Method or activity in detail

Organisation
INEX-SDA
Mailing List
Yes
Name of the method
THOUGHTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT
Short description
“Thoughts on the Environment” is an activity to help the participants to learn about each other and generate discussion.
Target audiences
16-18 years
Minimum number of participants
3
Maximum number of participants
20
Categories
Climate justice, Sustainable habits, Climate change
Objectives

Get to know the participants and their opinions.

Global Reference - Choose SDG's
4 Quality education, 7 Affordable and clean energy, 11 Sustainable cities and communities, 12 Responsible consumption and production
Implementation
  1. Write ‘Agree’ and ‘Disagree’ in two piece of paper and stick them on two walls across the room.
  2. Explain that you will read a list of statements. The participants who will be standing in the middle of the room will have to move accordingly to each side of the room depending on whether they agree or disagree with each statement. They will be able to state the extent to which they agree or disagree by standing right next to the wall (strongly agree/disagree) or by positioning themselves somewhere in the middle (neither agree/disagree, somewhat agree/disagree). Let them know there are no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers.
  3. Start reading the statements one by one:
    • Human activity has very little to do with climate change.
    • Humanity can sustain itself with clean energy sources.
    • It is hard to imagine our world functioning without fossil fuels.
    • Eating meat is worse for the environment than driving a car.
    • There are political and financial forces that control the access and distribution of natural sources.
    • There is nothing that I can do to improve the environment.
    • The mass deforestation that occurs in Asian countries does not affect me in Europe.
    • My consumption patterns have nothing to do with harming the environment.
  1. After participants position themselves according to their beliefs for each statement, ask them to explain their thinking behind their beliefs and why they feel that way. A small debate can emerge from the opposing teams.
Debriefing

You may ask the individuals who agree to state why they feel like there is nothing that they can do to help in improving the current environmental situation. A discussion may occur in which the group that disagrees can state how every little action can contribute to improving the environment. It is possible to witness participants getting convinced and moving from one pattern of thought to another.

Evaluation

You can ask how the activity made them feel if they felt uncomfortable with others’ opinions and especially if their view on one of the topics changed.

Adaption for other target audiences

You can adapt to younger children by making the questions simpler, with the intention to teach them some basic sustainable habits. For example, “Should I brush my teeth with the water running?”

Additional document
Additional remarks

More than 10 participants are recommended.