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The Code of Conduct

of Education Activists for the Planet

can help trainers, facilitators and educators to consider ecological aspects of their training

TRAINER

TRAINING ENVIRONMENT

TRAINING CONTENT

Grow Eco/Green Competencies

Secure Theoretical Background
Be a Role Model during the Training
Cooperate

Design and Plan to Respect Use and Value Renewables

Bring Practical Aspect
Observe and Adapt
Use Local Resources

Respect the Place

Use Sustainable Transport
Think about Work Materials/Resources
Choose Suitable Refreshment

TRAINING CONTENT



3-1

Design and Plan to Respect Use and Value Renewables

DESCRIPTION

Start with the impact you would like this training to have, on the target group and its needs/characteristics and the topic chosen. Allow some room for the process to be open with no predetermined outcome. When looking at solutions, keep the ambitions and expectations low with small and slow solutions first and allow time to test them. Do not waste energy for short term views in your events, focus on long-term and meaningful impact. Good vision and wider perspective are necessary to set the right tone from the beginning.

Key questions:

How can you save energy on transport and electricity, without compromising the quality of work? Can you use renewable energy?

Have you checked what the resources are in place of the training? Have you thought about how to incorporate it or adapt your training to that?

Do you know what resources participants could bring and share with others on the training? That includes skills but also materials, physical items and efforts in the preparation phase. Plan for it timely.

Have you prepared the virtual space for sharing the experiences and reflections after the training?

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

Choosing renewable energy and other resources will not only help reduce the impact on the planet but also create a more inclusive environment, not separating participants from different social backgrounds. A mindful use of renewables is also in accordance with the principles of permaculture. Treating human resources as renewables - understanding that human energy and potential can reach its limits if not supported.

To avoid burnout of trainers, a mutual energy flow must be created between trainer and participants, encouraging partakers to contribute their own ideas and keep developing acquired skills, sharing and supporting each other in the learning process. A co-created result is considered renewable, because the knowledge is shared and not dependent on the trainer only.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

A workshop of rocket-stove building uses only natural materials; after the workshop all participants are invited to join a WhatsApp group where they actively share their ideas and build a supportive community. When the participants create rocket-stove building projects by themselves, help from other group members is offered and the knowledge is shared independently from the trainer.



3-2

Bring Practical Aspect

DESCRIPTION

Teach valuable and practically applicable skills. Do not teach only why but also how. Encourage the participants to come up with their own practical solutions, ask about their experiences, use the potential of polycultures, and take advantage of diverse participants.

Use the potential to create good symbiosis and always value collective intelligence. Especially since topics relating to the environmental /climate emergency we are facing can induce anxiety, fear and feelings of uselessness, the trainer should teach/train with an objective of sustainable and concrete action points/methods. This will allow participants to feel empowered to act, to be eco-active.

Key questions:

Can you draw inspiration from nature to create your training?

Are the objectives of the training concrete and sustainable action points / tips?

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

By creating a practical result, the course brings a sense of purpose and usefulness, encouraging the participants to apply gained knowledge suitably in their everyday lives, which results in enrichment and development of the original concept. A finished product also serves as an example for future training. A skill that has been practically applied is memorised easily and therefore holds a greater value for the participant.

Objective: sustainable and concrete action points/methods

Participants feel empowered to act

Both the participants and trainer see clearly the training’s concrete and sustainable consequences/impact which is very motivating and engaging. (What will we change today?)

The group works together for a common objective.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

Creating a historical garden bed in a museum as a part of Seed savers training. The participants are involved with the process themselves rather than just learning by observing.

Traditional shingle roofing workshops take place on real roofs that later on serve for the local community. The participants gain a skill while the practical result of the training has a practical use. http://skaidu-meistarklase.mozello.lv/skaidu_meistarklases/skaidu_darbnicu_fotostasti/2018-fotostasti/params/group/103519/

Participants need to leave with several ideas in mind of things they can do very easily, and with the feeling of having achieved something together.

Follow ups…

What to measure

Can you see clearly what will be the concrete outcome(s) of this training?

Are these action points sustainable?

What kind of indicator to measure

Participants leave the training with several concrete action points.


