Climate and your impact as a volunteer

Embarking on a journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle is not merely a personal choice; it is a collective responsibility imperative for combating climate change. In your daily life, and as a volunteer, you will have to make choices that will have an impact on the environment. We suggest you choose an ecological and sustainable project, and travel as green as possible.

More Sustainable Ways to Travel: Travel By Bus or Train

Be aware that when you travel, you have an impact on the environment. Opt for more eco-friendly modes of transportation, such as trains or buses, over taking the plane. 

Here you can compare the emissions that your journey emits by train, car or plane. Consider the idea of staying longer to reduce your carbon footprint and embrace the concept of “slow travel” by exploring destinations more thoroughly and reducing the frequency of trips. It will also broaden your experience as a volunteer!

Understanding and calculating our ecological footprint (calculate yours here) is key to realising the broader impact of our choices on the planet. By being aware of the resources we consume and the waste we generate, we can make informed decisions that contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

More infos also on MyClimate: https://www.myclimate.org/de-ch/ 

Eating locally:

Supporting local farmers and producers not only fosters community resilience but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting goods over long distances. Choosing locally-sourced, seasonal products promotes sustainable agricultural practices and ensures a fresher, more environmentally friendly food supply.

Food Sharing and Food Waste Reduction:

Food sharing initiatives are a practical way to combat food waste. Instead of discarding excess food, sharing it within communities reduces the overall demand for production and minimises the environmental impact associated with food disposal. Being mindful of our consumption habits and reducing food waste at an individual level also plays a crucial role in sustainability.

Plant-based Diet and Veganism: 

Consider the environmental toll of our dietary choices. Adopting a vegan lifestyle can substantially reduce our carbon footprint. Animal agriculture is massively responsible for climate change and environmental destruction, because it uses enormous amounts of resources (water, land use etc.) and emits enormous amounts of greenhouse gases (e.g. CO2 and methane). By choosing plant-based alternatives, we contribute to mitigating these environmental impacts, promoting biodiversity, and supporting a more sustainable food system.

If you would like to have more information and recipes, you can read A daily plate of peace and non-violence (SCI Austria, SCI Germany, SCI Hungary – ÚTILAPU, SCI Italy, SCI Madrid, SCI Poland, VCZ Croatia, VIA Belgium and VSI Ireland, 2020).

Fast Fashion and Secondhand Clothes:

The fashion industry is a significant contributor to pollution and resource depletion. Opting for sustainable and ethical fashion, embracing second-hand or exchange clothes helps reduce the demand for “fast fashion”. By making conscious choices in our shopping behaviour, we contribute to the reduction of waste and support environmentally-friendly practices within the fashion industry.

More infos about Fast Fashion: https://www.publiceye.ch/de/themen/mode 

Save Water and Energy:

Simple measures, such as fixing leaks, using water-efficient appliances and being mindful of our daily water consumption, contribute significantly to reducing water waste. Embracing energy-saving practices is a pivotal step in curbing this impact. From using energy-efficient appliances to turning off lights and electronics when not in use, every action matters. Transitioning to renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, further reduces our carbon footprint.

Get active and support local actions for our planet and climate justice! 

Here are some environmental organisations which you can support before and after coming back from your volunteering project: