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Learning from the future

Spending a day working with the champions of sustainability education from 20 colleges across Wales; these are the folks who are embedding real change into the workplace, and this post captures the ideas - heads of environmental education, business and many other work areas.

Short presentations from Pembrokeshire College and Yale College underpinned the impoetance of good monitoring and reporting of what happens so that the people taking action know what's happening. Yale created a 'green handprint' to stamp on projects where good practice is happening - they've developed a Moodle site with resources and embedded ESDGC into environmental management - using real information from building management systems etc as part of day to day work. The harder stuff, they're finding are topics such as resolving the loss of money from selling Coke to the reduction in plastic waste and dietary opportunities that would develop as a result. "We're also crossing the learning-teaching issue and are going to be working on paper next - realising it's a systems approach that's needed". Learning projects are what gets the students involved.

Gobal exchange programmes have developed using the College's international offices, so that students are now starting to run projects for themselves - one of the best indications that things are starting to work.

climate change is difficult because it's not in our nature to do favours for people who are not born yet.

Understanding relevance and complexity are two of the most important areas - one exercise asked students to cut out articles on climate, wealth SD and other issues and stick onto a flip chart and make the links between the articles on the flip charts with string to see where the connections lie. To understand Fair Trade, give away chocolate according the rules of the 'chocolate game' - the supermarkets get 10 squares, the farmers get one etc.

Eco footprinting exercises are working well - CAT's 'Where's the Impact?" is one good way of communicating this - understanding where the ingredients of my Kinder Egg comes from - plastic - cocoa - milk - sugar - aluminium - and then work out the connections between those products and personal action and choices.



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