Exploring the green solutions on Ärjänsaari Island

Submitted by KA5043 on

An excursion on energy and waste management practices was organized on Ärjänsaari Island, Lake Oulujärvi, on 28 August 2019. The trip was part of the Green Solutions for Nature Protected Areas project, which aims to promote environmentally friendly solutions for remote nature sites. The project has been running for a year, and some concrete results can already be seen on pilot sites in Finland and Russia. The aim of this excursion was to introduce the project's achievements on Ärjänsaari Island and discuss on different energy and waste management practices.

Participants were from Energy Efficiency Centre (Petrozavodsk) and three pilot sites of the project (Kivach and Kostomuksha Nature Reserves, Vodlozersky National Park). In addition, representatives of Metsähallitus, Oulun Energia, Ekokymppi and other stakeholders and partners attended the event. The total number of participants was 22.

In the morning we focused on four solar energy systems on Ärjänsaari Island. At first, we went to Kotila cottage, which is equipped with a solar energy system that provides the electricity needed in a summer café. Next, we walked to a nearby cooking shelter. The shelter has a solar powered mobile phone charger station. Before lunch, we also had a chance to visit Saunala cottage (a shepherd's cottage) and Vierasmaja cottage, which also are equipped with solar energy systems. Product Manager Olli Tuomivaara (Oulun Energia) was the energy expert of the morning session.

The theme in the afternoon was different waste management solutions at nature sites. We discussed about litter-free hiking, which was started on Ärjänsaari Island at the beginning of summer 2019. The principle of litter-free hiking is simple: hikers should leave no traces of their visits to the natural environment. The goal is to minimize the negative impact of hiking to environment and climate. On Ärjänsaari Island, litter-free hiking has started well, and there has been even less trash this summer than before. The experts on waste management session were Fieldwork Manager Leena Jartti (Metsähallitus), Environmental Manager Eero Piirainen (Ekokymppi) and Operations Manager Esa Kumpulainen (Ekokymppi).

We spent a nice day on Ärjänsaari Island. The sun was shining, the lake scenery was beautiful, and the island got new friends again. Discussions on energy and waste management solutions continued even at the project dinner.

Anni Koskela, Metsähallitus