CPIT student wants youth involved in sustainablity

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12 Oct 2012

What engages youth in sustainability actions? CPIT Bachelor of Sustainability and Outdoor Education student Erin Strampel is investigating this question for her final year research project and believes youth need to be more involved in the design of the future Christchurch.

Erin recently returned from the Australian Association of Environmental Education conference in Melbourne where she was inspired by speakers who examined ways of creating action through education.

“With youth it is all about making projects convenient and relevant. Environmental action and sustainability need to be integrated into education for it to become a social norm and a habit. Educating the next generation is essential,” Erin says.

A particularly interesting idea for Erin was youth being involved with designing parks and outdoor spaces, something she would like to see more of in Christchurch.

Image of Erin Strampel

“Asking youth what they actually want and bringing them into the design phase helps to create spaces where they really want to be. It shows youth that they are important.”

An Eco tour of the CERES Eco Hub in Melbourne has further fuelled Erin’s passion for creating a sustainable community space on CPIT’s Madras Street Campus where people can learn more about environmental sustainability.

Erin has already developed the beginnings of a Community Garden with Sustainability Community Co-Founder Freya O'Donoghue. The project has contributed to Erin’s research by giving her opportunities to practise getting youth involved in sustainability.

Erin is now involved with the planning of the New Zealand Association of Environmental Education conference in 2014.