Gulbene grows trees in a box in city center

A new environmental object in the center of Latvia's northeast town Gulbene attracts the attention of passers-by: a container nursery where you can watch young pine trees grow. The idea was born of local company Carbon Less Future Ltd and has been supported by the local municipality, Latvian Radio reported March 13.

Together with the entrepreneur Aigars Jačuks, Latvian Radio was also able to take a look inside the container for growing the seedlings, while everyday passers-by can watch the growth process of the new pine trees through the glass window.

"We developed the design ourselves, the design has been patented by the European Union Patent Office and we have not seen a similar object anywhere in the world," Jačuks said.

The entrepreneur stressed that this idea is based on green thinking and could be used by large companies that need to invest in the restoration of natural resources. "It's all about green thinking! Our business model is not to sell plants but to rent or sell equipment to companies that invest heavily in green thinking. By purchasing this equipment, companies will be able to meet the taxonomy requirements of the European Union."

To create this urban nursery, the company has invested its own funds and municipal support - EUR 10,000 from the municipality's grant competition "Entrepreneurs for Gulbene Municipality".

Normunds Mazūrs, Gulbene municipal councilor and member of the grant competition committee, said that people need to see innovation, and that the green deal is very important for large companies at the moment: "This really seemed like a vision of the future, because it would be interesting for different companies, knowing how binding emission quotas are at the moment. I see the connection here with large companies, for whom the Green Deal is very important."

Applications are now open for Valmiera region entrepreneurs to apply for the support program "Zīle", which has two sub-programs, said Justīne Skrastiņa, business support project manager at the Valmiera Development Agency:

"Zīle is a large grant program where it is possible to attract up to EUR 10,000 in funding. The other is the Zīle for Start, which is for authors of ideas or start-ups, where up to €2,000 can be raised." This is the seventh year of the support program and interest in it is high, the Valmiera Development Agency said.

"New companies are being set up, and it is also an incentive for those who have wanted to develop something. They have had the idea, but it may never have been their current priority. Participation in this program gives them that impetus and incentive to finally pursue it, to do something a little out of the ordinary and develop a long-cherished business idea," Skrastiņa said.

In Valmiera, applications for the "Zīle" program will be open until March 19.

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