Towards Zero Waste

Project “Towards zero waste” was created to meet young people’s needs in the area of skills and abilities connected with protection of environment, ecology, influence on local communities in order to promote proecological attitude and behaviour, to initiate actions raising awareness of existing threads against the environment and above all to emphasize influence of each human being on the world. Topics connected with climate changes, pollution of the environment and increasing number of civilization diseases appears constantly in media. The issue is widely commented in social media and discussed in press. According to project organizers these problems do not have proper importance in local communities of EU countries with lower than average income per capita. Aims of “Towards zero waste” project: – preparing youngsters to be active in promoting environmental issues in their local communities, – getting to know methods of effective recycling household wastes, – getting to know recycling methods used in some EU countries, – counteraction of indifference regarding environmental protection, – introducing young people to the role of conscious consumer, – increasing the activity of young people, – making project participants aware ofthe importance of locally produced and bought goods, – making decision makers from Konya, Marsaskala, Koszeg, Siret and Chojna aware of the importance of environmental issues on local level, – building European identity.

Erasmus+ project “Towards zero waste” will start on 1st May 2020 and finishon 31st October 2020. the youth exchange will take place in Chojna from 6th to 10th July 2020. The activities before the exchange: – reminding of tasks to be done before the exchange, – division of tasks according to competences in partner groups. Group leaders will inform each other of the decisions being taken. – promoting the project – if project is accepted, there will be information about it in social media, on Internet websites of partner organisations and during General Meeting of European Town Twinning Douzelage in Skofja Loka (Slovenia), May 2020, – questionnaires for secondary school graduates and people aged 40-60 about perceiving threats to natural environment in local communities, examples of good practices in proecological actions. The quesionnaire of the survey will be prepared by a Polish group. The survey will be done in a group of 50 people (25 graduates and 25 adults aged 40-60). before the survey, each group will organise a workshop led by group leaders on running a survey and describing its results. – cleaning a public area in each partner town, taking and publishing in social media a photograph of the place “before” and “after” cleaning. – cultural preparation: a powerpoint presentation about a partner country, – logistical and organisational preparation (transportation, payments, parents’ agreements), – evaluation of the first stage of the project: survey or individual interview. Chojna group will be responsible for logistical and organisational issues of the exchange.

During the exchange all activities done before the exchange will be presented and discussed: presentations about partner countries, survey on envirinmental issues results, examples of good practices, contest for the best “after” cleaning photo. Project participants will prepare and conduct recycling activities for kindergarten children. These activities will be in a form of a play and a contest. Participants of the project in four mixed nationality groups will clean public places in Chojna, taking photos “before” and “after” cleaning. Workshops of being a conscious consumer and of long lasting goods will be organised. There will be a meeting with local government representatives with presentation of project activities and ecological good practices from project partner towns. Participants will prepare a project newsletter. After the youth exchange, the following activities will be done: – promotion of the project and Erasmus+ programme: articles to local media and websites, Each partner group in its town: – dissemination of “Towards zero waste” project results in partner organisations and secondary schools in partner towns.each partner organisation, different methods: presentations, discussions etc. Distribution of project newsletters. Dissemination of project results during GM of Douzelage in Agros, Cyprus, May 2021. – preparing final report of the project, financial issues. It will be done by coordinating institution in cooperation with group leaders, – evaluation of the project. there will be evaluation questionnaires in each partner group, exchange of the results of the surveys among partners. Final group discussion. There will be 30 young participants (aged 15-18) and 10 adult leaders of “Towards zero waste” project. They will represent partner organisations from: Chojna, Koszeg, Marsaskala, Siret and Konya. All participants are students of secondary schools in project partner towns. Project participants live in small towns (exception Konya, Turkey). They are young people who have just started to notice problems of contemporary world, they often react emotionally and intrasigently. Some of them live in small villages in the vicinity of project partner towns and commute to schools. all of them are interested in environmental protection, most of them participated in various ecological events.

Participants of ‘Towards zero waste” project are young people who developed in themselves ecological sensitivity, interested in environmental issues, trying to influence people not being aware of climate changes. Participation in this project will strenghten this attitude and enable them to widen their ecological knowledge. Participation in “Towards zero waste” project will result in becoming more open for other people’s opinions and thoughts. Conducting a survey and meeting local decision makers will be an opportunity to discuss in less emotional manner ecological issues with people having different attitude towards environmental problems. The most important for project activities are down to earth actions which are possible to implement at any level of activities, do not involve money investment or sacrifices. Recycling household wastes in a proper way, avoiding plastic wrappings, conscious shopping are examples of such actions. This attitude will allow project participants to be inhabitants of planet whose aims in ecological area are realistic. Participation in this project will allow young people to confront their views with feasibility of environmental investments to be done by local governments. Project participants will get to know examples of ecological good practices, exchange experiences in waste management. We hope that “Towards zero waste” project will be a good inspiration to promote ecological education, to continue environmental activities in youth organisations in project partner towns and countries. Young people participating in the project will get or develop competences in the area of practical activities for protection of the environment. They will acquire knowledge how to lobby in local governments in order to notice important for young people problems. During debates and discussions youngsters will get to know how to express their opinions precisely, understand various points of view, develop interpersonal skills of being a group member or leader of the group. They will learn how to respect other people’s rights and independence. Young people will improve their language skills, acquire knowledge of conducting interviews and preparing questionnaires for surveys. Participants of the project will get to know Youthpass document and opportunities Erasmus+ creates. If possible we will introduce them to new EU youth and educational programmes. “Towards zero waste” project will be important for coordinating institution, Douzelage Association in Chojna. its organisational capacity will grow, it will get new experiences in the area of environmental protection. Project organisers will get to know the attitude towards ecology in local communities in project partner towns. Project partner organisations are different, they have various experience in international youth projects. All of them by participating in “Towards zero waste” project will strenghten their competences in environment protection, deepen European integration. Representatives of local authorities will get to know what is young people’s opinion of their proecological actions. We hope it will motivate them to be become more involved in this area.

J. Cezary Salamończyk