Multilateral Youth Exchange - GREEN LOOPS - Renewable resources in Europe - Reykjanesbær
For the second year in a row and as a follow up of its first edition SEEDS organises, with the kind support of the Youth in Action programme, the Youth exchange GREEN LOOPS, "Renewable resources in Europe". This year, the project takes place in Reykjanesbær and around 25 youngsters from Belgium, Estonia, Italy, Sweden and Iceland participate!
It makes sense that this project takes place in Iceland. Iceland is one of the world’s most active hot spots due to its geographical situation. The Eurasian and the North American plates join here. This fact brings the possibility of using geothermal energy, more than 70% of the energy used in Iceland comes from Renewable Energy Sources namely geothermal and hydropower. In addition, Iceland invests in researching new renewable energy technologies and how to reduce its dependency on imported fossil fuels and related products. Indeed, Iceland has begun to invest in hydrogen fuel research.
One of the aims of the project is to give the opportunity to the European participants of learning and realizing how Iceland is using renewable energy and of confronting the use of energy in their respective countries. In addition, they learn how other countries are using renewable energy and their future possibilities.
This project takes place in Reykjanesbær in the Reykjanes peninsula, located at the south–western end of Iceland. This area has active volcanism under its surface. There are numerous hot springs and sulphur springs in the southern half of the peninsula, around the Kleifarvatn Lake and the Krýsuvík geothermal area where hot springs spewing water and mud dominate the landscape.
There is a geothermal power station at Svartsengi, where a swimming pool has been installed using the hot and mineralized water coming down from the station; it is known as the "Blue Lagoon" (Bláa Lónið). The Leif the Lucky Bridge or Miðlína bridge spans the Álfagjá rift valley (60 feet wide and 20 feet deep) near Grindavík that marks the boundary of the Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates.
The group is lodged at the former NATO base of Keflavík, in two equipped apartments within the former base. The participants share rooms, sleeping on mattresses on the floor.
The programme was prepared by SEEDS, the National leaders, with Leonardo Da Vinci grant holder Dana Kalnina and some of the long term volunteers: Edward Lewis and Veronica Arribas. It consists of a good mixture of learning intercultural activities, study visits, excursions, voluntary work sessions with the Blue Army and report work in mixed groups concerning renewable energy and sustainable lifestyles.
The project was organized so that the sessions alternate and the days of learning activities. The voluntary work with the Blue Army at the former base was collecting plastic and metal and other kinds of waste which was partly recycled later. Moreover, we cleaned some coast-line close to Hafnir. Reward for the work there was a visit to the Blue Lagoon!!
One activity that is repeated each day is the newspaper work during the evenings when the participants collect some pictures of the day and make a funny summary of the activities followed during the day.
Some of the activities that the group enjoyed more and made the greatest contribution for their multicultural learning were the presentations made in national groups about the situation of the environment and the use of renewable energy in their countries. Other important activities were made in mixed groups. During the entire youth exchange project the groups decided on a renewable energy or sustainable lifestyle topic that they wanted to develop and on the last day original presentations will be made on that topic.
In addition, everyone enjoys a lot the international evenings when the national groups cook traditional dishes from their own countries. The others could learn how to cook and of course enjoy the meal with some traditional music from the countries.
Additional to the learning activities SEEDS organised few excursions to Reykjavik, where was visited the national museum, around the wondrous Golden Circle and explored the Reykjanes Peninsula. There was visited a geothermal power plant where the participants could learn about renewable energy and how the Icelanders use it for their daily life.
For more information on the co-funding programme, the Youth in Action programme, please visit http://ec.europa.eu/youth/index_en.htm
For details on the National agency in charge of the programme in Iceland, please go to http://euf.is/euf/