Clean (Kathari) Mani is a group of volunteers who promote keeping the Mani clean via a reuse – recycle – compost approach to waste reduction. Our short-term goal is to reduce the volume of waste we produce. Our long-term goal is to produce no rubbish at all.
Retroactively, we organise collection days to tidy up litter on the streets, beaches and local environment. Proactively, we provide information and education on waste and composting, and have developed a “green corner” to handle waste and compost correctly.
Although there are groups and individuals who have been working independently to help deal with garbage problems and environmental protection in West Mani, this initiative is an association for all people in the area to work together towards our goals.
Clean Mani is run by volunteers, none of whom are paid, who care for the beauty of the Mani and who want to protect its environment.
We attempt to raise awareness of the issues of waste management, recycling and composting through as wide a variety of ways as possible, which the public find both entertaining and informative.
Each year we undertake a wide variety of work with schools in the area. For example, in 2018 amongst our many school-based activities we:
- Financed school trips to the Centre for Environmental Education in Messinia,
- Donated a plastic shredder and containers for paper to the primary school in Stoupa,
- Donated badges, boards, t-shirts and other merchandise to high school pupils,
- Gave presentations and organised voluntary clean-ups – by playing the game “hidden rubbish” in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in Stoupa, Kardamyli and Kampos.
We regularly visit towns throughout the region to raise residents awareness of the problems of waste management and how to recycle properly. For example, in 2018 we had campaigns in Stoupa (on two occasions), Agios Nikolaos and Kampos; and also were present during the Mani Pulse Festival in Agios Nikolaos.
Clean Up Campaigns
Each year we organise a large number of “Clean Up” days, either villages, along main roads or beaches.
In 2018-19 – amongst many other operations – we cleaned in Agios Nikolaos (in collaboration with local residents), Neochori (with musical accompaniment from the Tympanistas), Kardamyli (as part of the Greek national campaign “Let’s Do It), Ritsa (as part of the world-wide Coastal Cleaning) and Kalives (in collaboration with the local council).
At the end of the day there is always a photo session in which all of the volunteers participate; and there is often a social event afterwards – drinks or a meal.
Our group has staged music, festivals and entertainment centred around the theme of recycling and reuse.
These are attended by both adults and children and are an effective platform for delivery of our message.
The adjacent photograph is of a musical concert in Stoupa, whilst the video below is of a festival entitled “Nothing Goes To Waste” at the Αυλή Της Γιωργίτσας in Kardamyli, in October 2019.
Our activities are not just limited to education and clean-up operations. We also lobby newspapers, television, local and national government to press for help. For example, amongst a dozen such operations we:
- Protested about the accumulation of waste at Pantazi,
- Raised the issue damage to and deterioration of the Cultural Centre in Stoupa,
- Protested about the existence of a garbage dump at the upper perimeter of Vatrinitsa Gorge, and
- Worked with six other organisations in the Municipality of West Mani to complain about the lack of rubbish removal.
It would be very good if we could claim any successes out of this lobbying. Did the situation at Vatrinitsa Gorge or Pantazi improve, for example?
Lest we give the impression that it’s all about hard work, Clean Mani also organises social activities too. For example:
- In November 2018 we went to Vasiliki Forest for mushroom gathering;
- In October 2019 we organised two musical playlets on the themes of recycling, composting and prevention of pollution with musical accompaniment from the municipal band, Katsikeas Ilias, Evangelos Koutsoumbos and with the help of association member John Germeraad.
Do we have videos of either of these we can share here?
How we can help you
We can help you reuse – recycle – compost by:
- Developing an interactive map of recycling and composting facilities in the Mani
- Providing information on how to recycle items you no longer need
- Providing information, leaflets and videos on composting
- Creating a Green Corner – a location manned by volunteers – to help you learn how to recycle and compost effectively
How you can help us
You can help us in our key goals of reuse – recycle – compost in the following ways:
- Helping us on litter collection days, when we target an area – a road, a beach – to clean it thoroughly.
- Promoting our group and the work it does by:
- Sharing this page on Facebook or Twitter – links can be found towards the top of the page.
- Liking and joining our Facebook group so that you get informed of updates.
- Helping to keep our site up to date, by identifying mistakes and suggesting updates.
- Volunteering at the “green corner” as and when this gets running.
- Suggesting ideas and participating in simple schemes to encourage reuse, recycling and composting. For example, why not write an article telling visitors to our site about steps that you have personally taken to minimise your impact on the environment.