Youngsters meet in Greece to discuss about climate change, environmental degradation and to promote environmental consciousness. European environmental challenges has been addressed through creative & artistic workshops.
One of the biggest problems of today in the European Union – environmental degradation – was being intensively discussed in Thessaloniki on 16-22 November. 40 people from Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Romania and Czech Republic gathered in Greece in order to participate in the project “3R! – No time to lose! Reduce, Recycle, Reuse” and to find and propose the most effective ways of planning grass root initiatives for development of European local societies.
Motivating youngsters (aged 18-30), whom are aspire for environmental issues in their home countries, took part in this project. There also were people present that had direct work experience with artistic recreation & street festivals. These people were mostly employed as youth workers or social workers into artistic or environmental organizations/ associations.
“People like these enriched our project. They were sharing their insights on environmental issues, since they had hands-on experience into the project’s topic.”
– V. Tsillas, organiser
During these 7 days of “No time to lose! Reduce, Recycle, Reuse” youth exchange, participants had the chance to discuss current environmental issues, they shared good practices on how to preserve environment clean and how to promote environmental consciousness.
During this mobility project, several artistic workshops has been implemented such as: video editing, theatre of the oppressed, up-cycling workshops with carton & plastic and several other recycled material. The outcome of the project, a hands-on tutorial with upcycling practices, has been uploaded to the web.
Furthermore, a short theater performance (flashmob), took place at the promenade of Peraia city. Participants of the 3R project, had the opportunity to visit Gerovasileiou winery – Estate, a family scale company which applies environmental friendly methods of cultivation & waste management practices.
Finally the project’s participants have prepared an exhibition with handcrafted creations from recycled materials.
Indeed, mass media is usually choosing the negative rhetoric on climate issues, however, not everything is only black or white. Of course, there are problems caused by climate change, but at the same time there are hidden potentials into sustainable communities. Therefore, all participants of the project agreed on the fact that the climate change is of paramount importance and it would be a crime towards humanity if we were completely blind about it. This was the main idea that was delivered during the project.
During one week of intensive Erasmus+ youth exchange, the strategy for employing environmental friendly behaviours was created. One of the participants of the project, Andreia from Madeira, Portugal was particularly happy with entrepreneurial experience that she gained:
“Some really great ideas of the social economy sector were presented to the plenary. Here I am talking about restaurants, ecological farms, cooperatives or research centers”.
– Andreia from Madeira
The organizers of the project also evaluated these ideas as very promising and having huge potential in order to include environmental friendly methods into the labor market.
In order to gain more knowledge and good practice on environmental management, the participants of the project were discussing about the threats and potentials that the EU environmental policies bring to Europe, were creating interactive videos about the biggest prejudices regarding environmental protection, were evaluating the current EU environmental policies and conducted research on upcycling techniques.
Also, Teatro Metaphora the Portuguese partner, has presented to the project’s participant the movie “Waste Land”, a narration of the challenging life of waste-workers at Brazil’s largest landfill, Jardim Gramacho. The workers wade through the thousands of tons of garbage that arrive each day, looking for recyclable scraps to sell.
Director Lucy Walker documented the pickers and Brooklyn-based artist Vik Muniz, who returned to his home country to collaborate with the trash workers. Together they turn garbage into beautiful works of art, with Jardim Gramacho as their canvas.
Our main partner EuroSud, from Puglia, Italy wrote about the 3R project:
International youth exchange 3R gave opportunity to EUROSUD young activist the possibility to share experience in the field of creativity.
The exchange aimed to offer an opportunity for young people to combine entrepreneurial skills and handicrafting techniques and learn how to improve their own lives and also serve as good example for their peers.
Moreover the project aimed to encourage Young People in revitalizing the cultural heritage and using them as a tool for putting their skills into business, thus reducing the level of unemployment and sense of despair. This will help not only the participants from rural areas to find comprehensive ways of entrepreneurship, but also help in rehabilitation and preservation of cultural heritage of participating countries.
Some of the participant’s feedback :
“I was told about this project by a friend already some time ago but I actually I have decided recently to participate in it. Maybe the reason is that now I’m in such a time in my life in which I really need it. Now I’m in the moment of my self-development and waiting for a change in my life. I’m working on myself now, I finally have
time to get deeper into myself, to participate in some handcraft workshops, to get to know myself better, to change some of my “wrong” behaviours…and it makes me feel really well.”
“I wanted to try something new, to get some new skill. I was thinking to find my own style. I got informed about this project from my friend who invited me to join it.
I thought ” I can learn something new, get new skills, meet new people.” Besides the topic seemed extremely interesting to me: linking manual activities like designing, sewing, doing make-up with self-expression. I was always looking for unusual clothes not to show off but to express myself by what I wear. Although I have never tried to transform clothes by myself I always wanted to learn and I would like to start now. I miss some courage and manual skills but I have a lot of ideas already: -) I would like to cut some dresses in an interesting way or I also have some ideas for the jeans jackets – how to transform them. But I have never done it. I was also a bit afraid of trying for the first time, of damaging something.”
Check our Youtube Channels or Facebook Page for all the videos created during the project
Video #1: Created by the Portuguese delegate
Video #2: Created by the Czech delegates
Video #3: Created by the project’s participants
Video #4: Extended version of the project. Created by project’s participants
Our participants, coming from GEYC, Romania wrote about the 3R project:
Once again it was proven to me that a week in this kind of project can surpass our experience from the academic field. Everything is very intense….you meet a lot of people from different countries and cultures, you participate in many name games, energizers, workshops. During the evenings there are the intercultural parties during which you have the possibility to share with the others your culture and traditions.
Being in this project was a very nice experience. We travelled in a beautiful country, we met a lot of beautiful people and, of course, we learned a lot of practical things about the topic. Our planet is in huge danger and we must learn how to face these difficulties by learning how to protect it. This is what this project gave us. One of the ways we can make a difference is learning how not to waste that much water, electricity, wood, food, to be more environmentally aware and how to use friendly materials.
After participating in this project I am more and more aware about the importance of upcycling. This is the reason why in my hometown I have some classes for kids – craft workshops during which we use a lot of recycling materials like paper plate, bags, toilet paper rolls. Coming back home I was able to introduce some of the information learned in this project during my classes and also I added some new crafts in the portfolio.
I recommend this kind of experience to everybody!
My team mates had also a nice experience during this project. Here are some words written by them:
“It is a fact that humanity puts at risk the health of our planet. Garbage buildups, massive energy consumption and deforestation are major contributors to global warming. The three R’s project aimed to raise awareness for environmental problems and also promoted responsible behaviors. Although the theoretical knowledge is important, the project didn’t stop to environmental education, but we also had good practice workshops about current problems. In the matter of upcycling, having the experienced Portuguese team next to us, it was easy and funny to give a new meaning to old and useless things”
Cătălin Ciurea, Romania
“From my point of view, this experience helped me to be more environmentally aware. Furthermore, I got new best friends and some of them came to visit me twice already. I can say that this was one of the best experiences in my life”
Bianca Veghiu, Romania
You can find project-related material here:
- Participant certificates (YouthPasses) can be found HERE
- Wondering how all the awesome videos were created for the project? Check the ABC for Amateur Film-makers HERE; and the guidelines for video creation HERE.
- Want to join other Youth initiatives yourself? Go on an EVS! Find a project that suits you HERE.
- UpCycle that
- UpCycling ideas on Pinterest
- Think Green – What Can I recycle?
- 30 brilliant ideas to on how to use old stuff
Media About US
It is hard to follow all the project’s coverage on the Internet; however, here are some examples (list is being constantly updated):
- #3r_2016 hashtag
- One of the biggest websites in Portugal JM about our project: https://www.jm-madeira.pt/regiao/ver/8429/Latas_de_refrigerantes_transformadas_em_arte_decoram
- Dissemination of project’s outcomes, from the Spanish partner: http://www.aprovechaeuropa.com/the-3r-reduce-recycle-reuse/
- Presentation of the partner organization Teatro Metaphora, at 3R project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLZeOZmz_FM&t=11s
- The Italian delegates, have created their own report for the project: https://www.facebook.com/groups/172127159615558/permalink/716821301812805/
- Upcycling practices, in Romania: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk1m78NM3nA
- Geyc, Spring Volunteers meeting
- Geyc, Announcement of the project
- YiA 18, Announcement of the project
- The Czech delegates, have created their own report for the project: http://eycb.eu/en/stranky/2835-3r-no-time-to-lose-reduce-recycle-reuse-greece
- IL PORTALE DEI GIOVANNI: http://www.portaledeigiovani.it/scheda/3r-no-time-lose-reduce-recycle-reuse-16th-22nd-november-2016-thessaloniki-greece
The list is being updated still.