December 2021-January 2022 | Comment

Amanda Watkin – General Secretary’s Column

Amanda Watkin – General Secretary’s Column

General Secretary of Rotary GB&I Amanda Watkin considers how Rotarians can make changes to reduce our carbon footprint.

Two key concerns have been in my mind recently: the environment and Rotary’s place in society. Strangely the two are connected.

Over the past few weeks Rotary clubs have been eager to meet face-to-face, to re-establish friendships and progress service within the community. But, have we considered the effect meetings have on the environment or sought ways we could mitigate that impact?

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As we consider our place in society, Rotary member Keith Tovey (East Anglia) and colleagues from around the globe have developed a carbon calculator to help us consider our environmental impact. By keying in basic data relating to travel, venue, food, number of meetings etc., you produce a carbon calculation for your club. From this you can build a carbon offset plan.

Meeting is important and no-one is suggesting we shouldn’t do so, but we should consider how we can do that in a sustainable and environmentally-conscious way.

Have we considered the effect meetings have on the environment or sought ways we could mitigate that impact?

To help us further, the Neighbourly Lab has provided research that assessed “The superpowers of Rotarians” which give us the edge when it comes to solving problems within society, even big ones like climate change and they are:

  1. The capability to form a tight high-trust team and know-how to bring in the right mix of skills and backgrounds.
  2. We’re all about action and results, with entrepreneurial energy and relentless ambition, ableto call in specialists from a powerful global network.
  3. Finally (and importantly), we’re locally situated and deeply rooted, instinctively knowing needs, and knowing “what works here, and what doesn’t.”

So, now you know what Rotarian ‘superpowers’ are. Why not reach out across your networks to see who in your neighbourhood might want to join this amazing super-hero network of ours?

And for more details about the carbon calculator, contact your District environmental rep.

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