Erasmus+ youth exchange “Eco-friendly Europe” was held in Kaunas (Lithuania) on 2-10th of May ’18. Gathering 36 young people from Lithuania, Poland, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Denmark joined to discuss ecology and environmental problems which are present in our daily life. The aim of the exchange was to increase the youth’s existing knowledge and to raise their awareness. In addition, they had to come up with ideas and methods how to tackle this problem on a macro level, as well as to recognize what can an individual person do to live a life as eco-friendly as possible.
During the project, several activities were carried out, which helped participants to boost their creativity and to make them conscious about what are the main environmental problems (wasting energy, water, paper and air pollution) occurring nowadays. In the country workshops, they had to present some statistical data about their country in an interactive way as well as to share ecology-oriented initiatives that may give an idea to other young people to share within their communities.
Participants were not just sharing their ideas, they also had the opportunity to visit ‘Kūrybos kampas 360’. This organization is aiming is to create new items from trash, which they also sell (so-called “Trash design”). Participants saw different furniture from reusable materials and were inspired by this innovative business idea of how reusing the materials and making a profit can be combined.
A guest speaker who is actively involved in an initiative called “Let’s do it!” explained and showed the work they are doing. After the presentation participants got a perspective on how awareness can be raised amongst the public and implemented two activities: the first one was flash mob/ social experiment which was carried out in the city center. Participants left a trash in the middle of the walking path. The purpose of the activity was to see if people will pick it up and with that gesture help the environment. The second activity was to create the plan for initiatives that would teach others how to be sustainable and make the environment safer.
Seeing all the enthusiastic participants we believe that projects like that can make youth more aware of environmental problems and can leave a big impact on them. The project’s intention was to raise awareness for youth and encourage them to spread their knowledge to the wider audience. This is only a small step how we can tackle the environmental problems.