Established and adopted by Youth Environmental Parliament
April 22, 2006
Znamenka - Peterhof - St.-Petersburg, RUSSIA
Youth Environmental Parliament (YEP) was organized by Friends of the Baltic NGO
with the support of Nordic Council of Ministers and assistance of Youth Environmental Club "Domovjonok", theater studio "Rubikon", Lomonosov Center of Youth Environmental Tourism "The South Shore", "Optimal World" NGO RUSSIA; Tölö gymnasium, Högstadieskolan Lönkan school, Porkkala Senior High School, Joutseno upper secondary school, FINLAND; Östra Reals gymnasium SWEDEN, Center for applied ecology ESTONIA.
YEP considered 4 main areas, where environmentally friendly behavior may form environmental lifestyle and play significant role for securing favorable environment and nature conservation:
Environmentally friendly house/dwelling place;
Environmentally friendly food;
Environmental mentality and culture.
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY HOUSE
These 5 orders are important to us in regards to this subject. We will try to follow them and educate our friends and family about them.
Improved water quality
Be informed about where your water comes from. Try to influence on the purity of your water. Use your water rationally. Avoid putting things in the water that shouldn't be there.
Minimize your waste by separating your garbage. Think about your ecological footprint.
Be cautious with the amount of radiation you expose yourself to. Think about the noise level.
If you can, try to use renewable sources of energy: like solar, wind, bio etc. Try to save energy: better insulation and regulation to save heat-energy. For electricity, use energysaving appliances like bulbs, turn off the "stand-by" function, use appliances rationally, use automatic electrosystems etc. "Use renewable energy-it just keeps coming backů"
Building materials and interiors
Use local materials to avoid long transportation. Use natural, non-toxic materials like: wood, clay etc. Use materials with eco-labels. Use recyclable materials and less of synthetic materials, like plastic.
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY FOOD
These 6 orders are important to us. Our goal is to educate people around the Baltic Sea about them and to follow these orders if possible.
Locally produced food
To minimize transports and emissions it is important to buy food that is produced near your home. Food produced near you is fresh and more tasteful. You also strengthen your local economy by supporting local workers and you minimize the ecological footprint.
"Its better to eat Russian apples then South American bananas."
Ecological farming is cultivation without unnatural fertilizers, pesticides and other harmful methods. It also includes a good and humane way of growing pigs, chicken etc. We also should be careful about GMO and nanotechnology.
"Artificial fertilizers destroys the Baltic sea when disposed from rivers."
Exported food must be Fair Trade. This means local farmers can grow their own land and live well. Fair Trade-products are therefore believed to be better to the environment. Big companies should not take out the profit from the local farmers.
To eat more vegetables instead of meat helps to save energy and our natural resources. Plants can feed 10 times more people than the equal amount of meat produced out of plants. Plants are also better for your health.
No artificial additives
It's better to use natural, unprocessed food with no extra chemicals, coloring, conservation's etc.
Less garbage and waste
It is important to minimize packages (plastic and paper). We must not take more food then we could eat and decompose organic waste, recycle paper etc.
We consider 6 main issues to be followed for securing environmentally friendly way for tourism, recreation and traveling. In the Baltic Sea region it is especially important to implement these rules in the sensitive coastal areas. Our goal is wide public education.
Don't overuse natural resources
Don't use more goods, energy, land, water or other resources, than you really need for travelling and recreation.
Travel without harming nature
Don't pollute nature, use more recyclable products/materials, use less plastic and chemicals, put waste in its right place or recycle it, compost your own organic waste, be specially careful in sensitive areas (for example coastal zones and wetlands).
Choose environmentally friendly vehicle
Planes, buses and cars harm nature very much.
To go by bicycle, boat or train is more environmentally friendly and helps you to feel and enjoy nature.
Contribute to the conservation and development
Choose tourist products and services, which help the local development and conservation of local nature and historical objects.
Support local producers (handicraft, art and food).
Support environmentally friendly tourist companies (for example Green Key hotels), local organic food, other products with eco-labels.
Learn and respect different culture
Consider local circumstances, behave according to local culture and traditions. Your respect and interest makes local people proud of their nature and cultural values.
Avoid mass tourism
Don't go to tourist resorts which big groups of tourists visit.
ENVIRONMENTAL MENTHALITY AND CULTURE
Decrease overlarge consumption by introducing new values
Show people what values are real and what are commercial. We cannot decrease people's demands, by ordering them to do something or not. But we can show them other values - relationships, emotions, good deeds and health.
Mass media should pay less attention to commercials and more to environmental friendly lifestyles.
Solve ecological problems together
While finding out how to solve the problems of our ecological culture, we should take into mind differences between countries and persons. Solving common ecological problems might also make us more tolerant towards people from other countries and cultures.
Renew forgotten traditions
Traditional lifestyle is environmentally friendly, and people in former times lived very close to nature. Their way of getting energy, building houses, growing plants - was very natural. Sometimes we don't need to invent things to make the environment better - just to remember old traditions.
Give practical information on both local and global levels
To tie the theoretical teaching of ecological subjects in schools to practical ecology we should move from subject-orientated to problem-orientated education and present examples of how individual peoples' actions really matter:
- give information in pictures, interesting facts, presented in a way that makes it easy to understand.
- have a balance between negative and positive info, because people will just run away when everything is bad.
Reconnect people to nature
Make it possible for people to realize that nature is not something you visit from time to time, but that we are a part of it.
Stop hoping for miracles - do it yourself!
Be more attentive to nature, do things to solve local problems. Give advice how everyone can improve the environment.
In your everyday life follow environmentally friendly approach in household, in food, in planning of purchases, in travelling. Think about your footprint before doing something!
PARTICIPANTS OF INTERNATIONAL YOUTH ENVIRONMENTAL PARLIAMENT 2006 DECIDED TO DISTRIBUTE THIS CODE OF ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY BEHAVIOR IN THEIR COUNTRIES - AMONG SCHOOLS, NGOS, RESIDENTS AND MORE WIDELY IN THE SOCIETY.