Learning goal: taking responsibility for the environment and other people

The City of Espoo wants to serve as a responsible pioneer and provides its residents different opportunities for learning sustainable living skills. Adopting a sustainable lifestyle requires education in environmental sensitivity and responsibility. It is important to understand that we are part of nature and entirely dependent on its services, i.e., ecosystem services. In addition to information, experiences and personal action play an important part in environmental responsibility education.

Lessons for children and young people

Sustainable development is the goal of education and the principle governing all operations in day care and schools in Espoo. Children and young people are trained to make sustainable choices according to their age. The nature schools of Villa Elfvik and Haltia and Polku Environmental School support schools and day-care centres in sustainable development education.

Sustainable development programmes, such as the Eco-Schools Programme, help to divide the extensive agenda into sections suitable for everyday school and day care activities and to ensure that children participate in the actual implementation. Children and young people can also participate in the Our Bin and Papuposset projects.

Children and young people carry the lifestyle lessons they learn home with them. You can support environmental sensitivity education by having your children spend time in a natural environment. The guided family tours organised by Villa Elfvik and the Nature Saturdays at Haltia also increase environmental knowledge.

Espoo Youth Services has prepared a sustainable development education model, including practical activity tips for youth workers.

Education for adults

Did you know that the Espoo Adult Education Centre has participated in developing a sustainable development certificate for the use of liberal adult education?

At the Espoo Adult Education Centre, you can learn, for example, how to prepare vegetarian dishes or to compost. You can search for related courses through the Ilmonet system using the search words sustainable development, environment or nature.

The guided tours of ground heating use at Nature House Villa Elfvik offer visitors the chance to learn about an environmentally friendly heating method. Exhibitions, excursions and courses are also available. In autumn 2016, the nature house will open a “path to a sustainable lifestyle”, which introduces visitors to the operations of the nature house. You will also receive tips applicable to your everyday life.

If you need guidance in sustainable lifestyle skills for a larger group of people, such as a housing company, a company board, or a team of co-workers, please contact the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre’s education services.

The city’s work units include over 500 trained eco-supporters, who have been assigned with the task of encouraging and guiding the other members of the work community in environmentally responsible operations. Eco-support activities help to incorporate environmental affairs into everyday life at city workplaces and make the services produced by the city more environmentally responsible. In practice, eco-support activities are manifested in the form of energy savings, reduced waste and environmentally friendly procurement and mobility choices. The activities also yield financial savings.

Cooperation enhances the promotion of sustainable living

The City of Espoo has understood the importance of cooperation and networking in conjunction with sustainable development. The joint Neuvokkaat steering group of the different city units regularly convenes with the Toimekkaat working group to examine how to promote sustainable development in upbringing and education.

Regional cooperation is being conducted with, for example, the Uusimaa environmental education and awareness expert group Välke. Espoo is also a member of the UN University's Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE) network. Espoo (RCE) operations are intended to increase awareness of sustainable development and living among all age groups in the municipality.