It’s our social responsibility to go green - here's 10 tips so you can start today
The youth work sector has the great mission of supporting and guiding young people through some of their most transformative years. It’s a mission Eurodesk and ERYICA take to heart by always finding different approaches to serve young people and focus on what matters to them.
The 2021 report of the Climate of Change project surveyed over 22,000 young people in Europe on their opinions on climate change.
65% believe that climate change will affect them personally.
66% ranked it as the first or second most important Sustainable Development Goal “take action to combat climate change”.
The United Nations report on climate change in 2021 reflects on the alarming state of the planet and emphasises that human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate. For many young people, being conscious about the climate is not a choice of interest but a necessity to secure the future. While many young people find their own ways to contribute to the fight against climate change, they demand their surroundings to be more conscious of their environmental impact and what this may mean for their future.
As Eurodesk and ERYICA, two European-wide youth information networks, we have decided to embed this consciousness and responsibility into our everyday work. While doing so, we put together a guide to support other organisations and institutions in evaluating their impact and developing a strategy for climate actions. Going green doesn’t have to be more costly, it is about making a conscious effort to prioritise our environment and the planet when making choices. Here are some areas for reflection and where you can start today:
Get everyone onboard
- Plan your green transition in a participatory way, invite colleagues and those using your services (e.g. young people) to brainstorm potential measures that can be put in place.
- A way to motivate you along the way is to set targets. Start off by measuring your organisation’s carbon footprint, water footprint and/or eco footprint to understand what your impact is today.
- Introduce green practices and eco-friendly policies in everyday activities as well as office and service management.
- Don’t forget your digital footprint! Did you know that an employee who participates in 15 hours of online meetings with their camera on, generates the same amount of CO2 as it takes to charge your mobile phone, every day, for 3 years!
Engage young people
- Raise awareness about the importance of fact-checking and provide young people with tools to identify disinformation related to environmental impact online.
- Empower young people to reflect on their own climate impact and which ways they can reduce their ecological footprint.
- Organise workshops and training related to the topic. The Greening Youth Information Guide is filled with non-formal education activities you can carry out with young people.
Create favourable policies
- Create incentives in youth activities, programmes and in workplaces that favour green practices. This could be done by prioritising environmentally-friendly alternatives, incorporating environmental awareness in training activities, or awarding a Green Hero of the Month - be creative!
- Include the topic of sustainability in training of youth work professionals.
- Advocate for environmentally-friendly youth programmes by thinking of how the programmes can better inform and create awareness, empower young people to take action and connect green initiatives.
T @Eurodesk @ERYICAI