People come together to discuss topics at Arvamusfestival in Paide

The 9th “Arvamusfestival“ the biggest event in Paide, Estonia took place last week on 13-14th August. One of the  organiser is partner from Paide Town Government, Karola Jaanof. Arvamusfestival (or Opinion Festival), is a well-known event in Estonia that offers a platform for discussion on various topics. Prominent figures always attend the event including the President and Prime Minister of Estonia as well as other Ministers, members of Parliament and well known scientists both from Estonia and other countries.

Arvamusfestival is also very well known in Estonia as a green festival. Materials used during the event are ensured to be environmentally friendly and deposit systems are in place for recycling packaging and food containers. Young volunteers are also employed as green ambassadors to help people sort their waste.

7,000 people attended this years festival. The event counted with 133 discussions on 17 topics some of which revolve around sustainability and the circular economy. Some of these topics include:

Green transport: how ready are we?- An increasing number of countries are setting deadlines for the ban on fossil fuel-based vehicles sales. The UK has pledged to end sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. How ready is Estonia for wide-scale usage of zero emission vehicles in the coming decades? Do the biggest challenges ahead lie in policies, infrastructure, the urban environment, prices or something else? Who should take the leading role in the public discussion and execution when it comes to green transport? And what are the impacts that the transition to green transport brings to the consumers and the choices we will be making? With a range of experts from various stakeholders in this conversation, the discussion aims to offer an overview of the situation today and what the prospects are for the coming years and decades.

Plastic – is it still necessary in the 21st century?- The miracle material of the 20th century, plastic, surrounds us everywhere. But do we still need it in the 21st century? Is plastic worth fearing and regretting, or should it be praised and envied? We are talking about the use and recycling of plastics today, including the small and large changes that are beginning at national, community and individual level to overcome the plastics problem in the future.

Green turn on the table. Are we chewing the branch we are sitting on?- The green turn and the ‘farm to fork’ strategy have been hot topics lately. They concern the dining room table for all of us. Is a green turn on our table possible and how can this be achieved? We will discuss the opportunities and obstacles in choosing a planet-friendly food. Let’s try to understand how much the green whirlwind speaks to people on the table and how much is known about the environmental impact of food. The audience will have a say in the cheek of the planet-friendly shooter!

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