Metropolia's Media Technology students Jaakko Eränen and Jarmo Seppälä have created a video about the Gulf of Finland for the City of Espoo's Environment Department. Shot in the summer of 2014, the video deals with the threats facing the Gulf of Finland and how individuals can have an impact on its state. The work is part of the Gulf of Finland Year coordinated by the City of Espoo, which brings together experts, decision-makers and citizens from Finland, Estonia and Russia to cooperate for a safe and healthy Gulf of Finland. Features of the theme year include research, various events and decision-making that will have an influence.
In Espoo, the Gulf of Finland Year is bringing together local residents and organisations who wish to take action for a safer and healthier gulf. During the year, almost 200 residents of Espoo have given a pledge to take action for the preservation of the Gulf of Finland. Participants in the campaign have, for example, promised to pay more attention to sorting their waste, use public transport more often and choose environmentally certified products.
In addition to making the video, the two students from Metropolia and the coordinator of Espoo's Gulf of Finland Year, Niina Järvinen, visited the city's beaches in July in order to spread information on the state of the gulf and how people can impact their environment with their choices. In addition to Eränen and Seppälä, students Bijay Karki and Surendra Bhandari from Metropolia's Environmental Engineering degree programme participated in the "Love your beaches" campaign.
"We signed up for the campaign because Eeva Hara-Lindström, our lecturer from the Sustainable Development course, suggested it. Neither of us had a summer job lined up and we wanted something to do, so participating in this summer course felt like a meaningful and useful experience," Jarmo Seppälä and Jaakko Eränen explain.
The students were responsible for the campaign's communications, including the designing of the visual appearance for printed material, filming and photography, and editing the campaign video. In addition, all project participants distributed environmental material on the city's beaches and talked to people about the topic.
Eränen and Seppälä describe the project as a positive and broadening experience.
"We learned a lot about the use of video editing software and were also able to showcase our design and communications skills. Our use of the English language became more natural and relaxed over the summer, which will be useful for the future because both of us are interested in exchange studies."
"The best thing about the project was the freedom we had in creating the printed material and the video. All in all, we received extremely positive feedback on the video and our other work. The campaign video will be used by the City of Espoo and, potentially, as teaching material at various schools, so we feel it is important to get it distributed as widely as possible. Our customers were particularly pleased with our printed material," gushed Eränen and Seppälä.
But what pledge have the two young men made for the Gulf of Finland?
"I consider the eating of meat as the most unrecognised threat to the Gulf of Finland. The phosphorus and nitrogen emissions of the cattle industry are one of the main reasons for the gulf's eutrophication. Therefore I pledge to eat less meat," says Jarmo Seppälä. "I pledge to choose environmentally friendly products," adds Jaakko Eränen.
The Gulf of Finland Year will be seen and heard at several events over the rest of the year, including Espoo Day events on 30 August and the Espoo Beach Marathon on 20–21 September. Nature House Villa Elfvik is holding a number of exhibitions on the theme. The City of Espoo is holding a volunteer day for restoring water streams in cooperation with Virho Ry (an association for the preservation of rivers and streams) on 4 October, and the Espoo Adult Education Centre is offering a wide range of Gulf of Finland themed courses.
Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Senior Lecturer Eeva Hara-Lindström
p. +358 40 554 2985