Yo yo yo wassup kids! Yeah are you down with ecology and sustainability and all that ‘green’ stuff? Hey are you sure you want another pair of Nike sneakers? Don’t you want these nice looking eco-leather sandals instead? Nope, I agree this isn’t probably the best way to promote sustainable consumption amongst the youth of today. It is hard enough explaining to most people about the environmental impact of consumerism, let alone the stroppy teenagers of the world, but that’s exactly what UNEP and UNESCO have teamed up to do. YouthXchange is part of UNEP’s Tunza programme which aims to involve young people in environmentalism. YouthXchange is described as a ‘training kit to provide young people with tools and resources that allow them to network towards sustainable consumption’. The kit is designed to be used by youth groups, NGO’s and teachers as a guide to raise awareness and ‘put theory into pratice’. It tells us that ‘half the world’s population is under 20 and 90% of all young people live in developing countries’. These statistics clearly show that the youth of today are a powerful and influential demographic. It also means that they might not own any Nike sneakers, but they sure as hell want some! The trick is of course to persuade them that there might be other more constructive ways of spending their money which aren’t less fun or, more importantly, less cool. The YouthXchange guide can be downloaded from the website and has a range of interactive initiatives. They have various chapters including Respecting our Bodies, which talks about safe sex, alternative medicines and eco-friendly cosmetics. We also liked the Clean up Your Fun chapter which has instructions on how to have a sustainable party. The guide is available in several languages and has an incredible amount of information, facts and figures on a very wide range of subjects related to the environment. I would say don’t leave it just for the kids, it’s a great educational tool whatever your age. ::YouthXchange
Thanks to o2 network for the links.