Topic 3 Linking Youth Participation with Climate Change Education & Food Waste

Collective environmental and social action is a milestone for the fight against climate change. Especially young activists, who do not have reached the age to become fully engaged in formal citizenship entitlements, such as voting. Thus, through Youth Participation activities that not only promote a more democratic society, but also a more environmentally sustainable one, children could enact their civil and environmental rights in civilized ways. For example, via art-based campaigns, or through petitions (online and in their communities), aiming at a positive effect on environmentally aware actions.

An educational programme about food waste and rescue issues and its ramifications, is crucial to follow student-based, and experiential learning approaches, to cultivate students’ attitudes and skills that they will have the rest of their lives. The combination of competencies that could lead to responsible action and involvement, can lead students to become aware and active environmental citizens.

The principle for involvement and participation is motivation, specifically, young people can design and manage complex projects collaboratively, when they feel a sense of agency in them. Thus, the educational purpose of Youth Participation module is to enrich the competencies of students, to enact and partially design the goals of their projects, to cultivate their feelings of ownership and agency in the solutions about food waste management, and finally, demonstrate the competencies they possess.

Motivation fosters participation, which fosters 21st century competencies, which in turn foster motivation for further projects and involvement, and can lead to the collective social action towards the mitigation of climate change, through food waste management.