Although more than 48 million people in the world are living in hunger, globally around 1,300 tonnes of food waste ends up in landfills.

In this podcast episode, Alex Rendell explains how environmental education, in particular, outdoor learning, could help build a love for nature and influence behaviour towards more sustainable consumption patterns especially for the younger generation.

Alex is a well-known actor, influencer, and environmental advocate, who uses his voice to empower children to become leaders for a sustainable future through a co-founding initiative of the Environmental Education Centre (EEC) Thailand .

From environmental education to sustainable food consumption

In Thailand, many kids spend at least 40 hours per week or around 1,200 hours per year sitting inside the classroom learning extensive mathematics and sciences without the understanding of how this could contribute to either their personal success or environmental health.

Not that these subjects are not important. According to Alex: “Realistically speaking, most of us don’t need math in our lives. Everyone needs sustainability in their lives, and I don’t think that is taken seriously enough.”

In order to build a healthy environment, it is not enough to just asking people to change.

To influence genuine behavioural change, Alex says that priority needs to be placed on providing the appropriate learning tools and a proper learning environment for children. EEC is a leading social enterprise dedicated to environmental education through structured activities centred around nature.

“If you have a process, a learning process for them to understand, I think that’s a good start for them to actually understand. So, in my contribution, I tend to educate people to have that awareness and have that care and it’s up to them to be able to go make a difference in their own way.”

“Learning about food is also a very interesting subject because everyone can relate to, you don’t need people that love the environment to want to learn about food,” he said.

This SEI Asia miniseries exploring the different facets of circular food systems is part of our work with the Think20 (T20), the official engagement group of the Group of Twenty (G20) for think tanks and academics.

Listen to the podcast below: