Tue 15 Sep 2015 12:55:00 PM EEST
Why don’t I use just 0.2cl but 140 liters of water for my morning cup of coffee? Why does the production of my 9.90-euro-jeans need 11.000 liters of clean water, in distant countries where the local population already suffers from droughts and lack of drinking water? Why does an untapped treasure of 2.5 tons of gold lie alone in the drawers of German households while the expoitation of this raw material funds warring parties in conflict regions, at enormous cost for the local population and the environment? And why does the sewer of my 100-euro-sneakers (who sews 16 hours seven days a week and still cannot feed the family) only get 0.4% of the purchase price?
Since 2013 DVV International and the EAEA, together with other European partners, have been implementing the project ‘Know your Lifestyle’ which aims at contributing to raising awareness on sustainable consumption at the European level. A series of teaching modules addressed primarily at young learners participating in Second Chance Education programmes was developed in collaboration with NGOs and teachers.
The KYL modules highlight the relationship between local consumption and its global impact. They explain that there are winners and losers of globalisation. For example, although water is a human right, it is turning into a rare and sometimes privatised good, and the real social, environmental and financial costs of our consumer goods are paid neither by us the consumers nor by the companies.
Many of us do know that the reasons of global challenges are also to be sought locally and that part of the solution is our personal behaviour. Often, however, it is not easy to understand this deeply and to estimate the global consequences of our individual action. This is especially important in the case of Second Chance education learners, who are probably rarely confronted with sustainability issues in their daily lives.
For this reason, the KYL teaching material critically scrutinizes individual consumption patterns and convey skills for alternative and more sustainable individual action. The participatory and interactive methods elucidate, raise awareness and amuse all at once, which makes them very suitable for the project’s target groups.
The Toolkit can now be downloaded (in English, German, Slovenian and Estonian) from the brand new project website. Printed versions could also be ordered free of charge by writing an email to DVV International.
The project ‘Know your Lifestyle – Introducing Sustainable Consumption in Second Chance Education’ is implemented by DVV International together with the Estonian Non-formal Adult Education Association, the Slovenian Institute for Adult Education, the Kärntner Volkshochschulen in Austria and the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA). The project is funded by the European Union, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and state authorities in the partner countries.
Text: Henrik Poos
Picture: Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE)