Speaking another language shouldn’t be a barrier to doing something for the environment. Unfortunately, many of our culturally diverse communities miss out on the help and support they need to make a difference.
That’s where we come in.
Our GreenTown program works with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to help them make changes in their homes, businesses, schools and everyday lives, to safeguard our environment.
We train a small group of people from each community we work with in sustainability. They then carry out free sustainability audits in the homes and businesses of others in their community. The project includes community and faith organisation workshops, and making sure the message gets into community language newspapers.
From 2008-2012 we worked with people from all over the world – the Arabic-speaking and Assyrian Chaldean communities in Moreland, the Turkish-speaking community in Hume, the East African community in Flemington and the Indigenous Australian community in Darebin. In the GreenTown 2 program we started two new community projects: working with newly-arrived people from Burma living in Ringwood and the multicultural community in the Collingwood housing estate.
No matter what their cultural background, however, all these Victorians have something in common – they are all keen to do their bit for the environment.
The key to our success
The key to our success is the time and energy we put into to building trust and good relationships with the communities we work with. We get to know and understand their culture, day-to-day lives and how they can best adopt sustainable behaviours. We connect with members from within the communities and they branch out further and become the ‘face’ of our program. We have also been lucky to work with some very passionate and inspiring local leaders in all of our GreenTown communities.
The process of working together and learning from each other leaves us all richer and our environment healthier.
In 2012 we evaluated the first four GreenTown projects, and found some incredible outcomes. From taking a range of recommended energy, water and waste saving actions, GreenTown participant households are saving on average 4 tonnes CO2e, 61,000 litres of water and 191 kg of waste to landfill each year! Read more in our evaluation report.
GreenTown was run in partnership with many organisations, and was funded by the Sustainability Fund.
Read the 2012 evaluation of the GreenTown Program (2008-2011) here
Read about Our GreenTown Collingwood photo competition for kids
Find out what all the buzz is about, below.
Speaking up about switching off
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Michael Green, The Age
Lina Hassan is very enthusiastic about household sustainability. “Everywhere I go, this is my message,” she says, leaning forward on her couch, in her Thomastown home...more
Shoukry Sidrak: It’s easy being green
Monday, 4 April 2011
Shoukry Sidrak’s garden is a bounty for any food lover. An assortment of fruit, vegetables and herbs are thriving in the carefully manicured Mill Park yard.
Local community centre goes green
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
The Alevi Community Council of Australia in North Coburg will have two 5,000 litre rainwater tanks installed next week, as part of a project to lead the Turkish speaking and Alevi communities of...more
Flemington estate residents find more ways to go green
From the Minister for Environment & Climate Change
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Culturally and linguistically diverse communities from the Flemington public housing estate will be helped to reduce...more
Hume's Turkish businesses going green
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Turkish‐speaking businesses in the City of Hume have jumped at the opportunity to sign up for free green business assessments.
The audits are being carried out by local community members who have been...more
Green groups welcome Bracks' climate change announcement
Saturday, 4 November 2006
Environment groups today welcomed the Labor Party’s announcement of a new scheme to help families reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Environment Victoria Executive Director...more
How can we make sure that when we travel our desire to live responsibly doesn’t get left at home? We’ve pulled together a selection of resources that will help you make wiser travel choices this summer....more
As the impacts of a record El Niño compounded by climate change hit home across Victoria this year, discussion about what to do with our limited water resources is once again heating up.
Parts of Victoria are again in drought. Water earmarked for environmental use to help...more
Riad doesn’t remember the exact date his family fled their home in the city of Al-Hasaka, Syria, nor the date they arrived in Lebanon. But the day he and his wife, Mary, arrived in Australia is a date that he easily recalls: Tuesday the 14th of October 2014.
As we shiver through the first weeks of winter, here's a fact to give you goosebumps: more people die from the cold in Australia than in Sweden. According to a new study published in medical journal The Lancet, cold contributed to about 3.9 per cent of deaths in Sweden,...more
Our new Campaigns Director, Alex White, starts today. Here's what he has to say about why he came to Environment Victoria.
Back in 2012, I spent three months working on the Obama campaign in Boston and New Hampshire. The locals, as well as being bemused by my hard-to-understand...more
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