Rux, Oana, Ramona and Rha: 4 different girls, 4 different backgrounds, one shared vision.
One day when Rux was talking to her good friend Oana they hit upon the idea of starting up an eco-craft contest amongst their friends. Both girls were already involved in creative projects that used recycled and reused materials, and the idea came up as a natural fit.
Instead of keeping this just amongst their friends, they decided to take it online and set up Provocari Verzi, a eco-community blog which challenges crafters across Romania to create a tutorial based on a monthly theme. Rux introduced her sister Rha into the mix as they had already been collaborating on a craft blog together and Rha invited her old high school friend Ramona along. With the last addition, the Provocari Verzi team was finally complete.
Now, let’s make it a little more complicated. The girls all live in different areas of Romania, and Oana and Ramona haven’t even had the chance to meet in person yet. What’s more, the girls hail from a range of different professional backgrounds, from kindergarten teacher to engineer. Nevertheless, Provocari Verzi is attracting ever-increasing attention from crafters each month, despite the fact that it was only set up in January this year.
The secret behind it is their shared passion for crafts and their belief in the 3 “R”s: Recycling, reducing, reusing.
Rha explains that the motivation for starting the blog was to encourage people to get accustomed with recycling in daily life. ‘Unfortunately in Romania we don’t have such a good recyling program yet (and I say the ‘such’ part just to be nice!) We really have a beautiful country and it is sad that unfortunately is so full of ‘garbage’. Rux adds ‘I hear a lot of this: “Well they throw garbage in the paper section… why should I bother recycling anymore?” This is the truth and you get frustrated and disappointed.’
However, Ramona suggests that the attitude towards recycling is gradually changing in Romania, albeit slowly. In taking small steps to improving the attitude to recycling, projects like this are crucial: they prove that going green can be fun. ‘Recycling is an easy, cheap and at hand way to craft. Of course you can combine recycled materials and new materials, all it takes is imagination.’ Rux agrees: ‘it allows everyone to try to do something they thought to be impossible because they lacked the “special” materials.’
The Provocari Verzi blog proves how incredibly useful a tool the internet can be for disseminating information and ideas. ‘There are so many possibilities, from home decor to jewellery’, says Oana. ‘All these things are unique and can be made using and reusing eco-friendly materials.’ Furthermore, Ramona suggests that challenging people to make tutorials encourages people to get actively involved; ‘For many artists the internet is the primary source of inspiration and sites and blogs that have DIY tutorials are really appreciated because sometimes people want you to share not just what you did, but also how you did it.’
The girls stress that the 3 “R”s are by no means a new idea, but rather they have been left behind in our increasingly modernised daily life. ‘I learnt as a child to love and respect nature and so I don’t find it that hard to do this’, says Rux. ‘I believe that people were once familiar with this and “forgot” it. In the past, people were making many things by themselves. The ecofriendly lifestyle implies somehow a return to homemade, crafting activities; a direct relation between man and his creation.’
Oana hopes that their project will have a lasting success and that in the future ‘every family will know about the 3 “R” principles to make the world a better place for our sons and grandsons.’ The project is like a baby that grows beautifully surrounded by people who love him’, says Rux. ‘We have had positive feedback and met talented and creative people. We have inspired and been inspired to become better in what we do.’
For now the future of Provocari Verzi is to continue expanding and continue inspiring. The girls have been piloting virtual workshops and they plan to add their own free patterns and video tutorials. ‘We have more to learn, to improve and work on and who knows what will happen in one year? Ideas – we have, time – we have, materials – of course!’
To learn more about the Provocari Verzi project, read interviews with other ‘green crafters’ or enter one of their monthly eco-contest, you can visit the website here.
Rux and Rha also have a project called Copilarim where they talk about ‘our creations, things we like and try not to forget that childhood is a part of our life, an important part that keeps the key of creativity, dreams and innovation.’
Oana is running a project called DulceaMeaCasa, a blog where she presents ‘creations, childrens activities and lots of other interesting things.’
Ramona runs a website called RAMsMADE where she presents her jewellery collection which often uses recycled elements.