3-3

Observe and Adapt

DESCRIPTION

In nature, nothing remains constant. Everything changes, evolves. Therefore, as a green-minded trainer, when facilitating, the ability to observe and adapt based on what you observe is essential. To come well-prepared is important but it is key to always remain flexible and able to quickly respond to the situation, based on the feedback and needs of the participants. The first task for the trainer is to create a safe and open space for exchanges, always inviting feedback, critical thinking, questions and reactions. The trainer must always be open, able to self-reflect and accept feedback.

Key questions:

Looking at the conditions of the training, how will you create a safe space for discussion where participants feel free to think critically, to ask questions?

How do you ensure your participants will have the chance to get feedback during the training? Did you plan specific times in the agenda for feedback?

Are you prepared to accept that feedback and use it to self-reflect?

Do you plan moments where you can take a step back and observe reactions, body language, group dynamics?

Are you able to not only accept feedback but also be flexible enough to change course and adapt to it(even if it means cancelling your original plans)?

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

Ignoring participants´ needs and reactions during a training would lead to disengagement, frustration and in general, negative reactions.

A refusal by the trainer to accept feedback and be open to adapt accordingly threatens directly the success of the training and causes against the key value of inclusivity.

Being eco-active for the planet means listening and adapting, and therefore an eco-active trainer must listen, observe and adapt too.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

There are many frustrations in the room with participants not engaging with the activities you propose.

Pick a short activity that the participants can do in smaller groups/pairs.

Take a step back and just observe.

Do you see where the tensions come from?

If you do, take a moment to reshuffle your session completely to adapt, for example by changing group dynamics and/or doing an activity that will lessen tensions (or even propose a break).

If you cannot identify the source of the problem, think of the best way/moment to stop and invite all to feedback.

When coming back to the group, calmly acknowledge the tensions and propose a short break.

After the break, have a feedback round or propose a different agenda for the rest of the training and ask for the participants´ agreement to do so.





3-4

Use Local Resources

DESCRIPTION

In nature, nothing remains constant. Everything changes, evolves. Therefore, as a green-minded trainer, when facilitating, the ability to observe and adapt based on what you observe is essential. To come well-prepared is important but it is key to always remain flexible and able to quickly respond to the situation, based on the feedback and needs of the participants. The first task for the trainer is to create a safe and open space for exchanges, always inviting feedback, critical thinking, questions and reactions. The trainer must always be open, able to self-reflect and accept feedback.

Key questions:

Looking at the conditions of the training, how will you create a safe space for discussion where participants feel free to think critically, to ask questions?

How do you ensure your participants will have the chance to get feedback during the training? Did you plan specific times in the agenda for feedback?

Are you prepared to accept that feedback and use it to self-reflect?

Do you plan moments where you can take a step back and observe reactions, body language, group dynamics?

Are you able to not only accept feedback but also be flexible enough to change course and adapt to it(even if it means cancelling your original plans)?

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

Ignoring participants´ needs and reactions during a training would lead to disengagement, frustration and in general, negative reactions.

A refusal by the trainer to accept feedback and be open to adapt accordingly threatens directly the success of the training and causes against the key value of inclusivity.

Being eco-active for the planet means listening and adapting, and therefore an eco-active trainer must listen, observe and adapt too.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

Before the training you can do some research of local cultural events and educational projects taking place in the area. Browse through the offers of local community centres, theatres, and libraries. Browse local newspapers, travel guides, or city council websites. Look for good practices in the area. If you have the opportunity, you can take part in a local event yourself to get to know the local community better.

Try to find some inspiring people from local society, somebody who could be a role model. You could give that person as an example or contact them to chat about local perspective.

Provide examples of local good practices so that participants can benefit from them as well.





TRAINER



1-1

Grow Eco/Green Competences

DESCRIPTION

In order to pass on ecological knowledge and habits to others, a trainer has to obtain these competences first. Moreover, a greener lifestyle can be taught both during an ecology workshop, as well as in a completely unrelated training, e.g.,
a computer programming course. Ecological competences are universal and are best shared in action.


Key questions:

Which ecological actions do you undertake in your everyday life?

Do you see any relation between the subject of your training and certain ecological topics? Is there a way you could tackle them during the training?

When it comes to the way the workshops are organized and conducted, are you able to convincingly explain the importance of small ecological actions to the participants?

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

A trainer usually has some amount of control over planning, preparing, and conducting training. Achieving a high level of ecological competences helps during every stage of the process.

In addition to trainers’ professional competences and knowledge, ecological competences help set a greener environment for activities and generate an added value both for the participants and the community.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

While designing the workshops and organizing training environment, ecological competences come in handy during every stage of preparation. The more extensive ecological knowledge and skills, the bigger chance that the training as a whole will be organized and conducted in a sustainable way.


For example, participants are often expecting printouts and freebies given out during the course. If the trainer decides to refrain from using these and can offer a reliable and credible explanation as to why it is important, such a decision can influence the participants and change their future behaviour.



1-2

Secure Theoretical Background

DESCRIPTION

Regardless of the topic, it is essential to start designing the training with knowledge based on scientific facts, so that you can be confident in the knowledge you are sharing and able to answer questions from participants. Know about the particular training topic, how it is connected with other eco topics, and how it concerns the participants. It is not about knowing everything in the field but about reaching the training/ education activity's goals regarding the participants' context (experiences, competencies, needs, habits, etc.).

Key questions:

Do you feel confident in your knowledge of the training topic?

Is your knowledge based on scientific facts?

Are you prepared for the participants‘ questions?

Do you know the current legislation around the topic?

Do you know the latest research/ data related to the topic? Can you quote some actual data?

Do you know how the solution/ legislation or lack of solution/ legislation related to the topic impacts peoples' life/social life/ environment?

Do you know what has been discussed in relation to the training topic at the local/ regional/ national/ EU/ global level?

What opinions/ trends have appeared lately due to the topic?

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

A knowledge based on scientific facts is key to:

Being legitimate as a trainer, as the source of knowledge during the training

Empowering the participants with scientific facts, in the era of fake news and conspiracy theories.

The need to know your abilities, undertaking tasks that do not exceed your knowledge.

People relying on trainers/educators' eco competences. It would be best to have adequate knowledge to meet participants' needs in developing their eco competencies.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

Before the training/ educational activity, you can:

Research the topic to know:

The latest research and data related to the topic

Experts and non-experts' opinions on the topic

Make a potential FAQ list related to the topic and check if you know the answer

Draw a broader picture to see how your topic is related to other issues that impacts people/ social/ environment

Analyse the participants' needs due to the topic respecting their competencies and local context

What to measure: Do you feel confident in answering questions on this topic?

What kind of indicator to measure: Your ability to communicate on scientific facts clearly and your ability to answer questions.



1-3

Be a Role Model in the Training

DESCRIPTION

As a trainer/ educator, you need to be coherent with the eco-message you have for the participants. Learning is not a simple mechanism for giving and receiving information between a trainer/ expert and the participants. People learn by observing. They observe you during the training and after it. You are more authentic, powerful and persuasive to the participants when you live and breathe green values.


Key questions:

What are you wearing and what does it say about you because it always makes impression on participants?

What do your lifestyle and consumption tell the participants about you following/ not following the green values?

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

According to social cognitive theory - developed by Albert Bandura and colleagues, none is a space to fill based on external pressures and constraints. People observe, imitate, develop a specific social environment. They learn new information and behaviors by watching other people.

The theory states that when people observe a model performing a behavior and its consequences, they remember it and use it to guide subsequent behaviors. Observing a model can also prompt the viewer to engage in behavior they already learned.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

Run a self-evaluation of your eco competence to know how coherent you are with the eco-message.

Ask yourself before deciding on running the training/ eco-activity:

Do I follow the values related to the topic in my everyday life?

How can I use myself as a shaping example to influence the participants due to training’s goals?





1-4

Cooperate

DESCRIPTION

Trainer cooperation should happen on at least three levels:

Organizational level

Are you familiar with the organization you represent at the training?

How well do you know the organization? Values, ethical principles, etc.

What kind of information would you need from the organization?

Do you know where to find all relevant information in the organization?

Is there something in your course which could challenge organization’s sustainable development program? If so, do you know how to proceed to make a change?

