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How to Reduce the Impact of Training on the... Environment?

21/01/2020
by Veronika Tuul
Language: EN
Document available also in: ET DE HR MT FR EL PL IT HU NL LV

I believe that today there is no need to convince anyone that environmental protection and eco-conscious behaviour are critical to the sustainability of human society. Also, at this year’s trainers’ unconference, it was considered important to focus on the environmental issues when analysing adult educators’ environmental awareness. The topic of the discussion was “Environmental Awareness of the Trainer and Reduction of the Ecological Footprint of Training” („Koolitaja keskkonnateadlikkus ja koolituse ökoloogilise jalajälje vähendamine“ (link is external) and professionals from various sectors in adult education participated in it, which allowed for a wide range of approaches to this issue. During the efficient and intensive discussion, the main critical themes related to training and environmental protection were mapped. With the same intensity, the participants continued to propose possible solutions to the mapped problems.

Every single person has the power to change the world. Each one’s personal commitment to act more environmental-friendly helps us to achieve our goal – live in a cleaner and healthier environment. However, personal decision-making requires awareness and realization, so it can be said that adult educators and practitioners have a great opportunity to be initiators of change. In this context, adult education practitioners have an important advantage over others because we have direct and personal contact with many members of society.

Environmental Impact of Training

Lots of our current ways of doing things are neither environmental-friendly nor money-saving. We do it because it has always been like this”. However, a little reflection, broader consideration, and deeper thoughts help us act in ways that introduce trainings with a smaller ecological footprint (link is external) and more environmentally-conscious participants.

During the discussion, key areas of focus were identified where the trainer and the training provider could make more environmentally friendly choices. The areas include training facilities, transport, waste management, catering and drinking water, training-related purchases.

Making a difference

During the unconference, we prepared a problem map with the participants, which included the most significant environmental factors during trainings, as well as possible solutions that everyone could propose:

And while the discussion confirmed that we do not always have the freedom to act in an environmentally friendly way, we all can ask. Ask participants how they get to the training site by public transport, ask for tap water for drinking; ask participants whether they can bring their own water bottle, whether the room temperature can be lowered, whether labels or materials can be reused.

Tartu Nature House has developed a guide for organizing eco-friendly events. A thorough guide provides an overview of the key environmental factors in organizing events, many different examples of how to organize green events, and a checklist for organizing them.

The environmentally sustainable behaviour of members of society requires a change in attitudes, and is therefore closely linked to the trainer’s daily work. Adult educators reach a very large target audience and, thus, have the opportunity to broaden and update the understanding of many people.

While environmental issues are critical, there is no reason to panic, because big changes start with small things, so we can all do something today to have a healthier and better living environment for ourselves and future generations.

Watch the video below about the trainers’ unconference discussion on how to reduce the environmental impact of training. (In Estonian)

You can find an overview of the 5th trainers’ unconference “Quality of Training” (“Koolituse headus”) and other video recordings here.

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Veronika Tuul is an educational designer, trainer and EPALE ambassador. As a practitioner, she is interested in expanding technology-based learning opportunities through in-service training and professional development. She has an adult educator’s level 7 qualification.

