Cultivating Environmental Consciousness: Navigating the Path to Sustainable Living and Mental Well-being

Course overview

This immersive 5-day course is designed to equip educators with the knowledge and strategies to navigate the delicate balance between environmental awareness and eco-anxiety, fostering a holistic approach to sustainable living and mental well-being. Participants will embark on a journey that explores the evolving landscape of sustainability, addressing ecological understanding and the emotional challenges it may bring.

The course will delve into the foundations of understanding our planet’s delicate ecosystems, exploring key concepts such as biodiversity, climate change, and the impact of human activities on the environment. Through engaging discussions and case studies, participants will unravel the interconnectedness of our actions and the natural world, fostering a profound sense of environmental consciousness.

Emphasis will be placed on confronting eco-anxiety, a psychological aspect associated with environmental concerns. Participants will explore coping mechanisms and strategies to channel anxiety into constructive action, acknowledging and addressing these anxieties to build resilience and foster a positive mindset towards sustainable living.

The course will introduce participants to the concept of ‘nature therapy,’ highlighting the positive effects of spending time in natural surroundings on mental health. Participants will learn self-care practices and interactive sessions to navigate the emotional challenges associated with eco-anxiety.

Participants will be empowered with practical approaches and lifestyle choices that contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly existence. From eco-conscious consumerism to adopting renewable energy practices, this segment aims to provide tangible actions that individuals can integrate into their daily lives to make a positive impact on the environment.

To enhance the learning experience and provide a cultural context, the course will incorporate a guided visit to a local museum, heritage site, or eco-conscious initiative. This visit will allow participants to explore the cultural richness of the area, draw inspiration from sustainable practices, and gain insights into incorporating inclusive and green dimensions into their teaching methodologies.

Tentative schedule:

Day 1: Introduction to environmental awareness and eco-anxiety

  • Icebreakers and networking activities
  • Introduction to the course and participants
  • Overview of the course methodology and expectations
  • Exploring the importance of environmental awareness and sustainable living
  • Understanding the concept of eco-anxiety and its impact on mental well-being
  • Group discussions: Sharing personal experiences and challenges related to environmental concerns

Day 2: Nurturing environmental consciousness

  • Key concepts in environmental awareness: Biodiversity, climate change, and human impact
  • Case studies and discussions on the interconnectedness of human actions and the natural world
  • Strategies for preventing the effects of environmental issues on mental health

Day 3: Confronting eco-anxiety and embracing nature therapy

  • Exploring coping mechanisms and strategies for channeling eco-anxiety into constructive action
  • Building resilience and fostering a positive mindset towards sustainable living
  • Introduction to the concept of ‘nature therapy’ and its benefits for mental well-being
  • Interactive sessions: Practicing nature-based mindfulness and self-care practices

Day 4: Sustainable living practices and cultural exploration

  • Practical approaches and lifestyle choices for sustainable and eco-friendly living
  • Eco-conscious consumerism and adopting renewable energy practices
  • Cultural visit (e.g. museum, heritage site) guided in English to explore local heritage and sustainability practices
  • Post-visit activities: Incorporating cultural elements and sustainable practices into educational settings

Day 5: Integrating environmental awareness and mental well-being

  • Strategies for fostering a supportive classroom environment that nurtures ecological consciousness and emotional well-being
  • Communicating and advocating for sustainable living in educational settings
  • Addressing mental health concerns related to environmental issues
  • Course evaluation and feedback
  • Certification ceremony

The classes typically run from 9 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon, with the afternoon and evening reserved for self-reflection and individual study. However, the course schedule may be adjusted to accommodate the preferences of the participants and the availability of instructors or external learning locations. Participants will receive the finalized schedule well in advance, allowing ample time for preparation and planning.

Learning outcomes:

The participants will be able to:

  • Analyze key environmental concepts, including biodiversity, climate change, and the impact of human activities on the environment.
  • Evaluate the psychological aspects of eco-anxiety and develop strategies for emotional well-being and resilience.
  • Integrate nature-based mindfulness practices and self-care techniques into educational settings to promote mental well-being.
  • Implement practical approaches and sustainable living practices, such as eco-conscious consumerism and renewable energy practices, in their personal and professional lives.
  • Communicate and advocate for sustainable living practices in educational settings, fostering environmental awareness and responsible decision-making.
  • Address mental health concerns related to environmental issues, providing support and guidance to students and colleagues.
  • Navigate the emotional challenges associated with environmental concerns, fostering a positive mental outlook and a balanced approach to sustainable living.
  • Collaborate with fellow educators to share best practices, strategies, and resources for integrating environmental awareness and mental well-being into educational settings.
  • Incorporate cultural elements and inspiration from local heritage and sustainable practices into their teaching methodologies, promoting inclusive and environmentally conscious practices.
  • Develop a comprehensive action plan for cultivating environmental consciousness and promoting mental well-being through sustainable living practices in educational settings.

Course fee:

  • 400 euro per participant (covered entirely by the Erasmus grant)

Course fee includes:

  • At least 25 hours of course content;
  • Course materials;
  • Certificate of participation;
  • Europass, on request;
  • Learning / Mobility Agreement;
  • Visits to local institutions, if available;
  • Personalized support;
  • Free high-speed WIFI internet at the POU Čakovec premises;
  • Refreshments;
  • Administration costs;
  • Dissemination materials.
Skip to content