Brainstorming on sustainable consumption

Thu 12 Feb 2015 11:26:00 AM EET

New learning materials on sustainable consumption, produced in the framework of Know Your Lifestyle project, were presented at a workshop in Brussels 5-6 February. The workshop gathered around 35 participants interested in learning more about the project’s outcomes and sharing their feedback with the project's consortium.

The aim of the Know Your Lifestyle – Introducing Sustainable Consumption in 2nd-chance education (KYL) project led by DVV International is to inform young people about the link between local personal consumption and its global impact, and thus to give them opportunity to look critically at individual consumption patterns and to develop more sustainable alternatives.

At the workshop the didactic materials for teachers and 2nd chance students were presented by the NGO partners. Participants got the opportunity to work with the materials, to test some of the innovative and creative methods and to discuss and suggest improvements.

Most participants were enthusiastic by the sharing of experiences and innovative ideas and appreciated very much the interactive communication adopted by the consortium. "At the end we have not only words but solutions," participants said.


Five topics on sustainable consumption

The training materials were built around five topics. It gave background information as well as introduced a variety of methods which could be used to deal with each of them.

Handy & Smart Phone focuses on the life cycle of a cellular phone with the topics raw materials production and trade, production, consumption and use as well as recycling.

Water as a Global Good deals with the access to and remarkableness of the resource water and points out the all-round function of water as a valuable resource in our day to day life.

Global Good Production in Textile Industry informs about the globalisation of production processes by the example of clothing and shows under which circumstances our clothing is produced and which financial and social costs are caused by this production.

Human Energy mentions reasons why we should switch from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources and shows options for saving energy and for producing renewable energy.

Renewable Energies deals with the relation between the consumption behavior and finiteness of energy and other natural resources and tries to raise the awareness about global interaction and the role of the individual in reducing global problems.


A successful event

The conference was highly appreciated by the participants, who found it very inspiring and motivating: "We are responsible for our lifestyles and we can do something about it. We have to believe in many small steps on our way to the big one," the participants emphasised at the end of the event.

The final conference of the Know Your Lifestyle project will take place in Estonia in fall. More information will be available soon on the project's website.

Enriching inputs from the speakers

During the event, inputs were provided by external and internal speakers.

  • Francesca Minniti from CONCORD described the opportunities given by the European Year of Development 2015 (EYD). Actions and campaigns organised in its framework will be instrumental to explain what sustainable development means to the civil society and to show how our lifestyles and our trade, agricultural and economic policies in Europe affect global development.
  • Bianca Pilgram from the German UNESCO-Commission shared UNESCO's vision regarding Education for Sustainable Development. It means to include key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning to create active and responsible citizens ready to take action for sustainable development.
  • Valentina Aurricchio and Jan Matyas from the European Commission talked about the EU funding concept for Development Education and Awareness-Raising projects (DEAR). It supports civil society organisations with global efforts for sustainable development. The aim is to inform citizens about development issues.
  • Tove Holm from the Sykli Environmental School of Finland introduced to the participants Nordic Sustainable Education Network.
  • Alya-Nedyalka Veder from the ADRA Bulgaria Foundation presented the project Equal Access to Development Education.
  • Kalliopi Ioannidou from Fair Trade Hellas talked about the development education project Challenging the Crisis – Promoting Global Justice and Citizens.

Text: Nicole Kuhnhenne
Photos: Francesca Operti and Raffaela Kihrer