Posted by Nilam Bedi, Chair, District 7070 Environmental Action Committee

The Environmental Action Committee (EAC) for District 7070 was established in the 2020-21 Rotary year to facilitate Rotary’s enhanced focus on environmental sustainability. The overall goal of the Committee is to promote tangible environmental actions by Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact clubs in helping to protect and restore our natural world.

Members of the Committee and their clubs include: Nilam Bedi, Chair (Toronto-Eglinton), Bob Biffin (Port Hope), Dan Coombes (Whitby), Chris Gates (Trenton), Kelsey Horning (Toronto Twilight), Anwarul Kabir (Toronto Twilight), Bukola Oladeji Rotaract Club of Toronto), Reginald Oranye (Ajax), Barb Proctor (Picton) and Cora Xiao (Rotaract Club of GTA Connect).......

The Buildings Blocks

The term “Environment” is very broad and open to interpretation. It is often viewed through different lenses, e.g.:

Physical elements: land, water, atmosphere and ecosystems

Environmental issues: energy consumption, green house gas emissions, pollution, habitat loss, packaging, plastics, waste, climate change, land degradation, toxics, water quality, etc.

Sources of environmental pressures: transportation, agriculture, urban systems, manufacturing processes, residential/commercial infrastructure, and individual/aggregate use of resources.

Regardless of how we frame the “environment”, protecting and restoring our natural environment requires individual and collaborative actions among all actors within society. At the core of this effort are the local actions within communities. This is where Rotarians, as people of action, will become the agents for bringing about the needed change.

The Focus of the District 7070 Environmental Action Committee (EAC)

The District 7070 EAC has been actively discussing how best it could be a resource for the District and its clubs in their quest for greater engagement with the environment. Accordingly, the initial focus of the EAC will be to:

  • Become a catalyst for the District to hit the ground running when Rotary officially launches Environment as its 7th Area of Focus in July 2021, when Global Grants for projects under the new Area of Focus will become available

  • Act as a resource for the District and clubs on environmental projects and issues

  • Promote educational and awareness building activities about the environment

  • Build partnerships with other groups to advance Rotary’s interest in the environment

  • Promote policies and best practices for greening Rotary’s activities


Some examples of District Clubs’ environmental activities

Some District 7070 Clubs are already involved in a wide variety of environmental activities, and several are looking to initiate or expand their environmental activities through designated environmental committees or subcommittees. Selected examples of environmental activities of District 7070 clubs include:

  • Interpretive nature walks (Rotary Club of Whitby)

  • Attending climate change and environmental events (several clubs)

  • Greening of Rotary events (Rotary Club of Etobicoke)

  • Funding of food waste reduction initiatives (Rotary Club of Toronto)

  • Campaign to build a parkette around a 250+ year old Red Oak tree (several clubs)

  • High school competition on environmental issues (Rotary Club of Toronto-Eglinton)

A more exhaustive list of activities and ideas will be shared as information from clubs becomes available.

How can you help?

 Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors can help us in several ways:

  1. A brief survey is going out to club Presidents to help us take stock of the environmental activities already taking place within District 7070 clubs, to gather ideas about environmental actions that could be shared and scaled across the District and to discover how the EAC can assist clubs in implementing and managing environmental initiatives. Please have a conversation within your club about the survey and ensure that the club submits a response.

  2. Share ideas with the EAC about your club’s activities.

  3. Reach out to the EAC if you need a speaker on an environmental topic at your club or if you have any other questions.


Contact details:

Nilam Bedi

Chair, Environmental Action Committee