Once upon a time, people who used the word ‘eco’ were sadly in the minority and it’s fair to say that mainstream society took a blinkered approach to important messages about saving our planet.
Today, things are different and as the effect of our ignorant behaviour continues to present itself visibly in the form of corroding coastlines and plastic strangled sea life, it is encouraging to see governments, at last, starting to affect change from the top down. In addition, individuals are beginning to educate themselves so they can ‘do their bit’ as part of the wider population.
Many will say it’s too little too late, which is arguably true. However, for those of us enjoying the planet right now (all of us), let’s focus on what we can do now to slow down the negative impact for future generations.
So, we’ve seen Blue Planet and felt moved by the distress we have caused to our sea life and we’ve cheered from our sofas as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall won the Fish Fight, yet how can we as individuals make our mark locally?
How can we educate ourselves to understand what’s needed?
Are there ways to work with others to increase our impact?
The answer to this if you live in Pembrokeshire, is to connect with the work of eco genius Mark Bond, founder of Pembrokeshire Eco Champion, a council/Welsh Government supported project to celebrate and support the work of active and aspiring Eco Champions.
Put simply, if you’re already an ‘eco champion’, the project highlights and celebrates your efforts, connecting you with others. And if you’re not actively doing good work but would like to start, the project guides you through the process of becoming an ‘eco champion’.
What I love about this project is that it normalises the concept of saving our planet. Far from the stereotypical perception of a society we once referred to as ‘tree huggers’, Pembrokeshire Eco Champion gathers everything we need to know about the current state of our environment, providing us with fact based, user-friendly information and techniques that any member of society can adopt into their daily lives.
It’s an off-the-shelf guide to becoming more knowledgeable on sustainability, more responsible for our actions and more proactive in helping to make change happen.
WHY become a Pembrokeshire Eco Champion?
Reasons to add ‘Eco Champion’ to your life C.V. are endless. Here are just a few:
- We are throwing too much unwanted stuff into landfill, which is not an infinite space, is unsightly and produces pollutants as the waste biodegrades (Pembrokeshire currently has the lowest recycling rate in Wales)
- Single use plastics are literally killing our ocean life and adding to landfill
- Buying food that has travelled across the world increases our carbon footprint with every food mile
- Government waste collection blueprint is changing from Autumn 2019 meaning we need to bin less, become more innovative with what we buy and reuse more
Take a look at this video to learn more.
HOW to become a Pembrokeshire Eco Champion
Of course, you can become an eco champion whether you live in west Wales or not and the good news is that Mark’s project could potentially be used as a template framework to reach other communities across Wales.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to TAKE ACTION NOW you can sign up to the Pembrokeshire Eco Champion challenge, a series of 9 tasks for you to tackle in your own time and to a level you’re comfortable with (meet basic criteria or take each task onto planet-changing levels!). These tasks are designed to give you actionable ideas and encourage you to pass on the things you learn along the way…so before long, we’re all ‘doing our bit’.
C.H.A.M.P.I.O.N.S tasks include:
There is also an Eco Champion trail to inspire the younger generation to get involved.
If you feel passionate enough to do your bit for the benefit of the planet AND your own life, sign up now to become a Pembrokeshire Eco Champion.
Spread the word!
- Follow Pembrokeshire Eco Champion Facebook page and support their message by sharing with your friends (use #PembsEcoChamps and #doyourbit in your posts)
2. As you progress through your Champion challenge, connect with others to encourage whole communities to join the mission.
My Recycling Wales – live recycling statistics for every county in Wales by total, rate, material, export countries, etc.
Love Food Hate Waste – innovative ideas for reducing food waste including buying les, making it last longer and ways to creatively use what you buy.
Love Your Clothes – inspiration on ways to reduce clothing waste including care & repair, refashioning & upcycling plus selling/swapping and giving to charity
Food Miles – measuring how far food has travelled before it reaches the consumer, a good way of looking at the environmental impact of foods and their ingredients.
The Pembrokeshire Eco Champion project is supported by Welsh Government Leader funding, administered locally by Arwain Sir Benfro and match funded by Pembrokeshire County Council.
For further details contact:
This story is part of the Life Seeker newspaper