SAVE and REDUCE: Eco-Gozo Home Consultancy Visits
The Eco-Gozo Home Consultancy Visits project emanates from the Eco-Gozo action plan and is in line with the governments target to transform Gozo into an ecological island by 2020. The proposed project aims to inform all Gozitan residents how to reduce the carbon and water footprints of their household and to encourage appropriate waste management practices by adopting various measures.
The project, a joint venture with the Institute for Sustainable Energy within the University of Malta, was launched today by the Hon. Giovanna Debono Minister for Gozo responsible for the implementation of the Eco Gozo vision.
Minister Debono explained the scope of the project, which is to provide consultancy visits to all households in Gozo. Officers in charge of this project have been trained to consult families on Energy Conservation, Water Conservation, Renewable Energy options and Waste Separation.
The Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) of the University is responsible for the implementation of the home visits throughout. Minister Debono explained that during the past months officers have been recruited by ISE and trained on how to perform the door-to-door consultancy visits.At the end of the course, applicants sat for an exam which was evaluated by ISE and followed by recruitment of the officers. An information booklet will be distributed to all the households during the visits, containing qualitative and quantitative information on eco-Gozos main trust and objectives, tips on energy and water conservation, renewable energy technologies possible and better waste management.
During the Press Conference the Minister gave details on the home-visits which are scheduled to start in the coming weeks. Each visit should approximately last 30 minutes. During the visit the officer shall discuss with each resident and pass on the information included in the booklet to the household such as: Energy conservation tips and ideas on site, with practical examples from everyday life. Best solutions on water conservation will be given in practical terms in the bathroom or kitchen. Where possible, rainwater harvesting and the use of second class water shall be put forward. Given that governments rebate schemes on solar water heaters and photovoltaic panels are still open to all households in Gozo during 2011, the application forms for this rebate will be made available to families who have not yet considered installing and benefiting from such schemes. Issues including waste separation and recycling shall be explained. If possible, this section should be explained inside the kitchen, the place where most domestic waste is generated.
Minister Debono said that eco-Gozo has become a reality for Gozitans who are grasping the concept of a sustainable future for the island. A change in mentality is the biggest leap in the right direction which will guarantee a cleaner environment for our children and a more attractive island for tourists and Maltese to visit. Eco-Gozo will inevitably become a prime motor in the economic and social success of Gozo, said Minister Giovanna Debono.