As members of Rotary we are in a great position to organise and participate in projects to protect our environment and communities which we care so much about.
Throughout the UK Rotarians are organising projects to raise awareness and to make changes which contribute to environmental sustainability. Small actions taken by many people can make a bit difference, whether is re-cycling, re-wilding, planting trees or walking to work.
Here in the West Country it feels like nature is in control, but we have all noticed the changes in our climate here. How is this affecting our communities? How is increased tourism impacting on nature? Are we doing enough in our own lives to re-cycle what we consume and help create a circular economy?
Throughout the UK Rotary members are planning projects and raising awareness, with Eco Fairs, school book re-cycling, community vegetable gardens and litter picks. We talk about it but what are we doing in our communities?
If you are organising, or participating in an environmental sustainability project in your community, please email me about it so that we can share with others.
Here are some examples of what is going on throughout the UK which may help you if you need some ideas.
“Think of an idea, research, and put it into action”
That is what the Rotary Young Environmentalist Competition is asking young people to do.
This competition is open to young people from 7 to 17 years old and Rotary clubs in Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset are looking for groups or individuals to take part in local and regional heats for this national competition.
Check here to see the winning projects for 2021 .
Last years theme has been repeated due to the pandemic, so the theme for 2021-22 is:
“Climate Change / Carbon Reduction”
This competition encourages young people to interact with the environment address serious issues and explore solutions to the problems. Participants are encouraged to explore, investigate, research and undertake an environmental sustainability project on the theme of ‘Climate Change/Carbon Reduction’.
If you are a school, or organiser for any youth group, which is interested in taking part in this competition, then please contact email@example.com to and we will help you to find a participating Rotary club near you.
I was great to see so many Rotarians bringing their own mugs to the District Forum last Saturday.
Those that did will have noticed that they got more coffee for their £1 and had the satisfaction of knowing that they were reducing the amount of waste from the event. We are now looking into getting some Rotary branded travel mugs produced so that you can promote Rotary as well as enjoy your coffee.
Club Environmental Sustainability Policy
It is a year since RIBI produced a Club Environmental Sustainability Policy which contains some guidlines for us all. Have any clubs in District 1200 adopted this? The policy has deliberately been kept simple so that even the smallest of Clubs will not have any difficulty in achieving it.
We hear so much about environmental sustainability but what else can we actually do?
I have searched the RIBI site and have found some leaflets which might give some ideas which help to answer this question.
Other Environmental News from RIBI – November 2019
The Rodney Huggins Environmental Awards recognise Rotary Clubs which are carrying out or supporting projects which are designed to improve the environment and demonstrate sustainability. The closing date this Rotary year is 31st January 2020. Environmental project. The entry form and criteria are on the website – https://www.rotarygbi.org/media/2018/05/2018-19-Rodney-Huggins-Award-Entry-Form1.pdf
More information about all RIBI Environmental initiatives can be found on the RotaryGBI website: https://www.rotarygbi.org/members/humanitarian-serviceprogrammes/community/environment-sustainability-group/
ESRAG – Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group
Do take a look at the ESRAG website: www.esrag.org you can sign up to receive the Newsletters. They are full of interesting articles concerning the Environment and Sustainability.
District 1200 Environment Officer
This was the discussion we had at the Environmental Sustainability breakout session at the District Forum on Saturday when we started to share ideas.
As individuals we are all doing what we feel we can to address the issue of single use plastic and the need to maximise recycling and minimise land fill. But what can we do as Rotarians. These are some of the ideas we discussed but we need more, lots more ideas so please contribute by adding a comment on this post or contact us with ideas.
- Appoint someone to take a lead on environmental sustainability.
- Can we make our events more sustainable by better recycling? Mixed re-cycling mostly goes to create aggregate so separation is better.
- Sell reusable cups at our events.
- Tree planting projects.
- Inner Wheel who serve coffees for us at the District Forum are keen to work with us to eliminate the use of plastic cups at the forum. Some of those used on Saturday were biodegradable, but they are happy to fill your own re-useable coffee cup, and yes they will fill it so you may get more coffee for your £1. So please bring your reusable cups to the next District Forum.
This new competition introduced by RIBI encourages young people to explore, investigate, research and undertake an environmental sustainability project on the theme of “Waste Minimisation”. Our speaker from Somerset Waste Partnership suggested that there is room for improvement in schools when it comes to waste management, so maybe this Rotary competition can help?
This Rotary Action Group is currently encouraging us to take part in World Environment Day on June 5. It is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations (UN) stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment.
Visit the ESRAG web site to find our more about this and Rotary projects worldwide which are making a difference, and to download an Environment Day Handbook for Rotary Clubs. (love the Rotarians for Bees project in Australia)
If your club is involved in projects or activity to help protect our environment, or you would like to share some ideas and maybe work with other clubs, please let me know and I will share them on Circa 1200.
District 1200 – Environmental Sustainability Officer