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Be the CHANGE!

On the 16th March, five superwomen from Slovakia met in order to fulfill a challenging task. “Be the change”, that was what it sounded like. Due to their fierceness and determination, they couldn´t have been stopped.

They took their responsibility and used their superpowers to fight the overconsumption, inadequate working conditions in developing countries and usage of single use plastic.

This is them, they are so cool. They might seem happy, but that is just due to the fact, they can enjoy summer in March. In the reality, however, their eyes sparkle with boldness and bravery.

From the left:

Lenka who is a young girl that never leaves any trash on the ground. Literally.

Strengths: She believes that the most important thing is to behave nicely towards each other, support each other and share our success but also our failures, because sharing is caring and it is unhealthy to keep feelings to eat us inside out.

Weaknesses: Unknown

Katarína who is on her way to reduce her plastic consumption to minimum. And, hell yeah, she is proud of it.

Strengths: She hates injustice and single use plastic. Therefore, she buys only fair trade products and glass jars. Simple as that.

Weaknesses: She loves travelling.

Adrienn who is always the best clothed in the room. Spoil alert: She sews her own clothes from second hand pieces.

Strengths: She is very keen on motivating and inspiring her surrounding and believes that is the only way to achieve any change.

Weaknesses: Serious addiction to pastel de nata.

Dominika who tries her best to achieve anything that enters her mind.

Strengths: Kindness, honesty and love. She is strong enough to handle almost every hard moment in her life and has experienced a lot in the different areas and wants to spread the word further.

Weaknesses: Plastic bottles.

Tereza who will make you live sustainably only by her look. Because if you do not, you will not be friends with her. And everyone wants to be friends with her.

Strengths: She definitely is the change. She volunteers, boycotts plastic and her cosmetic bag containing only plastic free products.

Weaknesses: Might scare you sometimes.

Even before having been initiated into fulfilling the task, they have had a lot of work saving our world.

Lenka: I was and still am using textile tissues, am buying things in second hand shops and using menstrual cup and other reusable things. While brushing teeth, I am not letting the water run, and I am bringing my own bags and also bags for bread when I go to shops. And I am growing my own onion, from onions that are not good for consumption anymore.

Katarína: I am trying to reduce my waste using all the zero waste replacements possible. I even buy cosmetic products only in glass jars made from natural ingredients. I stopped buying fast fashion clothes and buy only second hand. Additionally, I started to buy local food and chocolate labelled with fair trade.

Adrienn: I was, and still am, trying to reduce my waste production, use fewer chemicals, eat less meat (only chicken from my grandfather's farm).

Dominika: As a volunteer I was working for a short period in the non-profit organization called VIBE, which is focused on the art in the field of recycling. This NGO has organized some projects also with the aim of expressing yourself and learning the tolerance and cultural understanding. Besides that, I always recycle, trying to reuse some materials, buying clothes mostly from the second-hands shops, having my own bottle for water and trying to be more conscious about my environment.

Tereza: I became a vegetarian a long time ago, because meat consumption is one of the biggest contributors to environmental damage. I am also trying to live sustainably using zero waste replacement.

A week in Faro gave them a great opportunity to show the world that everyone can become one of them. Even YOU can. This is how they evaluated the project:

Adrienn: I had a great time, met amazing people, who left me filled with hope and genuinely did not regret applying for this Erasmus. Also found my favourite snack! the chocolate biscuit with a letter on it <3

Lenka: I enjoyed the whole week. It was my first exchange and I found out I am not the best person for these type of exchange programs, because I can bind onto people very quickly and now all I can do is to miss them. The program was above my expectations and I loved how non formal education works, it should definitely be implemented into schools.

Dominika: I would evaluate by some words: - enjoyable – well planned YE, great facilitators, sessions and topic in general and very kind people - inspiring – because I got many new ideas related to having a better zero-waste live, got inspired by other participants and their ways of living and got new information how to be more friendly to the environment - calm – because there was just calm environment for working, enjoying and relaxing - chilling – because of the day in Lagos, where we had a beautiful time!

Yes, Dominika, we must agree with you. However, it is even more important to continue with the trend even after fulfilling the task. So what actions do our superwomen take to make our planet feel better?

Adri: I collect all the trash I produce and go through it at the end of the month to see what my weaknesses are. I walk to school rather than use my car. I buy fewer snacks and when I need some sugar I try to buy fruit instead. Thank you for an amazing project, I love you!

(she told us, she loved us, oh gosh!)

Lenka: We were supposed to make commitments into the future and the one I made for myself was to stop smoking and I know it has been just 3 weeks since the end of our week in Faro but I am holding on to that commitment. I am also trying to pick up trash when possible, and limit food I buy in plastics.

Dominika: First of all we have made a resolution in order to change something in our lives. I have started to bring my own shopping bag, refuse plastic in my daily life and I am more aware about the environment pollution. I continue what I have learnt by spreading word to my friends, family and beloved ones and thinking in the future to organize similar project in my own organization.

Katarína: I try my best to be the change I want to see in the world. I even spread the idea further to convince my family to live sustainably, too. I made a commitment not to travel by plane that often, as it creates a huge carbon pootprint.

Tereza: I continue living sustainable way of living. I even volunteered on a project concerning zero waste lifestyle having taken place in Bratislava shortly after the project. I try to convince my friends that recyclable and natural materials are our future.

At the end, these inspiring heroines created a campaign and are willing to take YOU in their team. They leave a powerful message: Each one of us can be a superhero and save the planet. Individuals matter. So, what are YOUR superpowers?