Juliya Pakina is an ecologist, who recently became a mother. She lives in rural Zhytomyr, Ukraine, and is extremely concerned by the escalating pollution of the surrounding forests, fields, lakes and the environment in general. Finding her story was easy for her, as one doesn’t have to venture far to see the consequences of modern consumption habits and lack of infrastructure to contain the waste. Pakina participated in femLENS documentary photography workshops in Zhytomyr, Ukraine.
“When the last tree dries and the last animal dies, you will realise that
there is no other Earth for you.”
The problem of garbage doesn’t only concern large cities; villages are also in a difficult ecological situation. My village is no exception; every year we are more and more drowning in garbage.
Every year, one person in Ukraine creates 300-350 kg of household waste. It is a shame to admit that people do not understand this. The only thing that bothers residents is that the garbage should be taken out quickly and that it disappears from their yard without a trace. However, no one thinks about what happens to this garbage next and what the consequences are.
The lack of a functional legislative base, the unwillingness of people to sort garbage, the incomplete provision of containers for separate garbage collection, the absence of waste recycling plants – all this is a vicious cycle, which every day plunges the country deeper into an environmental collapse.
The environment does not know how to talk, but it asks for help … it is only a small village against the background of the whole country and planet, but with such small drops everything begins… What kind of land will we leave to our descendants, in what conditions will our children and the children of our children live?
John Kennedy said: “Even one person can change something, and everyone should try. The common thing between us is that we are all inhabitants of this planet. We all breathe the same air. We live for the future of our children. And we are all mortal”.
Therefore, I hope that everyone will try to make changes!