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Volunteering communities for climate action

5 March, 2021
By Emma Morgan

Local community action is perhaps more prominent in our thinking than ever before. Meaningful climate action doesn’t just occur in the form of big organisations tackling coal and oil giants, it is happening on our doorstep in Wales.

We have all heard, or indeed participated, in the huge community response to the COVID-19 pandemic when the voluntary sector hit big headlines. But this was not the first emergency response that Welsh citizens have stepped up to tackle.

For example, when Storm Dennis wreaked havoc on homes and businesses in Pontypridd in February 2020, friendly volunteers were some of the first to step in and provide support. There was a determination to rebuild lives and communities in face of this climate related emergency.

Is it any wonder, when the climate threat is so personal, that so many want to take climate action and protect Wales for future generations?

To volunteer and look after our planet is a great step towards the greater collective. Volunteers look after our communities and in turn that looks after our planet.

How you can take voluntary action

Offline

Community group projects creating greenspaces, preserving both our wellbeing and native animals and plants.

Animal conservation charities who work out on reserves protecting natural habitats.

Volunteers who plant new trees and look after ancient woodlands.

Litter pickers who keep the streets and rivers clear from debris and rubbish.

School debates and student societies.

Food produce grown in local community gardens by volunteers building their own skills and confidence.

Food projects rescuing food waste from businesses and giving it to those in need.

Groups for refugees, providing access to resources which might otherwise go to waste, and helping refugees fleeing from war and famine as well as other areas destroyed by the changing climate.

Online

A quick internet search (using Ecosia ideally) can take you to volunteer initiatives happening locally.

Young leaders are commissioning campaigns online to help give advice on sustainable living, environmentally conscious diets, second-hand clothes, furniture and books.

The provision of used items on marketplaces that are refurbished, more accessible and better for the environment.

There are safe virtual spaces for local communities to come together and discuss issues and personal concerns for their local environment.

Petitions to protest initiatives that threaten local environments.

Lobbying governments and businesses by raising awareness and helping others commence their climate action journey.

Using your voice

Perhaps one of our most powerful weapons for taking climate action is our voice. Volunteering is an active way to immerse yourself in local communities and tackle inequalities, so it’s important we also capture the voices of those tackling climate action and send it to those in charge.

That’s why Climate Cymru are asking all of you who are taking climate action to add your voice to the campaign.

Local climate action groups

Emma Morgan is Volunteering Support Officer at Cardiff Third Sector Council

 

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