03 July 2024 • 6 Mins Read

A Hope-Driven Approach To Learning About Sustainability

Climate change is high on educators' and students' agendas, so it’s not surprising that new research findings from the British Science Association (BSA) states that 7 in 10 young people in the UK aged between 14-18 years would welcome the opportunity to learn more about climate change in school (72%).

7 in 10 young people also felt that climate change education should be included across all subjects, further reinforcing the proposition that this topic has become increasingly important to young people across the country.

With this in mind, it’s critical that we help to support and empower young people to become independent thought-leaders, equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions about climate issues.

Findings from a recent YouGov poll showed that only 9% of people aged 16-24 felt that they have a great deal of influence in making decisions about climate change. This figure alone shows that more needs to be done to prioritise effective climate education that helps young people to feel empowered and motivated to incite and influence positive change inside and outside of school.

Understanding our impact on the environment is essential when traveling abroad

With many tourist destinations struggling to manage the environmental impact of high visitor numbers and climate change, creating the next generation of responsible tourists is part of our hope-driven approach to educational travel.

Our wide range of STEM and Geography trips incorporate the theme of climate change and its effects, which is of enormous interest to students who want to learn firsthand about different approaches to protecting the environment and managing resources.    

Other tours also cover sustainability, climate issues, and the environment, as we know that supporting classroom learning about the causes and impacts of these topics, along with firsthand learning about the solutions, helps to broaden students' understanding and lessen their anxiety.

We make the environment more tangible and real

On our school tours, students have the chance to explore the topics they hear about on social media and the news, such as conserving energy and water, minimising waste, and reducing pollution.

You don’t need to be on a Geography trip to cover topics linked to sustainability. Discovering how different countries or cities manage their public recycling stations, or their approach to creating green spaces within cities will broaden students' understanding of the topic.

One of the ways we reduce the climate impact of our tours is by most school tours traveling to Europe by coach rather than airplane, offering a more sustainable way to travel.

Students learn about how their actions and behaviours can have a positive impact

In addition to traveling by road and taking walking tours, throughout their school tour students learn how their decisions and actions affect the environment and how small changes can have a positive impact.

We encourage groups to avoid using single-use plastics, to reduce their plastic consumption by taking their own refillable water bottles, and to take a tote bag or rucksack for souvenir shopping.   

While learning about environmental science, students also develop independent thought and practical problem-solving skills as they conduct investigations, record their results and discuss their findings.

Wherever they go, we want students on our tours to come home inspired about the world, and with a renewed sense of hope for the environment and future.  

Responsible transport

Approximately 65% of our tours are operated by coach, which is one of the cleanest ways to travel in terms of calculating average carbon footprint per passenger. We’re also a key partner of National Express transport solutions, whose stated aim is to move their coach fleet to be fully zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

Reducing paper usage

Gone are the days when teachers practically needed an extra bag to carry all the paperwork needed when embarking on a school trip! 

We use the Vamoos travel app to provide a paper-free alternative to store documents such as itineraries, medical records, insurance details, and vouchers for visits, as well as having lots of useful information like maps and weather for the destination.   

Likewise in our offices, we have significantly reduced our paper usage through the digitalisation of processes linked to finance, operations, and marketing.  

Sleeping easy

Premier Inn, part of the Whitbread group is one of our top providers of accommodation in the UK and as a Force for Good, they are targeting 20% less water usage per sleeper by 2030 and aim to be net zero by 2040.

We’re also partnered with Meininger Hotels in Germany, which are powered by 100% green electricity and as a hotel group, have reduced single-use plastic by 95%.

We show, not just tell

Traveling outside of the UK means students can experience different environments and biodiversity in other countries. Tours covering conservation work in various countries can give a more comprehensive understanding of the impact on different species.

For example, science groups visiting Valencia have the opportunity to go on two extraordinary excursions. One is to La Albufera Natural Park which is the site of a large freshwater lagoon and features nature in all its glory: dunes, wetlands, birds, fauna and the beaches of El Saler, which is surrounded by rice fields.

The other tour is to Bioparc. In this innovative 100,000-square-metre zoo within the former Turia Riverbed, students experience ‘zoo immersion’, where visitors are immersed in the animals' habitats.

Equally, students visiting Barcelona can spend a day studying coastal landscape and ecosystem analysis on the Bay of Roses. In contrast, students visiting Iceland see many incredible geographical features on the ‘South Shore Adventure’, including waterfalls, glaciers, and a black sand beach, where they can see first-hand the impact climate change has had on Iceland’s glaciers and how sustainable tourism has developed.  

Earth Summit: the pinnacle of climate change learning

Our popular Earth Summit event welcomes approximately 500 students to Keele University every year to enhance their environmental education through interactive workshops and educational seminars.

This 2-day event provides students with a chance to take part in a wide-ranging examination of the factors causing climate change, the effects it is having on biodiversity, and promoting sustainably at home, at school, and in the community.

It also provides students with a chance to experience student life at Keele University, an institution that is market leading in sustainability, conducting groundbreaking research into climate change and renewable technologies and aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Attending the Earth Summit Conference deepens learning on sustainability beyond the cause and impact, offering learning, education, and hope to the young people attending. We also partner with Treedom to plant a tree for each attendee in the Next Generation Forests around the world.

This popular event sells quickly, so if you’re interested in attending Earth Summit 2025 don’t miss out and contact us today.

It’s made me want to do more and when I go home, do little things to change.
Student attending Earth Summit, 2023


Ready to start our journey together?

However you engage with us, we’re committed to a hope-driven approach to teaching about the environment to ensure the next generation can continue to benefit from travel experiences. We’re here to help you support a hope-driven route to teaching about the environment.

For more information on how we can support your pupils’ learning, please call one of our educational travel experts on 01253 441900, email us at enquiries@ngttravel.com or get a quote here: https://www.ngttravel.com/get-a-quote/

Next Generation Travel is the parent company and driving force behind the UK’s fastest-growing and most innovative educational travel brands. Since 1988, we’ve offered unique, immersive tours to young people aged 10 to 21.

All our unforgettable adventures are designed to open minds, empower learning and encourage personal growth. Our tours have enabled thousands of young people to enjoy time away from home, learn, bond with their groups and come home brimming over with stories and memories that will last a lifetime, as well as increased confidence in their own abilities.

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Geography Trips To Bay Of Naples
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