2. Between trainers

Do you know other organizations / trainers? How many contacts do you have?

Have you shared your eco competences best practises? Are you able to challenge them with some new ideas?

3. Between trainers and stakeholders


Sustainable future key questions:

Is it possible for you to reform society together with learners and partners?

Is it possible for you to promote stakeholder environmental responsibility?

Is it possible for you to involve stakeholders in activities that promote sustainable well-being?

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

So that everyone operates according to the same principles and practices

Up-to-date material available for trainers

Transparency and peer support

Good practices that are easy to share and internalize.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

Organizational level: Organization has an established practice (for example template) when recruiting and introducing trainers to the principles, practices and procedures of the organization

A platform, where it is possible to share good practices, implementation of practices into work, examples and for example visits to different organizations.

Trainers‘ own “bank“ of stakeholders. The bank contains information of different stakeholders that can be contacted. For example, Earth hour = contact specific electric company.




TRAINING ENVIRONMENT


2-1

Respect the Place

DESCRIPTION

Think about where the training will be held. Increase the connection to local specifics, support local organisations and value local resources.

Key questions:

What makes the location specific?

What type of landscape is it in?

What does the building and rooms like?

Is it possible to use an outdoor space for at least part of the training?

How is electricity and water or waste management handled?

Are there local businesses in the area whose products can be used?


After answering the questions, integrate the information and design the training with respect for the site and its surroundings. A good choice of training location deepens people's close connection with nature and the landscape in which they are located, even if for a limited period of time. The point of the venue is that people are also natural beings, naturally embedded in the living world and connected by a delicate web of relationships with all that shapes it.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

Be an example (exempla trahunt) - inspiration, motivation of participants to imitate after returning from training

Good practice from around, possibly seen with own eyes - people find out that it is possible and not so difficult

Possibility of answers related to technical, organizational support - how it could be applied elsewhere

Unconscious learning, acquiring habits - transferring to daily life

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

A place preferably in the countryside, not in big cities (Environmental Education centre, if possible)

Buildings with eco-friendly operations (green roof, renewable heating, heat recovery, solar energy, automatic lights out, waste separation, rainwater harvesters, dry toilets, no need to change towels every day, etc.)

Outdoor classroom, indoor furniture, decoration made from sustainable sources

Highlighted in bold are things that can be provided even if the space is not entirely adequate - waste separation during training, classroom equipment and space for the outdoor part of the training.

You can be inspired by Sluňákov, Czech republic (Centre for ecological activities - slunakov.cz), Horka nad Moravou, Czech Republic – building, classroom indoor and outdoor (www.otevrenazahrada.cz).



2-2

Use Sustainable Transport

DESCRIPTION

Think about what kind of options there are available when thinking about transportation and are you making the best choice when choosing it.

Key questions:

How are you and others using different transportation?

Have you offered different options to travel?

Are there more sustainable options available?

Is travelling necessary or could you use online equipment instead?

Are you offering equal opportunities to all participants?

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

Transportation:

is a significant user of energy, maybe the major user of energy

causes air pollution, CO2, NOx and SOx gases as well as particulates

causes noise pollution

The potential negative impacts of transportation on environment can be listed as:

degradation of air quality, greenhouse gas emissions,

increased threat of global climate change,

degradation of water resources,

noise and habitat loss and fragmentation.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

Make your choices:

Face to face workshop: Is it a must? Justify your answer

Public transportation: Is it available? Have you thought of equality?

Online-meeting: Can you handle it? (technical support, enough experience)

Follow ups…

What to measure

How do we use transportation when going to courses?

How do we use transportation while we are attending courses?

How to get the information and where to get information

Inquiry for trainers and participants

Collect the information and make statistics

What kind of indicator to measure

Percentages of amounts of trainers and participants using different transportation

Percentages of amounts of walk, bush bike, bus, train, own car, plane...




2-3

Think about Work Materials/Resources

DESCRIPTION

Think about what materials/ tools to use in the training, why to use them, how to use them, what you are communicating to the participants.

The training inherently includes papers, folders, envelopes, pens, pencils, scissors, glue. Even these small items can be prepared with the environment in mind. Criteria that can help us decide are, for example: material and energy intensity of production, recyclability, biodegradability, health (non)hazardousness, transport distance from producer to consumer.

