places
Marek Matysiak, AVP, Engineering GlobalLOgic
EcoHike is a free app available for Android and iOS users.