US-funded environmental competition promotes 'green' living in Kazakhstan

By Aydar Ashimov


Anel Amirkenova of Almaty, a contest participant, is shown April 14. One of the challenges was to re-use a sheet of paper by writing the contest name, "7 Days of Green", on the other side. [Aydar Ashimov]

ASTANA -- Kazakhstanis learned about the importance of protecting the environment during a US embassy-sponsored contest April 6-12 dubbed "7 Days of Green".

"The goal of the contest is to popularise concern for the environment in Kazakhstan and to help understand how human actions can play an enormous role in the life of our planet," said the contest announcement from the US Embassy in Astana.

During the week, participants worked on daily challenges, posting photos and videos of their efforts on Instagram with the hashtag #7DaysOfGreen.

Submissions were judged based on their creativity, timeliness and effort by the embassy, which offered an iPhone for the main prize, according to the announcement.

The contest started with 198 competitors, but only 144 finished the whole week.

"The challenges posed [by the contest] let many people understand how the ordinary person can make environmental protection possible," Almaty resident and competitor Anel Amirkenova told Caravanserai.

She said she has resolved to continue caring for the environment by bicycling, using reusable bottles and giving up meat.

"I am very glad to see this contest -- people participated in it with pleasure," Lyudmila Petrova of Atbasar, who participated with her nine-year-old son, told Caravanserai. "They prepared every day and thought up jingles and skits."

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