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  • Poļina Čumičova's picture
    Paldies par to, ka tik svarīga tēma atkal nepaliek nepamanīta! Protams, vides problēmas ir arī cilvēku problēmas. Tādējādi, ir diezgan svarīgi mācīt bērnus pēc iespējas agrāk nest atbildību par savām ricībām un nepieļaut mūsu planētas iznīcināšanu. Sagatavotā problēmu karte ir ļoti labs palīgmateriāls mācību stundās, lai pievērstu bērnu uzmanību globālām lietām. Karte liek aizdomāties par situāciju, būt uzmanīgākam pret dabas pasauli un tās drošību.
  • Arine Čužāne's picture
    Katrs no mums var palīdzēt pasaulei. Kā to izdarīt? Vecākiem jāstāsta par to bērniem, skolā jāstāsta. Bērni mācās no vecākiem un visu atkārto. Svarīgi jau no bērnības zināt, ka katram vajag rūpēties par pasauli un katrs cilvēks ir atbildīgs par to! 
  • Katrīna Lūse's picture
     We have no planet B. climate change is not just the defining issue of our time, but we are also at a defining moment in history. Weather patterns are changing and will threaten food production, and sea levels are rising and could cause catastrophic flooding across the globe. Countries must make drastic actions to avoid a future with irreversible damage to major ecosystems and planetary climate. But what about individuals? What can we do to pitch in and help save the Earth? There are plenty of things you can do every day to help reduce greenhouse gases and your carbon footprint to make a less harmful impact on the environment. Taking care of the Earth is not just a responsibility, it's a necessity. Students are constantly learning how they can make a difference in the world. There are classes and clubs focused on various social issues, and these places teach students how they can change these issues.  
  • Katrīne Suta-Pranča's picture
    Paldies! Mani ļoti priecē, ka cilvēki pievērš uzmanību videi un kā būt vairāk eko-draudzīgiem. Noteikti šis ir jāaktualizē skolās un ģimenēs. Ņemot vērā to, ka bērni ir pasaules nākotne, tad viņiem šīs rūpes par vidi ir jāiemāca jau no agra vecuma, lai bērniem tas būtu kā pašsaprotami. 
  • Ginta Salmina's picture
    Sagatavotā karte "Apmācību ietekme uz vidi" ir ļoti noderīga, tiešām paldies par to! Laikam jau svarīgākais ir atrast/ saglabāt līdzsvaru un balansu -  starp mūsdienu tehnoloģijām un dabai draudzīgiem risinājumiem, starp tā daru vienmēr un jāpamēģina kaut kas jauns, starp gribu un tas tiešām nepieciešams un vēl daudziem jo daudziem citiem "starp". 
  • Maria Cutajar's picture
    Many thanks for this blogpost on environment-friendly behaviours and such an inspiring resource for when organising training. I find the tree visual a brilliant resource for referring to when planning for training (or other similar event setting)!
    Of course, the planning of future offline training sessions presently with the unfortunate incidence of the covid-19 pandemic and the necessary social distancing and self-isolating measures to curb it.
    Stay safe and keep well,
    Maria 
  • ΦΩΤΗΣ ΠΟΝΤΙΚΑΚΗΣ's picture
    Για διευκόλυνση των Ελλήνων χρηστών της σελίδας, ο χάρτης για να ελέγχουμε το περιβαλλοντικό αποτύπωμα (αντίκτυπο) της κατάρτισης, μεταφρασμένος στο ιστολόγιο του ΚΠΕ Βάμου:http://kpevamou.blogspot.com/2020/03/blog-post.html. Μπορείτε επίσης να κατεβάσετε την ελληνική μετάφραση από εδώ.
  • Eszter KARVAZY's picture
    Nagyon jó téma, Magyarországon is van jó példa ilyen típusú képzésre: https://humusz.hu/hirek/oko-hirnok-kepzest-inditunk-pedagogusoknak/25721
  • Anildo Vedovatti's picture
    Nagyon érdekes volt olvasni, ilyen röviden is ezt a témafelvetést. Azt gondolom, hogy hozzásegíthet az egyéni ökolábnyomunk átgondolásához, hiszen az egyéni mindennapok szintjére is leviszi a kérdést. Csak azt sajnálom, hogy a segédanyag észtül van, és nem található meg angolul.
  • Beata Ciężka's picture
    Ostatnio byłam na konferencji, na której zastosowano wiele zasad minimalizujących odpady. Nie było żadnych teczek czy torebek, ani innych śmieciowych gadżetów, kto chciał i potrzebował notatnik czy długopis – mógł to wziąć, ale nie dostawał tego z automatu (i niewiele osób w istocie je brało). Były smyczki z wizytówkami, ale można było, wychodząc z konferencji, wrzucić je do specjalnego pojemnika z zamieszczoną informacją, że będą uprane i ponownie wykorzystane. Nie było drukowanych materiałów, a wszystko można było pobrać elektronicznie. Dodam jeszcze, że zamiast „konferencyjnego suszu” czyli wiecznie świeżych ciasteczek, były marchewki i cząstki jabłek. Taka konferencja to była przyjemność – nie tylko intelektualna.