Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Sustainable Community, Nove Starine Park in Solin Celebrates 15 Years

March 6th 2019; the talented team of writers at TCN is ever-growing and we are happy to welcome number 129 to the ranks. Mischa Pearson is best known for founding her multi-award-winning NGO fighting food waste and hunger in England. She was both nominated and recognised as one of the top most influential women in Suffolk where she grew up, and currently lives in the city of Split. Mischa has since been sustainably travelling Europe with her home educated son and their dog. Her first piece for TCN is naturally on a sustainable topic, the Nove Starine Park in Solin celebrates 15 years; Mischa caught up with the founder to learn a little more.

Welcome Mischa; if you are interested in writing for Total Croatia News, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise”. The old Anne Murray song might suggest a Teddy Bear or two, but it’s not that which causes a stir in the old forest, the Nove Starine Park...

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Photo Credit: Srđan Tutić

About the Nove Starine Park in Solin

Sculpture and concept artist Ivan Tokić turns his ambitions to the sustainable project - Nove Starine Park development, with one 10,000 square meter forest in Solin. Set deep in the heart of mother natures dwelling place and neighbouring the ancient city of Salona --capital to the Roman province of Dalmatia, and birthplace to Emperor Diocletian lies the Nove Starine Park; home to this emerging artistic community.

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Photo Credit: Ivan Tokić, the idyllic setting of Nove Starine Park

Nove Starine Park boasts everything from an outdoor cinema to a sauna and climbing gym, set amongst old pines stretched from a bed of limestone soil. Offering respite and shared meals to an array of international travellers willing to volunteer their skills, often escaping the city life in countries such as France, Holland and Germany; the sanctuary has taken on a charm unlike any other near the Adriatic coastline.

Lochlan, who stayed with Ivan at Nove Starine Park for three weeks in late 2017 described it as a "diamond tucked away in a beautiful forest reserve".

What inspired the development, and what's in store for the future?

"I started Nove Starine Park almost by accident, it was totally spontaneous and I actually wanted to be an actor prior to this" Ivan explains, as he walks the grounds. “I didn’t have food, so I grew some, and though deep into the philosophy of healthy soil, I used mostly intuition and communication to understand the natural environment. I call it intuition agriculture”.

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Photo Credit: Ivan Tokić

Ivan hopes to host more travellers and local community interested in the project, welcoming those who would be willing to work for board. Individuals specifically adept with social media and fundraising, armed with motivation to bring new life to its collaborative design are encouraged to get in touch through the Nove Starine Facebook page.

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Photo Credit: Ivan Tokić, international visitors and friends of Nove Starine Park

“We have many projects and ideas, and because there is so much space and freedom here, our only limitation is finding the right helping hands to make it happen. We have an outdoor cinema on a stage that would greatly benefit from some experienced minds, to perhaps take over for the summer months and put on some events/evenings.

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Photo Credit: Ivan Tokić

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Photo Credit: Srđan Tutić

It's really important that the local people are invited to be a part of what is happening here, too. We need all the support we can get to be successful.”

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Photo Credit: Srđan Tutić

Nostalgic for times spent living in the thick of Suffolk's oak and hornbeam, framing the picturesque Norfolk border of England, I quickly found myself imagining the off-grid pace once more; away from the Mittel-Europe grind of concrete jungles and densely carbonated air. In balance though, the city life is convenient, and if you've ever stripped naked and stood in an oversized woodland with a camper’s shower, hung precariously on a branch, thrashing a sack of unforgivingly cold water over you, you'll know the simple life, although whimsical and romantic in its essence, is not for the faint-hearted.

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Photo Credit: Srđan Tutić

The project plans to continue in its mission to demonstrate sustainable practices symbiotic with the natural environment, alongside a stone carving school and traditional olive pressing on-site starting October this year. Ivan finished by saying “the whole thing [project] has been a huge learning process, it’s really not about the destination, just the process.”

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Photo Credit: Srđan Tutić

For more news from Split and surrounding, visit Total Split.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Ledenik on Island of Pag Littered with Mixed Waste

An environmental tragedy for the island of Pag as one of the most beautiful, not to mention geologically and paleontologically interesting part of the island landscape, Ledenik, has sadly become part of an unregulated and unwanted landfill for discarded construction material and all kinds of waste. Ledenik is otherwise visited by thousands of tourists during the summer months and is a very popular area, but also a highly significant fossil site.

As Morski writes on the 21st of January, 2019, in addition to this area being of importance when it comes to prehistory, some of the oldest still standing sructures, more specifically examples of drywall construction on the island of Pag are located in Ledenik. Several films have also been filmed there. Unfortunately, this stunning area has fallen victim to people dumping all sorts of waste, as Radio Pag has reported.

Ledenik is extremely interesting in a geological sense. Namely, the island of Pag actually originated from billions of shells and skeletons of various dead and fossilised marine animals and is mostly composed of limestone, and it is precisely at Ledenik where a vast fossil site can be seen.

Geologists say that the basic geological structure of the island of Pag originated about 200 million years ago, while the actual formation of the island of Pag is considered by geologists to have occurred around 30 million years ago, when they believe what is now Ledenik was then initially formed. At that time, the island of Pag was connected with Velebit and didn't have the shape of an island as it has today.

 

The present shape of the island of Pag was created at the end of Pleistocene era, the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago, which isn't that long ago in the grand scheme of things. Then, transgression occurred and the sea level rose by about a hundred meters. The wetland area (part of the then Pag lake) saw the gap between the now island of Pag and Velebit filled by the sea and the Velebit channel was thus created. This marked the final act in the island's birth as we know and love it today.

The utterly bizarre, almost Mars-like landscape of the island of Pag has been regularly contributed by bura winds which have been shaping sedimentary rocks for centuries. This is particularly noticeable on Ledenik, which is, by far, entirely unique.

All in all, Ledenik should be the City of Pag's pride, but it seems that not everyone cares enough about the local environment to make sure it stays as precious and as unique as it is.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for more. If it's just Croatia's attitude to the environment and ecology you're interested in, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

 

Click here for the original article by Radio Pag

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Medvednica to Benefit as JYSK Project Promises to Plant Trees

A project for Medvednica, a mountain located in Central Croatia just north of Zagreb, will see trees planted. Medvednica nature park is a popular destination, located close to Zagreb with its highest peak being the much loved Sljeme.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of January, 2019, the JYSK retail chain has launched a project which will see the shopping giant collect all the funds made from the sale of plastic bags containing 50 percent recyclable material from January the 2nd to March the 31st, 2019, and putting them to good use for the purpose of preserving the environment in the Republic of Croatia.

In close cooperation with Croatian forests (Hrvatske šume), the funds collected from the sale of the bags will be intended for the purchase of as many as 10,000 beech seedlings for the purpose of the afforestation of two zones of the popular Medvednica nature park near Zagreb. The goal of this praiseworthy and highly socially responsible project is to raise further awareness of the importance of the need for forests and of their development.

"As a large international company which is in daily contact with thousands of customers, suppliers and associates, we're aware of our roles in the development of socially responsible business, creating a new value for all participants. Our wish is to raise public awareness of the important issues and we're confident that we will encourage many to behave more conscientiously towards nature,'' said Vesna Kukić-Lončarić, JYSK's country manager for Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.

JYSK has initiated a project on the basis of a new directive of the European Union which was introduced in Croatia on January the 1st, 2019. It is a measure to reduce the use of non-recyclable plastic bags. In addition to the effect the retail chain wants to have over regular citizens, JYSK wants to encourage its own employees to actively engage in afforestation in Croatia, and plans to plant the huge number of aforementioned beet seedlings after the end of the fundraising cycle, which will be in April 2019.

"We're pleased that JYSK has recognised the importance of forest care in Croatia. Planting on surfaces that have suffered several times after stormy weather is crucial to restoring the balance of nature. We hope this will also encourage other companies to launch similar initiatives,'' said Damir Miškulin, head of the Zagreb branch of Croatian forests.

Make sure to stay up to date with more news on Medvednica and much more by following our dedicated lifestyle page. If you fancy yourself as a bit of an eco warrior, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

State Secretary Ivica Poljičak Engages in Beach Cleanup

Ivica Poljičak, state secretary at the Croatian Ministry of Culture, has made sure to start off on the right note by doing his bit in cleaning up the beach, in an action he'd already organised and done back in August 2018.

The environment should be important to us all, however many of us consciously choose to ignore the fact that we all have a duty to keep our surroundings clean, especially when it comes to extremely harmful plastic waste which continues to threaten the world's seas and oceans, as well as the array of marine life living below the surface.

As Morski writes on the 2nd of January, 2019, Ivica Poljičak visited the small bay of Paklina, where strong bura had unfortunately dragged in yet more new waste, and he spent half an hour cleaning up that small part of the coast, and in just that short period of time he managed to fill up four entire bin bags, according to a report from SibenikIN.

''See you at the beginning of spring at the same place! I wish everyone a happy and successful 2019,'' Ivica Poljičak said.

Ivica Poljičak recalled the fact that the most diverse plastic waste from Paklina bay was picked up back in August last year when the bags were filled with lollipop sticks, lighters, plugs, bottles, packaging from various hygiene products and similar plastic waste that the sea had dragged up to the shoreline.

Otherwise, plastic waste makes up more than 70 percent of the waste in the whole of the Mediterranean sea, and is particularly dangerous because it can never completely disintegrate.

All plastics ever produced across the world still exist to this day since they can't naturally degrade over time like natural materials do. Therefore, plastics thrown into the sea never go away, and by the influence of light and natural phenomena, break into microparticles that, through the food chain and eating habits of numerous marine animals, find their way back to humans, creating toxic chemical compounds.

In the stomachs of marine mammals, scientists were able to find dozens of pounds of plastic bags and other plastic waste which had been shamefully dumped into the sea by humans.

Make sure to follow our lifestyle page for more. If you consider yourself a bit of an eco warrior yourself, follow Total Eco Croatia.

 

Click here for the original article by SibenikIN

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Dubrovnik Eco Action Drags Bottles and Tyres from Adriatic Sea

With plastic pollution continuing to be an ever growing threat to the world's seas and oceans, the EU has ramped up its overall efforts to make sure member states do their jobs. Croatia has been carrying out numerous beach and sea bed cleanups up and down the coast, mainly in the pre and post season but also in the summer. The latest praiseworthy Dubrovnik eco action has seen some ever concerning items dragged from the sea.

As Morski writes on the 2nd of December, 2018, under the organisation of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the Dubrovnik Diving Club, yet another Dubrovnik eco action was held, this time at the location of the old town port, where the seabed was cleared of its various types of rubbish. The waste extracted from the sea bed was made up of a variety of plastic and glass bottles, all the way to much larger, bulkier items such as rubber tires and sponges, according to a report from the local portal Dubrovniknet.

One very concerning fact about this particular Dubrovnik eco action is that one of the most commonly found items were rubber tyres from various types of vehicles, this should no longer be the case since there is a recycling company in Croatia which deals specifically with old and unwanted tyres.

Old tyres such as those found during the latest Dubrovnik eco action in the medieval city's famous old port can be left for authorised regional collectors to come and get them, who then send such types of waste to have the rubber content recycled for many other items, as the further application of such material is largely beneficial in many different economic activities and sectors, including construction, infrastructure, playgrounds, and much more.

Make sure to keep up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for more information like this. If you're interested in keeping up with just what Croatia is doing to protect the environment, follow Total Eco Croatia. If it's just the Pearl of the Adriatic you're interested in, stay up to date with Total Dubrovnik.

 

Click here for the original article by Dubrovniknet.hr

Monday, 26 November 2018

Croats Love Diesel Engines, But Is That Really A Bad Thing?

German statisticians released data on their export of used diesel cars in recent days, and Croatia has taken second place, after the Ukrainians, according to a report from Jutarnji list's Autoklub. Despite warnings from environmentalists and eco-warriors, which many experts claim to be false, it appears that Croats love diesel engines regardless.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 16th of November, 2018, with the growth of diesel imports from Germany in 2018, from 89.6 percent in relation to the same period last year, Croatia continues to hold onto the second most respectable position on the entire chart, while first place continues to be reserved by the Ukrainians, a country for which an incredible increase of 136.8 has been recorded.

