One of the biggest threats to society is the large amount of chemicals which are spread around the planet by mankind. The effects are often indirect or delayed, the problem is complex and hard to explain. Not even the scientists know exactly what happens when different substances get mixed in nature and in our bodies (the cocktail effect).
Even though chemicals is a difficult and complex topic, it is at the same time very hands on. With just some basic knowledge anybody can make chemically clever, sustainable and healthy choices, and decrease the exposure of many hazardous substances.
The project Chemically Clever Island builds on the project Chemically Clever Åland (the material gathered during a four year project run by the environmental NGO Ålands Natur & Miljö), and is mainly financed by The Nordic Council of Ministers.
Ålands Natur & Miljö (Åland) runs the project. The following islands and organisations take part in the project: Iceland; Umhverfisstofnun (Environment Agency of Iceland) and Hiiumaa (Estonia); LAG Hiiumaa.
On this website we have gathered knowledge and experience from the project and our work with awareness raising about chemicals. The material is divided in two parts: About Chemicals, a data bank tailored for anyone interested in the chemicals in everyday life (including The Eight Rooms, describing most of the things and materials we use in our homes and daily lives), and Guide for organisations, a collection of ideas, hands-on advise and other material for those working with awareness raising.
In addition to the English part, which is common for all the islands, you can also choose to go directly to the local parts of this website above, and read material in Icelandic, Estonian or Swedish. However, the content of the local parts of this site may differ, depending on the work, resources and priorities of the three organisations.
If you want to read more about our organisations, please click on the logos below, and you will access the websites of the organisations.
The primary objective with the project Chemically Clever Island is awareness raising, supporting customers in making conscious choices, leading to higher demands on salesmen and producers and contributing to sustainability as well as to human health. The secondary objective with the project is cooperation between environmental organisations in raising awareness and commitment when it comes to chemicals. By sharing ideas, experience and knowledge, and by supporting each other, we can get a lot done despite limited resources.
Not just what to tell, but how to do it
We were just starting up the project in March 2020, when the Corona Virus hit the world. Countries closed their borders, and societies locked down in quarantine. We had to meet online instead of IRL, and it was difficult to make long term plans or arrange events both together and locally. Maybe we have realized, more than ever, how important it is to meet. To talk to other people, to learn and share and have fun together. Maybe this is especially true when it comes to awareness raising. Changing behaviours is always difficult and sometimes even scary. We need each other to get motivated.
The three organisations cooperating in Chemically Clever Island are working under very different conditions and have totally different roles in our societies. But we have one thing in common: We want to reach out to people. This project has not been just about sharing facts and knowledge; WHAT we are communicating, but also HOW we are doing it. Hopefully some of our tools and thoughts can be helpful for you and your organisation.
The project Chemically Clever Island is related to Agenda 2030 (Goal 12: Sustainable consumption and production), the coming European strategy for a non-toxic environment and the Nordic cooperation programme on environment and climate 2019-2024.