On December 20, the Living Tree Environmental Contest took place at the Yerevan Zoo with the attendance of over 500 hundred participants. Hundreds of observers also came to the zoo free of charge to enjoy the day of decorations.
The Living Tree Contest, which was organized by the Yerevan Zoo, the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) with support from its General Partner VivaCell-MTS, aims to teach children how to be ecologically friendly during the holidays. Participants had to follow specific rules and create imaginative holiday decorations that are not harmful for the environment. Recycling used materials, such as water bottles, old CDs, was one way many of them crafted unique ornaments. The 3-member jury judged the works based on their eco-friendliness, creativity, and originality.
As part of FPWC’s environmental education program, the contest teaches children that there are alternatives to the waste and other damages created during the holidays. By directly involving children in this fun and imaginative project, the foundation hopes to form a responsible attitude towards the environment for the young generation of Armenians.
The name of the contest, Living Tree, also has a special meaning. Earlier this month, FPWC began a conservation campaign encouraging everyone in Armenia to celebrate the holidays with pine trees that come with their roots and soil in a pot. After the holidays, these trees can be replanted instead of being thrown in the garbage.
During the contest, in addition to making Eco-Christmas Trees, Holy Nativity Scenes, and Eco-Snowmans, children also had the opportunity to decorate these Living Trees. Prizes included nature books, movie tickets, “Zoo” Magazines and more. In addition, 13-year old Narine Zakharyan won a bicycle at the Zoo’s educational game station. The Yerevan Zoo gives away one bicycle to a child every month to encourage healthy living and promote ecologically friendly alternatives.