REFE – Reducing Ecological Footprints through Eco-Awareness

This project is completed. Enabling young people in Romania to live sustainable lifestyles by providing knowledge through educational materials.

Awareness Climate Policy Education


Project info



Project duration:

11/20 - 12/22

Target groups:

General public, Educational institutions, Local governments, Regional governments


284,684.43 €

Contact info


Andreea Văsi

Implementing organisation
  • Ecologic Association
  • Foundation EuroEd/EuroEd Secondary School
  • School for life
  • University of Bucharest


Although environmentalism is on the rise throughout Europe, consumerism and mass production are still deeply rooted in large parts of society. In Romania, two recent documents – the 5th National Report on the Convention of Biological Diversity and the National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) – emphasise the need for more sustainable lifestyles. Both identify education and awareness raising among youth as key approaches in this regard. 



REFE complied with this through the development eight products that can be incorporated into Romania’s educational system. These supported the adjustment of the school system to the priorities of the 5th National Report on the Convention of Biological Diversity and the NSDS. The products consisted of the following: a tool to measure the ecological footprint; a planning guide for an educational summer camp on ecological footprints; a documentary; a grade-6 curriculum, teaching material; a theatre script; e-learning modules; a report. The products provided young people in Romania with the fundamentals of ecological thinking and with practical options to make their lifestyles more sustainable. REFE ensured to monitor all products throughout the project life cycle and adjusted them as needed. Translation into multiple languages makes them accessible to and usable by a broad audience across Europe. 


  • The REFE team organised an Educational Summer Camp on Sustainability in Breb with 20 young people between the ages of 12 and 22. Before it started the participants tested the measurement of their ecological footprint, so they see the results and impact of the program afterwards in their daily life back in the cities. By this REFE managed to motivate the children to take environmental issues seriously. They learned about alternative and resourceless ways of living. The entire experience can be seen on the REFE Youtube channel, as it is the base of the documentary, 4 to 1 Earths – an Adventure in Ecology. 
  • In order to see in what extent REFE raised awareness of children on the sustainability topic, an auxiliary workbook was made, along with other materials. After the workbook was ready, the project organised a training session with teachers with the focus to familiarise them with the project, the teaching material and the auxiliary material made especially for students. 46 teachers from 5 schools were trained and 223 students were involved in the training. The Ministry of Education, National Centre for Policy and Evaluation in Education approved the REFE project auxiliary material. The approval results are available at the following link:

Last update: June 2024

Success Stories

Back to the Roots

The REFE team organized a sustainability summer camp in Breb, Romania. More than 20 young people between the age of 12 and 21 learned through practical workshops how to raise their environmental awareness and reduce their ecological footprint. At the end of the summer camp, the young people underwent the second stage of the ecological footprint test. In this way, they were able to determine what they learned in the camp to reduce their energy consumption and in which areas they could still improve.

More about this project



27 March 2023

REFE Final Report


17 January 2023

REFE Teaching Material


16 January 2023

Test Your Ecological Footprint


10 January 2023

Shakespeare and the Golden Toad