Community Environmental Action
Taking action on your own or with others isn’t just for the good of plants and animals – it’s also good for you and your community.
There are many opportunities in the household. Small changes can lead to big change; whether you’re doing the weekly shop, having a spring clean or organising a big event, there are lots of ways to make a difference, including cutting carbon emissions from food transport, sending less waste to landfill and supporting small farmers at home and abroad.
Detailed information is provided in the Documents section.
At a community level, the possibilities are even greater. A range of ideas and examples can be found in the Ideas for Community Environmental Projects document.
Adapt an Existing Group
Do you have or know of a local group whose interests are relevant to environmental issues? There are various sources of support to help community groups embrace environmental action:
- A tool called Sus It Out was launched in 2006 to help guide any group of active citizens (e.g. local choirs, playgroups and sports clubs) who want to contribute to improving quality of life for themselves and others
- For church groups, the Eco-Congregation Scotland scheme is a valuable source of support
- School groups can receive help through Eco-Schools Scotland
Start a New Group
If you do not have a group, why not create one? The following organisations provide general start-up support:
- East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action (EDVA)
- East Dunbartonshire Council’s Community Grants Scheme can help with start-up costs; see ‘Find Funding’ below
- Seeds For Change provide training and support to grassroots campaigners, NGOs, Co-ops and other community groups and organisations in the social sector
Recruit New Members
If you don’t yet have the critical mass for a group, or wish to expand your membership, EDVA may provide a means of recruiting people. Another option is to join up with local schools, a powerful force for environmental change; remember that secondary schools are more likely to be free outwith exam time.
Training for Environmental Groups
Tailored support for groups interested in environmental projects is available from the following sources:
- The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) Scotland provides information, resources/equipment and other services to support community conservation. Their Community Network provides additional services, including help with insurance and grants, discounts on equipment and subsidised places on training courses.
- Friends of the Earth Scotland's Environmental Justice course (Higher Education Certificate) at Queen Margaret University College helps people to get more involved in environmental justice campaigns in their community. Fee waivers of 100% may be available.
Support for climate change groups is also available from Scottish Communities Climate Action Network (CAN).
Funding for community environmental projects is available from a number of sources, within and outwith the Council. The Council's Community Grants Scheme funds a range of projects - yours may qualify. For greenspace projects, support is available from the Greenspace Team. If your group is interested in projects relating to transport or access, the Council's Transport and Access Team may be able to help.
Your project is most likely to succeed if it combines environmental benefits with social and economic ones. For example, a recycling project is more likely to attract funding if it can provide a useful service and job opportunities for local people, especially those in need.
If your activities are innovative, you may even be eligible for an award.