How some students of BK Olpe / Germany reflect the project
We are proud of having been able to take part in the Erasmus-Project
Our class took part in the project „European Teenage Consumers in a Globalized World“ during one year. We worked on the topics palm oil plantations and their influence on the animals, plants and people living in the rainforests of our planet. We learned that the forests are the lungs of our earth but big global companies burn them down for the palm oil trees and that sometimes animals die in the fires. But the fires also produce smoke that rises into the atmosphere and increases the amount of CO2. This CO2 is a greenhouse gas that influences our climate. We learned that our buying and eating nut nougat creme, cookies, sauces and many other things that are in the shelves of the supermarkets where we work as interns , contributes to the climate change. So many, many products contain palm oil. Palm oil is not healthy either ! But palm oil is cheap and that’s why we buy these products.
The next thing we learned was that plastic bags are bad for our environment. At the same time the retail association in Germany decided to remove plastic bags from the shops and makes more use of paper bags. What we also did not know that a lot of plastic is in the oceans and kills fish and birds. But also microplastic in our shampoos, toothpaste, cremes, lipsticks and so on goes into the sea and is eaten by the fish and we eat the fish . What a nonsense.
Another thing we talked about in lessons was our pocket money. As we do not earn so much money, we have to be very careful with our euros. So we informed ourselves about the ways into debt traps and what the consequences are. Most of us have debts already and guess why: it’s our mobile phone contracts.
We never thought about our consumption before. We also did not know anything about climate change, plastic pollution, the palm oil problems. Working in the project made us understand so much we did not even realize before. One day we took a walk along Lake Bigge and were surprised how much rubbish (plastic and cans) is thrown away by walkers and joggers. We suddenly had an eye for that.
Lisa, Kevin, Sebastian, Michelle (WF15/Fachpraktiker im Verkauf at BK Olpe)
We joined the project in February this year. We, three other students and us, worked in our computer room at school in the afternoons. Our topic was the aluminium production and its environmental problems arousing from red mud. When drinking energy drinks or using aluminium foil for pcking the school sandwich, we did not know about that problem. We did internet researches and found out that red mud destroys landscapes, contaminates drinking water, and needs much, much more electricity than recycling aluminium. What was the worst that we found? Many of the aluminium producing industries employ child slaves (Egypt, Kenia, India, Guyana etc). And aluminium in food packaging is dangerous for our health.
I help with the aluminium collection of our school because I see the importance of recycling instead of exploiting the resources. A project like this gives us young people many opportunities to think about our consumption and to do something practical and so change our behaviour.
I was the member of the project for one year. The best thing for me was that I could host a student from abroad. I was forced to use English for communication every day. This gave me more self-confidence to use the language. I think I improved my language skills, also when sending WhatsApp messages. I learned about my host’s culture and we exchanged words and expressions of each other’s mother tongue.
I also could gain more confidence in using the computer. I was given the task to produce a comic about greenwashing. I learned to use a soft-ware for my comic making and to use another software to make a small video clip with the picture.
Unfortunately I got ill right before the meeting in Croatia so another girl from my school got the chance to go to Rovinj. I think I missed a great event.
Being a member of the project was a big chance for me, too. I also made a comic about greenwashing and I could show my town to the guests during the meeting in 2016 in Olpe. Of course using English in front of so many people I had never seen before, made me very nervous but when I saw that they listened and understood, I got more self-assured. I will never forget that. The whole meeting during the week was very interesting and we, the international group, had a lot of fun together. Because of different reasons I could not travel to the other meetings but I would like to recommend such a project to everybody who likes meeting people from other countries.
Erasmus is a word I will never forget in my whole life. The project gave me a big push for so many things. I learned to report and present in front of people. I learned so much about so many things I didn’t think about before.
I even changed my food consumption and I more and more read the list of ingredients before I buy a product. I consider well before I buy something (most of the time ?)
But the best of all was that I could make friends. So I met my friend from Croatia three times. Twice when he came with his group to Germany and he was my guest. Another time I joined our group to Rovinj. We had a great week with a lot of sightseeing and interesting information ( about sea life, about Roman culture in Istria , the institute Aromatica and a historic olive oil mill). In a workshop we made a marketing for olive oil „Olivia“.
I am sure I will never have such an experience again! But one never knows…
I travelled to Croatia and Sweden and I was the host of a girl from abroad once. In my view the exchange of students is the most important part of the Erasmus programme.
Ethical consumption of food, clothes, energy and many other things has become more and more essential. Exploitation seems to be the motto of our times. We, the young people, are the future of the world. I have come to the awareness that the results of exploitation will fall back on us one day. The recognition of this was the most important outcome for me in this project. I hope that I can help to make a better world without child labour, environment destruction and wars because of the greed for resources.
When I worked on the project Erasmus+ I have many experiences.
My group and me worked on the topic „ child labor“.
For me it was very interesting to work on this topic because I have been interested in this topic for a long time.
I learned a lot about this topic. It was interesting to work with the programs Scribes and GIMP as well. I learned how to use them and how to edit pictures. I liked it that we worked in teams because we could share ideas. All in all it was very exiting to work with my group on those programs.
Our self-chosen topic „world peace“ was hard to realize.
Another negative thing I have to admit is, that except one, there was nobody in our group, having any knowledge about design technology.
But we learned fast and became better in things like Gimp and Scribus.
Also our creativity raised while we made our project week by week.
We worked together as a really good team, it went very well doing it this way. We also wanted to do it.
So all in one, it was very successful for us personally and I hope it will bring success for Erasmus, too.
Never shopping without reflection? The tempation is too big for me. But I get a bad conscience but the habit is too deep in my way of acting.