“HOW SCHOOLCHILDREN CANCONTRIBUTE TO KEEPING OUR PLANET GREEN AND CLEAN”
A Day without Cars How this day is celebrated in Greece
The European Day without cars started in France in 1998 and was established on a European level in 2000. More than 1500 cities in Europe celebrate this day. Every year, onthe 22nd of September local authorities close the city centresto cars and encourage citizens to use public transportation, bicycles or any other means of transport that do not need petrol .
What happens on the 22nd of September∗ In Greece, major cities take part in the celebration. The city centres are closed and people use their bicycles. Public transport is free on this day to raise public awareness. Also various events take place promoting ecological means of transport.∗ Unfortunately, no events were organised this year in Samos so students were involved only in school activities.
∗ Students were told about the ‘Day without cars’ and were asked to find information about it.
This is the information the students gathered: ∗ The number of cars in Greece has increased 190% since 1990 ∗ 35,000 cars are illegally parked daily in Athens ∗ 140,000,000 € was the cost of advertising for new cars in 2004 ∗ 56% of vehicles in Athens have only one passenger ∗ 80% of the atmospheric pollution in Athens is from cars (Athens has a serious smog problem) ∗ Every year 150,000 new cars are bought in Athens with the total number of cars reaching 3,000,000 ∗ There is one car for every two Greeks ∗ Greece comes out top in the E.U. as far as weekly use of cars is concerned before Italy, France and Spain The following graph clearly shows the statistics
As can be seen hereGreece is above otherEuropean countries as faras using a car isconcerned. It seems weuse our cars almost twiceas much .
∗ Students realise the need to use cars less and to prefer other means of transport which are friendlier to the environment. They created a model city without cars where people use bicycles.
Students also wrote a short essay encouraging other students to avoid using cars for short distances
∗ Students created posters showing a city polluted by car fumes.
They drew pictures of how they imagine a city without cars would be like
Students discussed theadvantages of usingbicycles. They alsorealised that living in amountainous villageusing a bicycle is notalways possible. Theysuggested improvingpublic transport and carpooling.