On Saturday the 9th of March 2019, CAS Trips co-founder and director, Simon Armstrong, participated in a youth and sustainable travel panel for the Berlin Travel Festival. The panel discussed whether a truly positive impact can be made in tourism by teaching the younger generations how to travel sustainably, so it becomes the norm.
The panel was moderated by Shannon O’Donnell from A Little Adrift and included viewpoints from Simon Armstrong at CAS Trips, Veronika Mercks from Navigaia Journeys and Kelly Galaski from G Adventures. To top of the lively discussion, the panel also involved two highschool students from the Munich International School, which really brought an authentic, first-hand perspective on sustainable travel to the discussion.
It quickly became clear that the younger generation is very inspired to make a difference and were keen on keeping our earth safe. Furthermore, the discussion also showed that unlike with the older generation, students today are learning about these issues in school and it has become an ongoing discussion topic within teenagers’ social circles.
The Key Takeaways
Looking back at the panel discussion, there is a lot to learn. There is a better understanding of what students perceive as sustainability, a more profound idea of what people want out of their trips, and the wonderful notion that there is hope for our future.
However, the most important point, is that sustainable travel should be fun. It should be an enjoyable experience to travel sustainably and experience new cultures and activities. We love a little self-promotion, so next time you book a trip, why not book with CAS Trips? Our itineraries and destinations are 100% sustainable and primarily based on the notion of having fun and making new friends!
How Can YOU Make a Difference?
You might be asking yourself how you, as a student, can make a difference to your community and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Easy! All you need to do is follow a few simple steps that will help you help our wonderful earth. For example, ask questions! When making decisions, say if you’re buying something, ask yourself if you really need the product you are about to purchase, and whether or you are buying it from the right supplier. This will help you to become aware of your choices, and help you make the right ones.
Speaking of awareness, this is another simple step; talk to people, spread the word! All panelists in Berlin agreed that the fastest way to get someone to understand an issue is to tell them about it.
Whether you casually mention it or go into a detailed explanation, it doesn’t matter, you only need to get them to start thinking about sustainability. And when you tell one person, they will tell two more and soon awareness will grow.
You can also work together with your school to make a change. We recently published a blog post on some ideas that you can do to become more sustainable. Or better yet, share your ideas with us by getting in touch with us here. We would love to post about some of the amazing projects you are working on.
Should you need any additional resources, please do not hesitate to reach out to us, we are more than happy to help.
Your choices are yours and you can always decide to make the right one! Either large choices, like choosing to go on a service trip to a different country with a different culture, or small choices, such as choosing to recycle your plastic bottle.
Five Concrete Steps Towards Sustainability
To finish off, we’d like to leave you with the five concrete steps that our co-founder and the other panelists shared with the audience in regards to what can be done to be more sustainable while traveling.
- Instead of driving somewhere, why not take the train or the bus?
- Carbon-offset your flights, for example with Stand for Trees.
- Ask yourself whether the way you are traveling is truly sustainable. Think about taking the less convenient route for the sake of the environment.
- Educate yourself. Do research before you go somewhere, and use responsible travel companies to book your trip.
- Be aware of your choices. Use social media to look into whether the activities a tour operator is offering are executed in a sustainable manner.
You can make a difference, so start today!