The fact that these aren't just some fantasy figures is supported by the data of the Promocija plus agency, and according to them, in the first nine months of this year, a never before seen number of used cars entered Croatia, a massive 57,067 of them, which is equal to 16,732, or 41.5 percent more than were recorded during the same period last year. A large contribution to such a jump, which can be read clearly from the provided figures, was given mainly by diesel engine vehicles.

These are mostly, of course, imported from Germany, and there are as many as 15,434 more diesel engine cars on Croatia's roads than were recorded last year. Their share in the total number of imported used cars this year has jumped from 88.2 percent to 88.7 percent, a clear indicator that Croats love diesel engines.

This is likely to unnerve eco-warriors and those who make conscious steps to put the environment first, generally by aiming to reduce their carbon footprint. Is the propagated idea that Croatia is becoming a "dumping ground for old diesel engines from Europe" a remotely truthful one? According to some experts, no, it isn't, and believe it or not, there are some rather strong arguments to support that fact.

For starters, we need to look at good old excise duty. As is already very well known, in recent years, exise duty is ''counted'' against a vehicle's CO2 emissions and value, and excise tax tables are arranged as such so that they do not fall ''into the hands'' of favour of older cars which typically produce higher and unwanted emissions of harmful gases.

According to the obtained information, these imported diesel engine cars don't pose a negative effect on the average age of the domestic Croatian car fleet as would be the case with the import of a large number of brand new cars, and the same applies to the emission of harmful gases. These imports are still newer and cause considerably less pollution than the existing ones do, and therefore ecologists and environmentalists need not be afraid. The increase in diesel car imports is not a problem because Croatia has no particular air quality problems, whereas Germany, for example, definitely does.

Make sure to stay up to date with our lifestyle page for more. If you're into all things eco, follow Total Eco Croatia for info on just how the environment is put first by various organisations across the country.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Beach Cleanup: NP Mljet Puts Environment First

Keeping on top of things and putting the environment first isn't always easy in the time in which we currently live, but a beach cleanup is a more than excellent way to start. In Croatia, such seabed and beach cleanup actions take place quite regularly up and down the coast, with the most emphasis being placed on the pre and post season.

During this somewhat turbulent time of year, it's typical for unstable weather conditions and strong winds and currents to wreak havoc to some degree or another, often bringing in unwanted rubbish from other parts of the coast, sometimes even dragging up piles of waste on currents from Albania to Dubrovnik.

Plastic pollution is an increasingly dangerous threat to the world's seas and oceans, and while various laws continue to be passed to either ban or at least limit the use of ''throw away'' plastic products, the issue remains a pressing one. A well organised beach cleanup is an excellent way to combat the problem.

As Morski writes on the 1st of November, 2018, beautiful Mljet has experienced a proverbial reincarnation this year, as 32 volunteers participated in a program to clean up as many as fifteen bays and coves on Mljet, which is otherwise one of the country's most breathtaking national parks, located not too far from Dubrovnik.

This year's volunteer program, developed by JUNP Mljet and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy through the EU Integration Project Natura 2000, was successfully completed, with 71 volunteers participating in all of the four volunteer programs.

For the first time, NP Mljet welcomed international volunteers from Lithuania, Australia, America, and neighbouring Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina to help clean up the national park's many bays and coves. Over 400 plastic bags, sewage, glass and various other types of waste was successfully removed from Mljet's shoreline.

Want to keep up with more news about how the environment is taken care of in Croatia and how you might be able to help? Make sure to follow Total Eco Croatia.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Zlarin Becomes ''Pilot Island'' Without Disposable Plastic

Zlarin aims to put the environment first!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Dubrovnik Divers to Clean Seabed in Zaton Mali

The Dubrovnik Diving Club announces another praiseworthy action, putting the underwater environment first.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Ophthalmologist Sailing from Šibenik to Brazil Conquers Italian Coast!

The journey so far hasn't been without its problems, but the sailor goes on!

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