Author: Svilena Velcheva

What happens to your old and already unwanted clothes?

Option 1 – Give them to someone who can’t refuse them.

Option 2 – You throw them in a container of the Bulgarian Red Cross in the hope that they will come into use.

Option 3 – Throw them away with the rest of the household waste.

There is also an option 4. It is called “Through art to change” and belongs to tenth-grader Alexandra Kazasova from Sofia University for Humanities and Arts “Konstantin Preslavski” in Varna. Your old blouse, ripped jeans or dress with a stain will come to life as works of art. The idea was ranked first in the first edition of the “Project Eco” competition, in the field of “Waste Redirection”. The prize is the realization of the project. With the help of her mentor – Natalia Nikolova, who is the host and organizer of recycling workshops, the winner will make it possible to reuse the otherwise non-recyclable textile waste. The project envisages an event for exchange of clothes, bags and other textile products, organization of an art studio for making rugs, panels, sewing of products for pets, information event and video for textile recycling. In order to have a return and sustainability of the project, the organizers of the competition make avaliable the produced products to be offered at auction. Part of the funds raised will be donated to a home for children with disabilities, and another – will finance the continuation of the activity.

The direction “Waste redirection” in the competition “Project Eco” is implemented in partnership with the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development.

The first edition of the youth competition, in which they find solutions to a pressing environmental problem in Bulgaria, awarded a total of nine participants in three categories: maintaining clean air after COVID-19, waste diversion and cleanliness of Bulgarian beaches.

In the category “Preservation of air purity after COVID-19”:

First prize – Maria Maruleva – “Youtube series for places in Bulgaria that use their resources in a sustainable way”: the project develops the process of creating short films about the most interesting places in Bulgaria that consume resources in a non-standard and sustainable way

II prize (mentorship from “Millennium”) – Plamena Stefanova – “Company for roof urban agriculture”

III prize – Daria Kovacheva – “Student Info Ecocenter – Environmentalists ”

In the category “Cleanliness of Bulgarian beaches”:

First prize – Alexandrina Ivanova and Todor Kishev – “Beach signs with animations”: creation of animated signs on Bulgarian beaches, carriers of important information and interesting facts about marine life.

II prize (mentorship from “Millennium”) – Petya Dukova – Campaign “Five Million Butts”

III prize – Kalina Staykova and Stefan Gameiski – Eco beaching campaign

In the category “Waste diversion”:

First prize – Alexandra Kazasova – “Through art to change”: by creating applied art to divert part of the waste textiles

II prize (mentoring program from “Ideal Standard”) – Radostina Goroshevich with her program “Reusable beverage cups made of recycled material”

III prize – Nikola Dumanov – Eco Taste Application

The projects of the winners in each of the directions will be realized. The second place winners will participate in mentoring programs, and the remaining third place will receive an incentive cash prize.

The competition managed to attract more than 2,000 young people who took part in all three webinars led by representatives of non-governmental organizations, and the platform received dozens of curious and unusual projects that meet the conditions for participation and offer solutions to problems.

“The developments are the work of pupils, students and active citizens who are excited about the green change that follows. Now begins our work – the one that will give meaning to the competition and will prove that real change is possible with joint efforts” said the initiator of the campaign – a young entrepreneur and student in the Netherlands Ivaylo Tsochev.

Nature follows its own rules, to which we are powerless when we choose to be its enemies. And the creation of an ecological culture in a society depends mostly on faith – in one’s own abilities and in the youth. Awareness of the importance of the human role in preserving the planet as we know it, and patience in achieving the set goals are the first step towards an ecologically clean future.

Translator: Valentina Vagge


Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations

The project “Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations” shall be implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the project is to improve citizens’ awareness of the role of non-governmental organizations in society. This material is established with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The whole responsibility for the content of the document is held by the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development and under no circumstances can this material be considered to reflect the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria.