Article about project “YOUth FOOTprint” by participants

The main topic of the Youth Exchange in Bansko 2022 “YOUth footprint” was sustainability and zero waste policies. In the daily meetings we have gone through several topics such as circular economy, carbon footprint, zero waste examples and strategies, which surely have affect in a positive way our behaviour towards the environment and made us more aware about our impact on the planet. In our heart, everyone of us has promised to change their attitude in order to be more active.
The first things we can change are everyday life habits, hints that we can follow with little effort but with strong will.
We will be inspired mostly by the 5Rs: REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, ROT, RECYCLE.
The first one is the most important, since it implies saying no to all the things we don’t need, thinking twice before a purchase and making an effort not to satisfy every little desire we have.
Than it comes the second, to reduce the things we need, and the third, to give always new life and new usages to thing before throwing them away (repairing, selling them, giving them to whomever is in need…)
Rot is about composting organic waste and recycle is about starting a second cicle of life for waste. For example, for the first one, we worked in groups and we came out with an idea of creating a platform in which you can find a map of all the places near you in which you can compose your organic garbage.
We all can do some little things during our days to reduce our impact on the world. In the bathroom, we could reject single-use pads and replace them with washable make-up pads, menstrual cup…; we can replace liquid shampoo that comes in plastic with solid ones.. We can buy water bottles instead of plastic bottles, avoid too much packaging (go to the supermarket with reusable bags and storers to collect the food)… We could go to work by bycycles or with public transports to avoid the pollution from cars’ emissions.

Still the most valuable thing to understand is that educating others is fundamental, that we can share our knowledge with our family and friends and that we should point out when someone has an unconscious behaviour.
The first thing to share when coming back home is for sure this amazing experience and recommend everyone to partecipate!!

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