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“Recycling the Future! – Sustainable Development Youth Exchange!”
Start date: Feb 15, 2015, End date: Dec 14, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Over the years, the centuries and millennium, it is becoming more evident the degradation of our environment, forcing such consequences as the signing of treaties and agreements between States, international forecasting strategies, etc. Finally, a series of international agreements took place, in order to create conditions to preserve the natural lung of humanity, trying to reduce CO2 emissions, promoting recycling habits, among other measures. Applies in this rhetorics, the following issue: Young people, who are the future of such agreements have environmental awareness that enables them to apply these ecological habits to their life? Young people are aware of the consequences of non ecological practices? What about Europe? Is Europe aware of how this influences the environmental regulations in every country, region or city? Thus, this project had the following aims: 1. European Awareness of young people, through the exploitation of their values ​​and the connection between them and the topics of the exchange - inclusion and environment; 2. The environmental awareness of the participants and the local community; 3. The awareness of young people to the practice of recycling; 4. The promotion of intercultural dialogue; 5. Promotion of the European debate and dialogue around issues of European and international scale as the environment; 6. The promotion of life skills such as self-esteem, interaction with others, the rejection of prejudice and racism; 7. The promotion of European mobility. In practice, the project Recycling the Future covered two activities: 1. Advance Planning Visit, May 31st to June 3rd, 2015, in Fornos de Algodres involving two participants (one leader and one youth with fewer opportunities) of the six project countries - Portugal, Poland, Latvia, UK, Estonia and Turkey, who discussed the practical arrangements for the exchange, the selection of participants and the coordination of activities as well as sharing of tasks between all partners. 2. Youth Exchange, from the 5th to the 12th November 2015, in Fornos de Algodres with five young persons and one leader from each country, including young people with fewer opportunities. In this exchange, we engaged participants, in activities such as recycling used materials converting them into musical instruments or portfolios, pins, etc, in brainstormings about environmental responsibility of the new generations of cultural sharing activities among the various groups of different nationalities, bridging the gap between environmental responsibility, European values ​​and European interculturalism. Thus, we created an impact on the daily lives of participants, including: 1. Promoting amongst young people the habit of recycling used materials, rather than mixing them with organic waste; 2. Promoting saving habits related to the environment, such as turning off lights or closing the water tap when it's not being used, or even not printing computer files that do not require printing; 3. Promoting mutual aid and solidarity, fruit of intercultural dialogue in youth exchanges; 4. Promoting a sense of a common identity - European; 5. Valuing the young and their self-esteem and communication skills with others. Alongside the impact generated amongst young participants, we created a partnership that consequently had an impact on the participating organizations, particularly in terms of creating a network of institutional contacts that provides organizations involved information sharing and the creation of European youth projects that empowers its participants to exchange new skills in the field of non-formal education for environment and European citizenship as well as in the field of group dynamics. Moreover, the project turned to its target - youngsters -, trying, through the communication and dissemination plan to reach as many young people for them to have the same opportunity to feel and experience that our young participants had.
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