I first met Arina Shurygina at the Keepers of the Salmon festival. It was amazing to see how much love she put into teaching about the salmon life cycle, its constitution, and peculiarities. It seemed that there was nothing more important to her than to teach each student how many fins a salmon has and the locations and names of each fin. Later, I learned that containers set throughout the town to collect plastic caps were another of Arina’s initiatives, but not the only one.
It was interesting to learn how it all began. Arina explains that, “One spring, at the outskirts of town, I realized that I was walking on a carpet of garbage. Snow cover was gone and garbage brought from nearby dumps had begun to surface. It was a very unpleasant feeling, but I wanted to fix it. I began to learn about different approaches to the problem that existed worldwide, and the possibilities available in the region. I discovered that in Kamchatka, and Russia in general, there is no general practice of sorting and recycling of household trash. I started to learn more about the issue and wrote articles to newspapers and journals. They were published but the situation still did not change.” (more…)