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

In the first few months after its inception last year, the District 7070 Environmental Action Committee (EAC), surveyed clubs to establish a baseline 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. Recently, a year and a half into its mandate, EAC sent out a follow up survey to take stock of environmental action across the district a year later. We are pleased to report a response rate of almost 80%, which is phenomenal. The survey results show that clubs across the District 7070 can be proud of the way they have embraced environmental action. Take a look at these ideas for your club.......

Thank you to all the clubs that responded – the information will of great help not only to the EAC but also to clubs across the district as they build upon their involvement in Rotary’s newest Area of Focus.

While the pandemic has impacted most service activities of the clubs, finding its feet for a new Action Committee, and promoting hands-on environmental activities by clubs in this unprecedented time has its own special challenges. However, the survey results show that clubs across the District 7070 can be proud of the way they have embraced environmental action.

Key highlights of the survey responses:

  • The proportion of clubs having an environmental committee or sub-committee prior to 2020-21 was less than 10%, about 20% during 2020-21 and 42% in 2021-22. This us a significant growth.

  • The level of awareness among club members about “supporting the environment” was rated as very high by 53%, 36% as medium, and only 10%  as low.

  • In line with EAC’s priority of building awareness about he environment, many clubs are featuring speakers on a wide-ranging environmental topics, such as climate change, food waste, recycling, biodiversity, among others.

  • In terms of hands-on activities, there is a remarkable range of activities across the district. Some examples include:

    • Nature walks, couple with clean-ups of trails and lakeshores

    • Scrap metal and e-waste fundraiser

    • Food waste reduction projects

    • Plant-based diet challenges

    • Rain barrels to promote awareness about water

    • Tree planting

    • Pollinator gardens

    • Calculating carbon footprint savings through various actions

    • Partnering with schools and community groups

    • Plastic free month challenge

    • Environmental minute at weekly meetings

    • Working with municipalities to remove invasive species


Planned Follow up

A more comprehensive list of activities across the district and beyond is planned for distribution by the EAC, which will be available to assist on implementing ideas, based on to club interests. Several clubs have also indicated a desire to participate in multi-club activities. As we work on how to make this happen, clubs are invited to express their interest in participating on multi-club projects.


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 (Whitby RC)

  • Attending climate change and environmental events (several clubs)

  • Greening of Rotary events (Etobicoke RC)

  • Funding of food waste reduction initiatives (Toronto RC)

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

  • High school competition on environmental issues (Toronto Eglinton RC)

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 move the yardsticks on environmental action in District 7070 in several ways:

  1. Continue conversations within your club about the environment.

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

  3. Reach out to us if you need a speaker on an environmental topic at your club, if you have any other question or would like to collaborate with other clubs.

  4. Register for the Tuesday Talk on the District website, planned for Tuesday, January 11th at 7:00 PM.


Please feel free to contact me :

Nilam Bedi

Chair, Environmental Action Committee