Brazil team will start with the biggest cities (Feb 24)

Let's do it! team in Brazil has started to prepare first cleanups in the country's biggest cities. The first two Limpa Brazil cleanups will be taking place on 6th of June 2011 in Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, moving on to cover 12 other bigger cities by the end of 2011. The team is not timid in setting their goals - planning to engage at least 50 000 people in each city. Read about how it all started and where it is going from our interview with Augusto Braz from Limpa Brazil team.

In the photo: Brazil national team, happy after cleaning up a square, just for fun

How big is the illegal dumping issue in Brazil?
It is a huge issue! There are many Brazilian people who will throw their waste anywhere: streets, clubs, schools, even hospitals! The central areas of our largest cities are swept many times a day, but remain very dirty, because there are citizens littering the streets all the time! Streets that, ironically, are used by them every day! Public spaces that belong to themselves and are degraded by their neglect. Most of those people don’t realize that all that trash does not disappear by magic: tons of public resources are spent on that.
Currently, there is no governmental campaign for raising people’s awareness about trash production and management. Cleanliness and sustainability need to become goals for every citizen, because these two concepts are a certain path to a better country.
How did Let's do it! action start in Brazil?
Atitude Brasil is a company with expertise on creating social communication projects focused on the principles of sustainability. It is the company that created the International Forum for Communication and Sustainability, which, since 2008, brings people from the entire world to discuss the sustainability concept and practical measures that have been adopted in order to make the world a better place to live, according to the principles of the Earth Charter.
Rainer Nolvak came to the III Forum, when the Limpa Brasil Let’s do it! initiative was launched, on a partnership between Atitude Brasil and UNESCO. Since then, the Limpa Brasil/Atitude Brasil Team has been working hard on the organization of the 14 clean-ups that will happen in 2011, in the biggest Brazilian cities. Fundraising, planning communication actions and the clean-ups themselves are the main tasks that have been filling our schedule.    
What is the background of you and your team? 
Atitude Brasil has a huge background when it comes to projects that involve cultural, social or environmental aspects associated with communication. Also, the experience in fundraising is essential for the work that we have been doing.
The team includes marketing experts, journalists, and, of course, people who are ready to deal with planning of big actions, management of funds and legal aspects of our work.
How many people do you have right now working on Let's do it! Brazil?
30 people on the core team, who are permanent workers. Plus volunteers (right now, we have about 500 who registered for the organization area and 1000 volunteers for helping to do the promotion).
The number of people involved with this movement is increasing every day, and our advertising is not running yet. We expect around 50 000 volunteers per city.
What are the current tasks you are working on right now?
Our team is big, so we have different people with different responsibilities. I am involved with communication, so I try to get people to promote Limpa Brasil Let’s do it!. There are people involved with fundraising, organization, planning, making agreements with local governments, gathering volunteers, etc.
What are your plans for 2011? 

Having clean-ups in the 14 Brazilian cities that have more than 1 million inhabitants. We still need new sponsors, but the movement will happen in at least 7 cities for sure. The action in Brazil will happen in the beginning of June – during the global celebration of the Environment Week.
Through intense educational campaign and city clean-ups, the project intends to take a big step for environmental preservation and raise of society’s compromise with correct trash management in Brazil. Education and preservation of the environment and common goods are connected to that issue.

What do you think will be the most difficult part?
Our main challenge is to create consciousness on the Brazilian society. That is why Limpa Brasil Let’s do it! was created to last for 10 years: because we can’t think only about cleaning the country, but also about keeping it clean. Trash is being thrown on our streets every day, and that needs to stop.
Why are you doing this?

A sustainable society can only become a reality through education, citizenship, respect for others, preservation of welfare and raising awareness towards our everyday attitudes. We need to start acting immediately, because the necessary actions become more complex, hard and expensive every day. I believe that the Limpa Brasil Let’s do it! movement is a way to get to a sustainable country, which is essential for our well-being and for the survival of future generations.
Fighting for a cleaner and sustainable country is a responsibility of all Brazilian citizens. That is the thought that brought Limpa Brasil Let’s do it! movement to happen. It requires initiative and involvement of all sectors of society and there is no doubt that it will be good for everybody.

When will Brazil be clean?
That is a hard question to answer! Our country is huge and there is no way we can clean the whole country like the Estonians did, for example. That is why we need to create awareness, so that people will change their attitude when it comes to producing trash, littering or neglecting the importance of the waste management issue.