Sustainability and Overnight Trips in Outdoor Education

Enjoy a rich, fruitful and inspiring discussion about sustainability and overnight trips as part of outdoor education programs! This episode is unique and a must watch for anyone interested in sustainability issues associated with outdoor overnight trips across pedagogical contexts and beyond.

a campfire and a tent lit from the inside in a nighttime landscape
Campsite by night. Photo: Pexels.

In this episode, four panel members from varying backgrounds and cultural perspectives from around the world share their expertise, reflections, and experiences with overnight trips and sustainability issues.

It’s been over 35 years since the Brundtland report titled ‘Our Common Future’ shed light on the impacts of human behavior on the natural environment and raised global awareness on sustainability. Since then, sustainability has become a term that influences people’s thoughts and actions to greater or lesser degrees and across a many different of contexts. 

A wide range of outdoor learning programs taking place beyond local spaces facilitate opportunities for connecting people to the natural world, raising environmental awareness, and for eliciting personal and social development. All outdoor programs involve making decisions about a range of practices, such as the location, venue, modes of transportation, food, clothing, equipment, waste, and more.  

These practices all come with costs – some of which may lie in contrast to a program’s stated sustainability ethos. It is thus reasonable to ask, ‘To what degree are these costs justifiable?’.  

This episode consists of two parts: 1) the pecha kucha presentations of the panel members, and 2) the full panel discussion.

Watch the full panel discussion here: 

Prior to the panel discussion, each panel member presented a pecha kucha presentation addressing two principal questions:

  1. Is there such a things as an environmentally acceptable outdoor education experience that takes place beyond local spaces?
  2. On what basis can decisions surrounding the degree to which the environmental costs of outdoor education experiences away from home be made?

The pecha kucha presentations can be viewed here: