Sustainability, the actions of the Finish ‘Water in our hands’ project for 2023

“Finish’s ‘Water in our hands’ initiative was created with the aim of making citizens and companies aware of the adoption of those small measures useful for the conscious management of resources that each of us can put in place in our daily lives and which , in the sum of a community, become fundamental for generating significant positive impacts on society”. This is how Margherita Pizzul, head of the ‘Water in our hands’ project, told Adnkronos about the Finish initiative, now in its fourth edition.

“Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, use the washing machine with a full load, reuse the water used to wash fruit and vegetables to water flowers and plants in the house. These are very simple habits, but they can have a big impact. Suffice it to say that by simply stopping rinsing dishes by hand before putting them in the dishwasher, we can save 38 liters of water every time. We can enthusiastically say that Finish’s efforts have contributed to 33% of Italians adopting this behavior, saving billions of liters of water every year,” he explains. Finish, as part of the Water in Our Hands project, recently presented the first Tourist Guide to the Deserts of Italy.

“In recent years, with our partners, we have repeatedly found ourselves working on projects and activities which, by their nature, served to counter desertification phenomena, of which large areas of our country are victims. Lately, then, the situation has worsened further and observing the drought phenomena that afflict our country we realized how this phenomenon was much more advanced than we could believe and, above all, was now not far from all of us “. Pizzul explains. For this reason, in the spring of 2022, “we involved Gabriele Galimberti, photographer of National Geographic and our collaborator on the project, entrusting him with a very important and provocative task: to photograph the Deserts of Italy. We didn’t expect to find what we actually saw, heard and photographed. They are very strong images and testimonies, which leave you breathless because they depict places profoundly changed by drought and desertification, without distinction between northern and southern Italy”.

In this regard, the research carried out by Ipsos for Finish shows an increase in concern on the subject by Italians, with the percentage standing at 66%, an increase compared to 62% in 2022. What is most worrying and surprising (83% of the interviewees) is the fact that the effects of desertification do not concern only the central-southern regions of the country, but are also visible in the northern regions, with particular reference to the mountainous areas, as attested and also reported by the Tourist Guide to the Deserts of Italy. The project will also live, between 20 and 26 March, with an open-air activation in Milan in Piazza Gae Aulenti which will lead citizens to reflect on the consequences of drought for our country and on the small useful expedients that each of us can undertake in his daily life to contribute to the protection of water resources.

Not only. The collaboration with the Future Food Institute, the Italian center of excellence on the themes of agri-food innovation, will develop again this year, with a path in constant evolution compared to the interventions carried out in Cilento in 2020, in the Etna Valley in 2021 and in Puglia in 2022. In Cilento, explains Pizzul, “we restructured a secondary irrigation source that was malfunctioning and was dispersing millions of liters of water into the environment every year”; in Sicily, in the Etna Valley, in 2021, the intervention saw “the installation of artificial intelligence robots on the new Etna Igp lemon plants, which are able to understand the needs of the plant and regulate its ‘irrigation supply’; while in 2022, in Puglia, “we contributed to the planting of over 550 young olive trees, recovering a now desertified and disused land, and applying robots already used in Sicily on over 500 hectares of crops”.

At this point “we don’t want to stop and also in 2023 we will carry out a new project together, this time in Veneto, in the mountains, where the problem of drought is becoming increasingly topical. Our commitment in this context, aimed at further raising Italians’ awareness of the geographical heterogeneity of the phenomenon, will be in support of the cultivation of berries, donating an underground rainwater collection tank, ideal for irrigation”.