Youngsters meet in Greece to discuss climate change, environmental degradation and to promote environmental consciousness. European environmental challenges have 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 the 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), who are aspiring 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 organisations/ 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 art workshops have been implemented such as video editing, theatre of the oppressed, up-cycling workshops with carton & plastic and several other recycled materials. The outcome of the project, a hands-on tutorial with upcycling practices, has been uploaded to the web.
Furthermore, a short theatre 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 the 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 organisers of the project also evaluated these ideas as very promising and having huge potential in order to include environmentally friendly methods into the labour market.
In order to gain more knowledge and good practice on environmental management, the participants of the project were discussing 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 tonnes 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 the 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 handcrafting techniques and learn how to improve their own lives and also serve as a good example for their peers.
Moreover, the project aimed to encourage Young People in revitalising the cultural heritage and using them as a tool for putting their skills into the 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 handicraft 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
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 Filmmakers 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