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Garden in the middle of winter – a plant each for New Year’s good resolution (#goodresolutions) – educational initative of ArcelorMittal Poland

01/15/2018

More than 6000 residents of Krakow visited the Winter Garden of ArcelorMittal, which was opened to the public on January 13th & 14th in front of the Nowa Huta Cultural Centre in Krakow. Inside the garden, visitors had the opportunity to enjoy the air-cleansing plants exhibition. These plants help to purify and free the air from harmful agents.

The event was very well welcomed by the people visiting the garden. It was full of visitors from the very beginning of the event at 10 in the morning till late evening hours, simply because they were curious to learn about about air purifying plants, such as cornstalk dracaena, flamingo lily, spider plant, peace lily, golden cane palm, which are the best air-filtering plants, according to a NASA study. During two days, Mr. Piotr Dobrzyński from Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Ornamental Plants Department and specialists from the Floral Academy, shared their expertise with visitors on gardening and provided useful tips on how to properly take care of indoor plants.

Moreover, anyone who attended ArcelorMittal Poland’s Winter Garden and decided to make pro-ecological New Year’s resolutions and publish it on ArcelorMittal Poland’s official fanpage on Facebook (#dobrepostanowienia), received an air-filtering hedera ivy plant. Residents, who do not have profiles on FB could come to the garden, write their #goodresolution on a piece of paper, put it into a glass box and also received the plant. The majority of them decided to commit themselves to segregate domestic waste, replace cars with bikes or give up using plastic bags when shopping.

On Saturday and Sunday, almost 5000 beautiful hedera ivy plants we handed over to everyone who visited our garden! Thanks to this initiative, homes in Krakow turned green this winter! The air-filtering flowers used during the exhibition at the garden were donated to the St. Lazarus Hospice in Krakow and the Association of Families and Friends for Care and Protection of Children "House of Hope" located in the Zgoda residential complex, Nowa Huta district, Krakow.

- The event we call Winter Garden of ArcelorMittal inaugurates a series of actions, which we would like to conduct together with the citizens of Krakow, aimed at improving the quality of the air we all breathe – says Sylwia Winiarek, Communications and Community Engagement director in our company. - We are aware of the importance of reducing and preventing environmental pollution, therefore we decided to participate in activities taken by the Municipality of Krakow and to support local authorities in conducting the Low Emission Reduction Programme for Krakow. Raising the awareness of citizens is the most essential factor in preserving the environment. That is why we are committed to organizing such events for citizens, which will create a common understanding of the main sources of pollution and will enable us to define how, together, we are able to reduce the harmful effects of polluted air, which is predominantly caused by low-stack emissions – she highlights.

Our company puts strong emphasis on the environment and air protection. Everyone can do something for improving air quality. - We are strongly committed to reducing our impact on the environment, not only by organizing such events, but most importantly by conducting our operations using sustainable practices. Since 2004 we have reduced dust emissions by 90% in our Krakow unit, investing PLN 3bn. The relining of the blast furnace amounted to PLN 175m, and recently we have invested in new dust extraction hoods in the steel plant and industrial vacuum cleaners in the coke plant – explains Sylwia Winiarek. Another major investment is the modernization of the power plant in Krakow worth more than PLN 300m.

The winter garden of ArcelorMittal was designed to enhance the environmental awareness of the citizens of Krakow and to promote the idea that together we can reduce the negative effects of polluted air, simply by introducing small changes in our lives.

The event was accompanied by a series of workshops, including upcycling classes with Karina Królak (dekoeko.pl), a jewellery designer, whose works are appreciated by such famous celebrities as Madonna. Karina inspired the visitors in how to reuse plastic bottles, which are considered as waste, and to create beautiful items out of them, such as hair ornaments. All the families who attended these workshops were impressed by the creativity and the idea of being able to create something from practically nothing, simply by using our imagination.

Art workshops on how to create gardens in a glass, led by blogger Wojciech Wardecki (w-ogrodzie.com), were very popular among the visitors and were overbooked two days before the event started. During the workshops, our guests created amazing gardens in a glass, using moss, wood, twigs and cones, and then were able to take them home and enjoy their unique beauty.

Workshops with dieticians from the Nutrition Education Centre were equally popular. They helped the visitors to understand the importance of a proper “cleansing” diet, gave them information on nutrition management. On the second day, in the winter garden of ArcelorMittal, eco-advisors from the Municipality of Krakow provided their expertise and knowledge on how to participate in the program of replacing old stoves with new and more eco-friendly ones.

Thousands of Krakow residents who visited our garden and decided to be more eco-friendly are a hope for a better future for Krakow – a future with no smog! Let’s hope New Year's resolutions will be kept!