SUSTAINABILITY ARTICLE FOR THE WEEKENDER HERALD
BY LIDDY DOLMAN MARCH 2013
‘CARING FOR YOUR COMMUNITY’
To most of us the word ‘community’ generally means a group of people living in the same place. To some, the location surrounding the workplace is viewed as their community as more of their activities are focused around that environment. To complicate matters, the introduction of the internet into our lives has blurred the boundaries of what constitutes a community even more as people can now gather virtually in an online community, sharing common interests with people located anywhere in the world.
To get back to basics, we will focus on the community around your home, how you can connect with your community and how that fits into the sustainability aspects of our lives.
Young families with children attending local schools foster a strong connectedness with the community on many levels as mums and dads get together with a common goal to provide the best education and fulfilling lives for their children. Activities are often community based and sharing knowledge about the local tradespeople, retailers and service providers, excess fruit and veg from the garden and great natural cleaning ideas happen naturally.
When the change becomes evident is when the family matures and the local school is no longer the nucleus of our lives. University studies, work, shopping and social activities often take place outside of the community.
We need to take a step back and accept some responsibility for making our communities more resilient to the economic and climate changes already upon us and those still to come.
Fostering neighbourhood relationships, supporting local businesses and participating in community events is a great way to start the process. Organise a ‘pre loved’ clothing swap party in the local hall, you may just find that perfect outfit for your next event and have great fun in the process. If gardening is your thing investigate community gardening projects or set up produce swaps at the local market.
We’ll find these simple activities will be good for the soul and we will rediscover the true sense of community that may have been lost in our sometimes hectic lives.
“The focus of Sustainable Communities SA is on individual and household behaviour change towards living a one planet lifestyle and bringing people together to re-build more cooperative, human scale, resilient and ecologically sustainable communities.” www.sustainablecommunitiessa.wordpress.com