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Thinking globally, acting locally

Climate change is frighteningly real. And we seem to be losing the war on waste. At any given moment, our news is full of environmental disasters of various sizes. As individuals, it can be overwhelming trying to work out how to have an impact when the problem seems so very big.

Here at Kensington Neighbourhood House, we’ve found that taking small, consistent steps is the way to go. Like many neighbourhood houses across Victoria, we try to keep environmental sustainability at the front of our minds when planning activities and encourage community members to get involved as much as possible.

For example, we collect food from Second Bite and Food Bank Victoria to use in our Healthy Living & Learning and food pantry initiatives – saving food from going to waste. We run shared community gardens to encourage food growing and compost hubs to encourage recycling of green waste.

The McCracken Street Food Share Pantry invites locals to donate unwanted food, cleaning supplies, or toiletries – these can all be rehomed instead of going in the bin. The pantry is also home to an amazing recycling depository - collecting plastic bottle lids, bread tags, corks and medicine blister packs. Every few weeks, a team of volunteers sort out the donations and take them to Lids For Kids for recycling. Imagine if this was replicated in every suburb!

Within our building, we take steps both large and small to minimise our environmental impact. At the large end of the scale, we installed solar panels on our roof last year to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. At the smaller end of the scale, we use recycled printer ink cartridges, purchase toilet paper and tissues in bulk from Who Gives A Crap, and turn off the lights in any rooms not in use. Little steps like these all add up.

Kensington Neighbourhood House also assists grassroots organisations working on local sustainability projects. We actively support the Kensington Repair Hub, the Kensington Seed Savers initiative, the Kensington Farm Collective and the Kensington Bike Workshop. (You can find out about these groups via their Facebook pages.)

By taking this slow, steady and small approach, our neighbourhood house is able to make a big impact.


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