How can we change our future? That was the main question we asked ourselves in the Večernji list. We can look at the problem in two ways: our future is not great, or if we want to be pessimistic, we do not have a future if we do not change ecological trends as a society.
It is no secret that climate change causes huge problems nowadays. Yet, whenever someone mentioned that question, the answers were always the same: “That is something future generations will face” or “It is up to future generations to take care of this problem, leaving ecological debt we currently live on as a legacy, letting Earth collapse.”
To us, it was clear: All we had left was a minute closer to midnight, not even a minute, seconds to take some action. If we look at the future, in the next three decades, we could end up with (almost) no fish left in the sea and no more coffee in the morning because the arabica plant might die out. And in just three years, there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the ocean.
Turning words into action
Much was expected from the COP26 summit in Glasgow, yet all we got was a bunch of platitudes and huge disagreements between politicians, leaving just words, not deeds — the same old promises we’ve heard for the past 27 years.
For Večernji’s list, that was a crucial moment to break the news — enough words, it’s time to take some actions to protect nature and build a society that will care for the environment and our future.
We decided to carry out the largest environmental project in Croatia — Rezolucija Zemlja (Earth Resolution) — dedicated to our country, greenery, and the environment.
We had to start from scratch, encouraging everyone to do the same. We understood that we must support this idea with concrete examples, be the role model, and show everyone how it is done. The first step was to stop using plastic cups used for decades in our offices. We replaced them with glass bottles and cups made of recycled cardboard. The next step was to reduce unnecessary printing while replacing regular paper with recycled one.
Furthermore, we placed containers for separating waste and PET packaging in the newsroom, and we decided that in the next three years, we will start electrifying the vehicle fleet. People watched and started to act. Soon, the awareness in the newsroom changed from “what are you doing?” when someone carefully separated the waste left after lunch to “why don’t you do that?” if someone threw everything together in the same bin.
Once we changed our actions and proved ourselves, we were ready to lead by example, implementing the Rezolucija Zemlja (Earth Resolution project), emphasising the importance of topics related to the environment, ecology, and ecological awareness, placing the focus on socially beneficial environmental activities.
A global project
Rezolucija Zemlja (Earth Resolution project) has more than 50 different project activities organised with more than 10,000 volunteers participating, 131,000 kilograms of garbage cleaned, 650 tons of paper recycled, more than 75 sponsors and partners helping us organise numerous conferences (both domestic and international), and roundtables on the green transition.
The roundtables have attracted 350,000 users on digital platforms with high-quality content, collecting several million views on social media filled with more than 200 pages of printed content in Večernji list that covers ecological topics and dozens of educational articles.
We are very proud of the largest single coordinated clean-up operation in Croatian history that gathered 5,000 volunteers, collecting around 100 tons of waste at 30 locations.
While these are some great numbers to share, now is the time to work even harder. Večenji list is one of the most powerful media brands in the region. Rezolucija Zemlja (Earth Resolution) is moving forward this year, preparing a handful of new actions in which we will all participate together and make our Earth a better, more beautiful, and cleaner place for our future.