Key questions:

What is it made of?

What are its greener alternatives?

Can I recycle it, reuse it?

Can participants bring their own tools and again, take it home?

Try to find eco-friendly solutions in the training room: magnetic whiteboards, whiteboards, prefer electronic rather than printed materials, etc.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

Examples are known to pull (Exempla trahunt) - trainees will be inspired and motivated to imitate the use of eco tools and materials after returning from the training. People will find that it can be done, and it is not that hard, because they will see many examples of good practice with their own eyes and can literally "touch" them in practice. Seeing what has been tried and tested creates a process of unconscious learning in the participants, which leads to easier acquisition of habits and thus transfer to everyday life.

For the proposed measures and solutions to work, they need to be taken up by as many participants as possible - and for that they need to know what is being done and why. Especially for little-known measures and solutions, information and explanations are needed as much as possible. Promote your eco-steps - some unusual things should be pointed out to participants in advance. Promote and explain all ecological practices appropriately - in invitations, on posters, on site, in organisational instructions.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

Before the training even begins, it can have a big environmental impact in the form of printed posters, souvenirs and promotional items. Again, the less the greener - this is especially true for the various 'useless' souvenirs.

Below are the most important points to keep in mind when preparing training materials, which are also relatively easy to access and inexpensive:

Use recycled, non-chlorinated paper.

Keep the number of copies of each document to a minimum.

Copy and print on both sides of the paper and do not throw away paper until you have used both sides.

Stationery - use pencils made from natural materials (FSC wood, bamboo, wheat fibre, corn leaves, paper)

Sharpeners, staplers choose metal rather than plastic. Use all-metal scissors (no plastic)

Online shop with environmentally friendly office supplies, where each product lists all the chemicals it contains (in German): www.memo.de

2-4

Choose Suitable Refreshment

DESCRIPTION

The whole concept of refreshment at the seminar needs to be addressed comprehensively on four levels: food, drink, food and drink packaging and food waste management.

Key questions:

Can you use local resources?

Is it necessary to have packed refreshment?

What will you do with leftovers?

The overall optimum is to use local resources, i.e., local farmers, either directly or through farmers' markets. In this way, both the quality condition of organic farming and the fair-trade condition are met.

As far as the drinks are concerned, the easiest and often most appreciated is water from local sources – from wells. This can also be used for other drinks - homemade lemonades made from local fruit or teas made from local herbs. A nice addition to the programme can be the participants' own picking of fruit or herbs. As for the coffee drinks, both coffees can be used (here it is necessary to check the eco and fair trade label) and substitutes made from local products (chicory, grain). Local wine, which is often produced as a product of organic farming, will definitely be a great addition to the evening's programme, as well as local spirits.

As far as food and beverage packaging is concerned, disposable packaging should be avoided. If buying raw materials from farmers, textile bags and special reusable bags for vegetables and fruit can be used. For beverages we use glass containers, i.e., returnable and recyclable bottles. Similar rules apply to serving. Wooden cutlery, paper plates and cups can be used, but the classic use of glass and porcelain washable crockery is much preferable and looks better.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

Seminar attractiveness - Seminars with interesting food based on local products are more interesting and attractive, especially for foreign participants.

Overall well-being of participants - Refreshment meeting eco limits represents generally lighter food and more flavourful food and beverages. Conversely, for example, the use of disposable plastic cutlery and crockery always creates a degree of participant dissatisfaction.

Economic reasons - It is cheaper to use standard porcelain and glassware, just as it is cheaper to make teas, lemonades or fresh juice with picked herbs and fruits. In fact, you can often buy produce surprisingly cheaply from local farmers.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

The things listed below can almost always be provided, it is a minimal job with a big effect: classic washable crockery and cutlery, tap water in a jug with a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint, bowls of seasonal fruit, linen napkins.

You can find inspiration here: Veronica - Hostětín centre (CZ): Organic housing with organic operation, fruit and vegetable growing, cider house www.hostetin.veronica.czSonnetor (CZ): Cultivation of herbs and tea production including buying herbs from collectors and small growers, tea room and fair-trade café. www.sonnentor.com