Listening to young people: Mobility for future (EN)

Listening to young people: Mobility for future

The young participants also criticised that some learning mobility programmes still have a large CO 2 footprint. They agreed that eco-friendly learning mobility, especially in the context of international youth work, should be the default. One stated “While you’re in the programmes, be mindful of your resourc- es in general”. They called for the organisa- tions devising and offering the activities to think about adapting them to be completely climate-friendly. They wouldn’t even have to ask their potential target groups whether this is what they really wanted: “You don’t have to ask us if there should be more climate friend- ly options.“ One of the ideas mentioned dur- ing the focus group sessions was to offer only vegan or vegetarian meals during the prepara- tion, interim and follow-up seminars.

component to information events or preparation meet- ings. Finally, the participants called for greater transpar- ency over existing youth mobility options. Since they felt insufficiently informed, they suggested setting up a cen- tral website listing useful information on this subject. All told, the focus group sessions revealed that young people around the world are keen to have more cli- mate-friendly options when travelling to a learning mobility activity. That said, they are fairly critical about existing schemes and ideas such as voluntourism or eco-tourism. As one participant put it: „What’s better? Buying tomatoes, that are grown in your own country, but packed in plastic? Or buying tomatoes that come without a package – but have been transported from abroad?“

The participants suggested that the agenda of any learn- ing mobility activity, no matter what the subject, should include opportunities for participants to reflect on their own lifestyle choices and consumption habits and devel- op alternatives. Sessions could be planned on how to buy less, buy more sensibly, how to produce less waste, and how to find clothes with a smaller CO 2 footprint. It was hard, they said, to find suitable information on these subjects and even harder to make the right choices. As one participant said, “What’s better? Buying tomatoes that are grown in your own country but packed in plas- tic? Or buying tomatoes that come without a package but have been transported from abroad?” Another suggestion was to only offer climate-friendly travel options. One young focus group member pro- posed only allowing participants to travel if their mode of travel met climate-friendly mobility criteria. The young participants expected programmes to develop general standards for climate-friendly travel that everyone would have to comply with. That said, the participants all agreed that replacing face-to-face activities with virtual events was not an alternative. As one of them said, “Mobility is one of the most important things for youth work.” How- ever, participants stated, it may work to add a digital

„It’s not helping. It’s green washing.“


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