Six ways to get involved in community-led climate action initiatives in Canberra (with the help of a new online tool) | HerCanberra

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Six ways to get involved in community-led climate action initiatives in Canberra (with the help of a new online tool)

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Want to get involved in local climate action but don’t know where to start? A new online tool from Climate Choices ACT may be your answer!

On July 12, Climate Choices ACT announced the launch of an online tool that allows Canberrans to connect to community-led initiatives targeted at climate action. The initiatives can be filtered by location in Canberra as well as by project type, including energy conservation, community education, zero waste and shared transportation. The tool also provides a map to visualise where, when and what specific types of climate action initiatives are popping up around Canberra.

Currently displaying six community projects, here are some ways you can get involved in community-led climate action initiatives in Canberra.

Conservation Council ACT: ‘Make the Switch’

Conservation Council ACT’s ‘Make the Switch’ initiative was launched in 2020, encouraging households to switch from gas to electricity. This switch is not only beneficial to the environment, but also for your pocket, especially considering that renewable energy is becoming cheaper whilst gas prices continue to rise. With the ongoing cost of living crisis, this can truly switch your bills around!

Canberrans can get involved in this initiative not only by making the switch themselves but also by spreading the word to friends and family. The Conservation Council can be invited to lead induction cooking demonstrations, for example in schools and as a market stall. To be involved on a more direct level, there are opportunities to lead ‘Make the Switch’ workshops.

Australian Parents for Climate Action Canberra

Australian Parents for Climate Action Canberra (AP4CA) are a group extending across Australia of parents, carers and broader families advocating for urgent climate action. The group has been involved with multiple campaigns- both at a local level and beyond. Not only is this initiative a great way to get involved in climate action, but also to connect with like-minded parents and families who are passionate about the same cause.

A current core objective of AP4CA is to support the transition from gas to electricity, particularly in schools and households.

Hawker College composting

Hawker College is a senior secondary school in Canberra committed to reducing overall waste. One of the ways in which they have done this is by transitioning to non-plastic alternatives. However, these alternatives cannot be recycled in your usual yellow bin. To address this, the school implemented an in-vessel composter which turns the waste into compost in approximately three weeks. This has reduced the amount of waste the school produces going to landfill.

This initiative at Hawker College is an example of how to appropriately reduce waste in schools and adopt composting as a method to do so.

Climate Choices ACT recommends some further ways to reduce waste within one’s own everyday life including bulk-buying produce, reusing plastic items, donating no longer wanted items rather than disposing of them, and taking reusable bags to the shops.

Gawari Mada—Holt Micro-Forest

Gawari Mada is a ‘Micro-Forest’ developed in Holt for the purposes of expanding the natural habitat of native birds and insects, and absorbing carbon.

According to Climate Choices ACT, a Micro-Forest is “designed to be an urban sanctuary”. Micro-Forests take after their name by replicating larger forests but at a smaller scale, planting diverse vegetation.

Throughout the project, 1500 native plants have been planted, earthworks have been developed to improve the soil, and it has a substantial community focus!

To get involved, join the Gawari Mada Facebook group or visit their website!

All volunteers are required to register with the ACT Government Urban Volunteering program to receive appropriate training and insurance.

Community Toolbox Canberra

Based in Watson, the Community Toolbox Canberra initiative means you never have to tick ‘toolbox’ off your shopping list! With a yearly subscription, members are able to borrow tools to satisfy their gardening and DIY needs- or any other projects where they need a tool in hand.

An annual membership is generally equivalent to the cost of purchasing a singular tool, increasing the use of already-bought tools and reducing waste. After all, the average tool is only used for 13 minutes before being disposed of!

Pedal Power ACT—Learn to Ride Courses

Pedal Power ACT’s Learn to Ride courses encourage adults and children alike to transition to a more sustainable form of transportation: cycling. This group sure loves to recycle!

It is always good for Canberrans to ease it down a gear and take a little brake! This initiative allows families to connect through cycling and a chance to get some fresh air.

Not only does more cycling and less vehicle travel contribute to offsetting carbon emissions, but also enables improved health through exercise—both physical and mental!

Keep your eyes peeled for further community-led initiatives focused on climate action in the ACT on the online tool!

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