European Year for Innovation and Creativity

Ecological picnic on the Mures riverside

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Newletter on Ecological Picnic - Saturday, 17th of April

For our project Initiative for Good Neighbouring we organized an ecological event on Saturday, the 17th of April. The objective of our event was to change the mind of the people of Arad towards nature in a positive way. 

When you come to Romania you get to realize rather quickly that people don't think too much about their natural environment here. As for Arad, this means that neither the garbage is separated, nor do people seem to have internalized the thought that trash being thrown carelessy onto the riverside is as much environmentally damaging as a constantly unpleasant thing to see during a stroll through the park.  

To be fair, one has to say that it would definitely be the gouvernment's task to introduce new laws on environmental protection - one can hardly expect the population to act as carefully in ecological matters as it should without applying corresponding laws. Still, it seems quite irresponsible to wait for governmental intervention while sitting back and taking things easy! Which is why our project group started this little action in order to sensibilize people about environmental matters.

Firstly, we invited pupils from CFR highschool to meet us in the park on the riverside and start to clean. Secondly, we had prepared a small workshop about several topics, such as the ecological footprint or the garbage separating system in other European countries. Apart from that we also gave some simple but quite effective tips about how to save water in everyday life. Then we wanted to make a picnic together in order to end our event in  a relaxed way and to mingle with the local people.

As for the number of attendants we could not complain - between thirty and forty people from high school, several teachers and also volunteers came. Fortunately they all proved to be eager to really use their hands and do some serious cleaning! Especially the younger pupils seemed to enjoy that part. When we had collected a vast amount of garbage we started with our workshop, which was not too long but fairly interesting, hopefully. It was also nice and encouraging to see that some people, both younger and a bit older, seemed to be quite curious about what we told them and happy to do something for their environment. Personnally, I am satisfied with how people reacted to the workshop and with the amount of cleaning that was done. The only sad thing is that our event turned out not be a picnic in the end, because only few people had brought food! So we had to feed them with the cookies that were sponsored by Millenium Center.  However, I would like to organize another event like this - picnic or no picnic.