You Need It or You Want It — Romania


ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: youth exchange

Venue: Busteni, Romania

Dates: 20 February—3 March 2023

National team: Michal Bruckner (GL), Kristýna Nevřelová, Alexandra Polášková, Jana Kolondrová, David Kolář

Please read the info-pack and the daily activities schedule. Please also watch the fantastic project video

Hosting organisation: Oden Nehoiu

Project report:

Hello, reader! A short question for you: do you think you really need the device you have just used to load this website? Or did you make a purchase just because you wanted it? Well, if you don’t buy a couple of these a year, then I would say in today’s world it is kinda needed. Because you can use it to apply for a project! Just like we did.

Me, my Czech team and other lovely people from seven more countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Spain, Turkey and Romania) had this unique chance to take part in “You Need It or You Want It” Erasmus+ Youth Exchange in Bușteni, Romania. We used this time between 20th February and 3rd March to raise our knowledge on various topics connected to overconsumption and its effects.

The main goal of this project was to make us aware of existing uncontrolled consumption of products, services and resources and to look for possible solutions. But don’t you imagine some boring lectures. All the activities were led in non-formal education exciting atmosphere. Then, we tried some upcycling and we saw how interesting it could be.

There were plenty of interesting activities connected to the topic. For now I can name e.g. World Café. That was a round discussion in teams where we found out more about environmental, psychological or health impact of overconsuming. There are cases where a vicious circle can occur and we tried to find a way to break it. It was all followed by making posters as an outcome. We were so passionate about the discussions that we continued even after the activity during a real coffee break.

And what exactly is upcycling? The opposite of downcycling 🙂 Now seriously: it is a process where you create useful products out of materials, which would normally be considered as garbage. And believe me – we let our creativity out. Old CDs? Shards or old clothes? Useful for art! An old car tyre found in a local creek together with broken vacuum cleaner parts? Can be used to make a toy for kids! This is just a quick example of what we produced. It is fun, try it at home.

Or have you ever wondered whether sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate in your shampoo may be harmful? Or is safe for you but just having too long name? We tried answering these concerns during a terrain activity called Label Hunt. Honestly, after listening to some teams’ results, I am about to slightly adjust my consuming habits.

However, this project wasn’t only and purely about the topic of overconsumption. It also gave us some skills to cooperate in teamworks in an international environment. And, after the activities, we could enjoy the Intergalactic Nights where every national team introduced their country by food or some dances. Finally, the Romanians reserved one night for themselves and pleased us by an outdoor common dinner with grilling. Not even Dracula in civilian clothing could resist the smell of delicious Romanian cuisine, so he came to visit us. The icing on the cake of the project were trips to Bran castle and Brașov.

This was just a quick introduction on how a project like this can look like. If you got at least little interested, don’t hesitate and apply for one! I promise you won’t regret.

Michal Bruckner

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