World Environmental Day June 5th
The Earth, our home, is a living system. It is an “ indivisible, interrelated and interdependent community” of which human beings are only one part. It is finely balanced and any actions which disturb that balance affect not only humans but also many other ecosystems. It is a finite source of resources on which all living things depend and when we pollute our water and our air, when we exploit unrenewable resources, when we poison the land we affect not only our lives but also the lives of other systems.
We are all responsible for the earth on which we live and Soroptimists in many clubs are educating and acting to protect, nurture and improve our home. They may educate the young, protect environments, conserve resources, advocate for future generations or just try to encourage others to live sustainable lives. They recognise that protecting the environment is protecting the future.
Making a Difference to our environment
The earth belongs to all of us, and as such each individual can make a difference to the environment. We as Soroptimists must continue to focus on environmentally friendly activities and our individual effort will become a collective movement. Whilst many of us have ceasd to use plastic bags when we shop, how may of us have considered our belovered takeaway morning coffee, did you know that the paper coffee cup is not recyclable. The majority of these cups have a plastic inner lining which does not breakdown. Consider that in Australia 1 billion coffee cups a year go to waste disposal, and in America this is estimated to be 23 billion.
What can we do!
- Bring your own mug, or purchase the reusable mugs
- do your safe a favour - take a 5 minute break and drink your coffee at the shop in a ceramic cup
- Leave the lid behind
- At least when you do reycyle, place the plastic lid in the recycle bin and the paper cup in the general disposal bin
- Start a campaign at work and at home, tell people about this issue and convert them to bring your own mug
The Ocean Conference 5-9th of June 2017
Soroptimists focus projects around the Sustainable Development Goals, this conference is asking for a personal commitment to SDG 14 -
"Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development", please visit the website Ocean Conference
At this conference Australian Craig Leeson, who is the son of Soroptimist Margaret Leeson, President and member of S.I. Burnie, Tasmania, will be presenting his movie "A Plastic Ocean", Margaret tells us "The film has been around the world and been watched by people such as ex-president Obama and John Kerry as well as the Smithsonian Institute and has won many awards including top of You Utube chart in America, Canada and Great Britain. This is a film that will “change the world” said Sir David Attenborough – one of the world’s greatest naturalists. If you would like to view this film plasticoceans.org or view the trailer on plasticoceans trailer.
What can we do!
- continue to cease using plastics
- continue to campaign for supermarkets and manufacturers to switch away from plastics.
Showcasing Soroptimist Environmental Projects
SI Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Forest Renewal Project - This project which involved planting Albies Fir trees which grew in the Bogdkhan Mountain before 1970, much of the forest growth had been diminished by the need for firewod and had died out. This Fir tree grows only in 2 places in Mongolia. Enkhtuul R, SI Ulaanbaatar club member and a biologist, initiated to replant the tree in Bogdkhan mountain, club members planted 50 trees in 2008 and 2009. Every spring and autumn SI Ulaanbaatar club sisters visit the planted fir trees in the Bogdkhan mountain to manage and check on them, the club is also working with local village teams to nurture and protect these young plants.
SI Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Air Polution Awareness - Soroptimist members took to the streets to protest about air pollution. The use of wood and kerosene contributes to heavy smog which is a health issue particularly for children. This project aims at Advocating, Awarness and Education of more efficient fuel.
SI Lae, Papua New Guinea - World Ocean Day Photograpic Competition. This project aim is to raise awarness amongst secondary school children, a photograpic art competition, where the student has to capture a climate change image, and then write about the problem and how they would go about solving the issue.
SI Darkhan, Mongolia. Education on Climate Change - Members rebuilt the Biology Classroom for Bayan-Undur Complex, the biological and nature classroom is to assist in teaching about the environment as they realise that education is a vital key in protecting the environment and assisting resilience to the impact of climate change. Since February 2016, 1000 children have been educated in this classroom, llearning about plants, ecology and animals. Members hope that the children will gain valuable knowledge of ecology and nature, and being exposed to nature in the classroom the children will gain a better understanding of nature and love our environment. Members state that they feel people have treated their environment in their communities badly and in some cases destroying it. Humans are very greedy, as such the members felt that the students needed to better understand the close relationship humans should have with nature and the ecology systems, this class room provides them with this learing experience.