We’ve been confronted with climate change for a while now, but last weeks’ media interest, trending hashtags and street talk spiked the conversation, as the IPCC report provided us with a worrying outlook for the future.
According to scientists, the world is “completely off track” and society needs to change their habits fast. It is difficult for consumers worldwide to change their lifestyle overnight but we definitely have to start somewhere.
We at CAS Trips have been acknowledging the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) since they launched in 2015. Since then we have incorporated an average of eight UN SDGs per destinations. That means each destination itinerary includes dynamic C-A-S activities that help make the world a little bit better by integrating the idea of protecting life under water, responsible production and consumption, for example.
Here we take a more in-depth look at five ways in which CAS Trips’ unique approach to educational travel helps combat climate change.
1. We Plant a Tree for Each Traveler
CAS Trips collaborates with Environomica, a non-governmental organization which plants trees across Colombia. We donate a tree at one of three sites for every student that travels with us. And we all know how important trees are when it comes to converting CO2 into fresh air.
The main reforestation site is where species-specific trees are planted aimed at restoring the population of overexploited tree varieties. In addition, trees are planted at a former cattle field, where the team are implementing soil erosion and watercourse protection measures in collaboration with a local farm owner.
Last but not least, trees are being planted at bare land sites next to a local Colombian school. Together with the school and the British foundation Rainforest Concern, we have integrated an educational program for primary and secondary school students to learn about the consequences of climate change and the importance of reforestation.
2. We Host a Sustainable Design Challenge in Prague
One of the most important parts of building the future of our planet is building it in sustainable manner. Students traveling to Prague learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 13, Climate Action.
It is our mission to teach the younger generation about working together to make the world a more sustainable place for the next generations to come. Students collaborate with the professional design team at Design Disco to learn about the benefits of sustainable design and how to use upcycled and eco-friendly materials to create new products that will later be donated to a local organic farm or community project. Some of our students recently created paper lamps for a homeless shelter and bird feeders for the farm from recycled materials only!
3. We Learn About Reforestation in Colombia
Reforestation is crucial to fighting climate change since forests maintain the balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere. During our Medellin Spring Global Student Exchange camp, we work with organic farming communities in Santa Teresa to teach students about the importance of reforestation.
During this intercultural collaboration camp, we visit Colombia’s second-largest plant nursery, allowing students to learn about the different plant species available in the region. They then pick their plants and reforest them with their own hands.
4. We Get Our Hands Dirty Gardening in Berlin
In line with extracting CO2 from the earth’s atmosphere, we like to get our hands dirty gardening in Berlin. Students who travel with CAS Trips to Berlin have the opportunity to work with Botanico, the only certified permaculture organic farm in the city.
During an initial training session, students learn about the dangers of industrialized farming and the harm that pesticides have on the environment. Once we’ve soaked up the know-how, we roll up our sleeves and help weeding, seeding and planting in one of Berlin’s gardens before indulging in delicious homemade, organic produce from a garden café.
5. We Travel to Carbon Negative Bhutan
Is there anything better than traveling to a country that extracts more CO2 than it releases into the atmosphere? We don’t think so! This is by far the best way to fight climate change. We introduced our trip to Bhutan in 2017 and love traveling to the only carbon negative country in the world.
While in Bhutan, students learn about the positive effects of carbon neutrality/negativity on the country and its people. We stay on an organic farm and help the community by volunteering in organic tea- and rice farming, alongside participating in recycling workshops. Students also meet a forest ranger and learn how Bhutan constitutionally maintains 70% forestation and has banned all plastic bags.
We hope to have inspired you to fight climate change with us, and to come explore the world in a sustainable way!