in the mid-1980’s the German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) developed its first pedagogic programmes concerning nature and climate, including the idea of the “Environmental|Youth Hostels” (then known as environmental place of study). In 1989 the youth hostel in Prien became the first “Environmental|Youth Hostel”. Today, 19 hostels have been awarded this certificate.
Environmental Department in German Youth Hostel Association (DJH)
The Environmental Department was founded In the Headquarters of the German Youth Hostel Association (DJH). Its central task is the development and updating of the “Guide for protection of the environment and environmental education in youth hostels” with tips for climate friendly management.
Sunday - Fun-day
In the project “Sunday - Fun-day” the German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) developed modular programmes for class trips and holiday courses discussing solar energy.
Innovative: from Mirow to Brilon
In 2000 the youth hostel in Mirow was opened, in which all of the innovative concepts for an environmental friendly construction and everyday business were included.
The programme “Having a good time, naturally!” of the youth hostel in Brilon was considered a pilot-project by the world exhibition “Expo 2000” in Hannover.
Declaration of Sustainability
The German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) signed off a declaration of sustainability, in which the German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) confesses, in awareness of its responsibility for a liveable world and for the preservation of the next generation’s right to develop freely, that it will promote sustainable development.”
In the national park Haunch the youth hostel Lauterbach opened the “rainforest-life-camp”, which included the innovative, eco-pedagogic Game “Nakundu”.
The youth hostel in Brilon offered the first CO2-neutral class trip.
In cooperation with the BzGA (the federal centre for health education) and the environmental umbrella brand Viabono the German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) started the project called “future friends”. Its goal was to arouse teenager’s interest in topics like climate- and environmental protection, health and social responsibility. Ongoing commitment was rewarded with prizes.
The Unterweser - Ems state association of the German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) developed a sustainable business plan for its 32 youth hostels. It includes all aspects, from purchase to staff development. One main focal point was to make sustainability measurable.
Animate the future!
In 2011 the German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) started an animated film project called “Animate the future!” Funded by the Federal foundation for environmental issues, children and teenagers discussed sustainability in youth hostels during their class trips or holiday courses. In 2014 there will also be an animated film competition, more information at www.nachhaltige-trickfilme.de.
New projects in the year of sustainability
The German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) is developing the profile of the new “Fit & Healthy Youth Hostel” from the project “Having a good time, naturally!”, that has been running since 1995. It will begin in 2014! Another new project is called “Geogames”. It combines the experience of nature with communication technology.
Up for the future!
25 years of sustainability is a good start! Together with our guests, we want to continue along this track and make our contribution to sustainable development even greater.