independent

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Projects are revitalising localities, says Duncan

Published 02/08/2014 | 00:00

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Environmentalist Duncan Stewart

'GET Involved' is an initiative designed to promote sustainability in local communities all over Ireland.

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The initiative was developed by 51 local newspapers through their representative associations – NNI Local and Regional Newspapers and the Regional Newspapers and Printers Association of Ireland. The initiative includes a competition element and awards the projects judged to have made the most significant contribution to enhancing sustainability in their local area.

Throughout this year, local newspapers, with the support of the SEAI, will lead and drive voluntary sustainability projects that will encourage citizens to come together to play a more pro-active and inclusive role in shaping the future of their local area and economy. Get Involved projects are benefiting the local economy and the local environment by encouraging a 'low-carbon and resource-efficient' society.

This year's initiative has seven distinct themes and they are as follows:

* Biodiversity

* Water

* Eco-tourism

* Food

* Sustainable Enterprise

* Community Sustainable Energy

* Resource Efficiency and Green Innovation

Local newspapers are in a great position to coordinate and promote local sustainability projects plus they have the community's best interests at heart. Get Involved 2014 will link projects with their local newspapers.

Environmentalist Duncan Stewart, pictured right, one of the Get Involved judges, said that this year he was delighted to see more sustainable community driven ideas coming to the fore.

'For example we have a significant number of energy co-ops and community gardens in this year's competition.

'In the years ahead I would love to see community owned businesses, community retrofit schemes, car sharing schemes, food co-ops, fuel clubs and water conservation schemes in the competition. It is initiatives like these that are revitalising our localities and making our villages, towns and city neighbourhoods' better places to live and they also ensure that money is circulated in the local economy,' he said.

To get a taste of the projects in this year's competition visit www.get-involved.ie.

Get Involved is a great opportunity for communities to support sustainable projects. Supporting communities in strengthening their resilience and helping to develop healthier and more liveable neighbourhoods is what Get Involved is all about. Collaborative initiatives can help us reconnect in real and meaningful ways and can also help us rediscover a sense of community.

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