Taking individual action to tackle a global problem can feel a bit overwhelming. Coming together as a community will make the challenge seem more achievable, keeps motivation high, amplifies the impacts and helps build momentum. The more groups we have working locally and talking about climate change, the easier it becomes for people to make climate friendly decisions. Together, bit by bit, we can create new norms in society, which will eventually feed through to local and national Governments to force them to meet their responsibilities on the climate emergency.
Being part of group is good for each of us too. Working together with others in your community gives us a sense of belonging, of being part of something bigger and informs how we see ourselves. Volunteering builds confidence, self-esteem and skills, as well as allowing us to meet new people and form long lasting friendships. Joining a local group is good for our physical health too, as often it means being physically active, and being part of a commuity promotes good mental health.
Taking organised climate action doesn’t have to mean placards, marches and gluing yourself to trains! Across Fife, organisations are tackling the climate emergency by supporting their communities to make small behaviour changes to their everyday lives. Often these changes have other community benefits, such as helping people save money, to eat better, become healthier or gain skills. Most organisations rely on volunteers to carry out their work and have different roles to suit different skill sets. Contact Fife Voluntary Action for help finding a suitable organisation for you.
Groups in Fife are taking action on climate in a number of different ways:
Food – These types of activities focus on climate friendly cooking skills, waste reduction and using local produce. Often such organisations turn locally grown or surplus food into meals for their community, so as well as reducing emissions they are helping people eat well. Greener Kirkcaldy are a good example.
Growing – by teaching people to grow their own vegetables, communities cut down on CO2 emissions created by transporting and packaging vegetables. It also encourages people to buy local and in season produce. Growing organisations provide locals with tasty and healthy food too. Check out Eats Rosyth growing project.
Active Transport – these organisations encourage people to walk or cycle for local short journeys rather than take the car. They help people access affordable second hand bikes, offer classes in bike maintenance, run cycle training and led rides. Some manage bike-borrowing schemes for free too. Transition University of St Andrews have an excellent bike project.
Reuse and repair – some organisation’s mission is to prevent waste ending up in landfill, whether it is food, clothes, electronics, tools or something else. This is achieved through repair workshops, community fridges, tool libraries, donation schemes and swap shops. The Ecology Centre run a tool library and tool repair scheme.
Climate conversations and awareness – making people feel confident to talk about climate change is very important for enabling change. A number of organisation hold workshops, training and events to give people a forum to learn and share their views and concerns. Many organisation produce web and social media content to educate and inspire conversation. PLANT in Tayport host carbon conversations.
Nature – Wildlife is struggling to adapt to our changing climate and ever-growing human population. There are a number of groups doing their bit to help, from planting trees to managing bracken, to creating ponds.. Some groups specialise in certain species, whilst others do a bit of everything. Fife Amphibian and Reptile Group are a good example.
Once you have joined your chosen group, talk about it with your friends, family, colleagues and anyone else who will listen. Tell them what you do and why you do it – tell your story. You have a huge power to influence those around you and maybe they will join in too.
Share your pledge online using our #BigFiveForFife social media library where you will find readymade tiles for sharing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Please use the hashtags #BigFiveForFife and #ClimateActionFife on your posts.
Take a look at the Scottish Government’s Net Zero Nation campaign for more ideas on how to take climate action.
Thank you for being a Climate Champion!