In the fight for environmental protection, ecology and raising awareness in the region about this issue, support for the project "Reduce Impact" comes from the initiative of Frenchwoman Cecile Dimitrijević.
Cecile is the founder of the Avel Yachting Company, which is the only agent for sailing boats with post-sales services locally, located in Tivat, Montenegro. Apart from being a Zumba dance instructor, Cecile is also an official environmental protection activist. At the moment, she is staying in Belgrade for a bit because of the decision to educate her children in a way that is not possible in Montenegro. However, Cecile permanently lives in Tivat, which gives us an alibi to conquer and present her “green” project.
What does the project “Reduce Impact” represent?
"Reduce impact" is a blog by which I'm trying to show how we can live in harmony with nature not only in the villages but also in the big cities. We all talk about how the Earth is going down, how we have to do something, and on the other hand, no one is prepared to do anything to change everyday habits. With this blog, I am trying to convey the ideas for the small everyday things every one of us can do to reduce negative impacts on Earth and nature. People pollute the Earth drastically, in fact, we have a lot of influence on the environment from driving cars, buying a lot of things, and spending a lot on plastic, and all of this has a negative impact, that’s why I named the blog “Reduce Impact.”
"Reduce impact" is strictly your idea, and you're splitting different materials and using them again for other purposes. What are the materials that you recycle and reuse, and repurpose?
The most recycled material is tetra pack, and these are cartons of juice and milk. I cut them and I make buckets out of them, which is my biggest project. I also use fabric, stitching together the fabric of clothes I don't wear and make make-up skincare wipes, etc. Since there is no container for selective waste disposal, I leave the plastic on the side, beside the container, because I know that, for example, the gypsies collect it and continue selling it to those who recycle. In this way, I try to contribute to waste sorting.
Does your resident city recognize the importance of this idea regarding material support?
I have not applied for money yet, because I plan to collect a few more followers so that the blog becomes popular and makes my voice important. I think I could apply for EU funds with this project.
How does the environment react to your ideas, and do new enthusiasts join you?
Yes, people are delighted, mainly because I'm writing in Serbian because there are hundreds of such English and French blogs, so I've decided to make that move because until now I have not found any blogs of this content, in Serbian or Montenegrin. Since I, as a Frenchwoman, have chosen to write in their language, it delights them. Everyone says that it was about time for someone to launch such a story and I've noticed that there is enough of us, and my wish is that we all network because we are stronger together. What’s important, too, is that together we can do more.
You held several workshops about recycling tetra pack.
It started slowly at the beginning, and now there are more and more scheduled workshops in Belgrade, so I'm happy about that. As for the blog, at the end of May, I will have the first presentation where I will talk about how I live in this "eco" way so that both sides can see that it is possible.
Especially interesting is beeswax. We know its wide application in medicine and nutrition. How do you use it?
It's one of my favorite blog posts where I've shown how wax can still be used. I buy some small pieces of wax, and then I take leftover fabric and put it on baking paper on the ironing board. I put the grind wax on the fabric that I cover with baking paper and then I iron it. The material absorbs the wax that is melted. After a few minutes, I cut off the paper, and this fabric becomes a bit harder. I use this as a cover for plastic or aluminum foil. I read a lot of blogs on ecology and the like, so I ran into this idea.
How long can this cover last?
It may last a couple of months unless some wax comes off, meaning you'd have to add a little bit to the places it needs more, but in principle, it can be used for quite a long time. It is effortless to wash, and just use a little less detergent and was it a bit gently, but from my experience, it is harmless.
We all mostly know what recycling is, but on your blog, you have written about upcycling. What is that?
Well, that's precisely what I do. Everyone says it is recycling, but it is not. When one thing that is intended to be used for a particular purpose and is used for other purposes, that is upcycling. Recycling is when the material goes to the foreseen factories to be broken down and used for something new later. I change the way this material is used. My tetra pack remains tetra pack, and I do not destroy the material but use it as it is, for something else. I make fruit and vegetable baskets, various things from it.
The last issue on Cecil's blog is compost, which Cecil claims to be “black gold”. Visit Cecil's blog, and among other things, find out how to make compost and how to use it. If you want to change the way you live and become ecologically aware, follow smanjiimpact.wordpress.com. Cecile says she is always ready to advise but is also open to hearing new ideas, all to reduce the negative impact on our environment.