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Embrace a challenge for Enviroweek

G-Online

This week, give yourself an eco-challenge and help raise money for your favourite charity.

Jason Kimberley from Enviroweek

Jason Kimberley, founder of Enviroweek, says: “I’ll be riding my bike everywhere with a green cape with Enviroweek emblazoned on the back of the cape.”

Credit: Cool Australia

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This week, thousands of people across Australia are giving themselves an eco-challenge for Enviroweek.

“It’s a bit like a Movember for our environment, without the facial hair,” explains Jason Kimberley, founder of Cool Australia, and instigator of Enviroweek.

“You take on a challenge, send an email out to your mates and say ‘here’s what we’re doing, jump on board and sponsor our activities’ and you get to nominate which environmental foundation you want to do your fundraising for.”

Enviroweek is coordinated by Cool Australia, a website set-up in 2006 to help explain global warming in plain English.

“We’ve had a lot of feedback that people wanted to do something, they weren’t quite sure what they should do, and didn’t want to do something until their mates or neighbours had done something,” explains Kimberley. “So Enviroweek provides a platform and provides the tools for people to make some changes in their behaviour and how they about go about their day-to-day activities for a week, and then they can incorporate that in what they do for the rest of their lives.”

There’s a broad range of eco-challenges that people are doing this week, from;
- starting up vegetable gardens
- going vegetarian
- installing water tanks and/or hot water units
- switching to GreenPower
- starting up compost heaps
- schools are getting involved by analysing what happens to their waste, with some schools even getting chickens.

Enviroweek ambassador David de Rothschild says he’ll be showering with his dogs to save water.

“I’ll be throwing a green cape on for the week and pedalling everywhere,” says Kimberley. “But my challenge is I’m going for one minute showers. I’ve already done a test run: so it’s ten seconds to get wet, taps off and then a soap up and a ten second rinse, so you can even have a bit of luxury for that last ten seconds. It’s very doable.”

Kimberley told G why anyone and everyone should get involved, especially with the support and encouragement of their friends and family. “It’s helping people who are a bit nervous to be the first one to act and do things. So this is really aimed at people who want to make a start, but aren’t quite sure how to do it.”

Giaan Rooney, Olympic Gold medallist, is one of those first-timers. “I’ve always been keenly aware of Enviroweek, and following it, but this is my first year I’ve been properly involved,” says Rooney. “My challenge for the week of Enviroweek is to ride my bike anywhere that’s within a 5km radius of my house. So, that’s a bit of a challenge, but you do what you can and see how it works out. It’s little things like that that maybe you start off doing it for a week and actually find that it’s either very easy or very enjoyable or very doable to incorporate into your everyday life.”

Kimberley agrees: “Last year I rode my bike everywhere for a week, and riding to work and off to meetings and it’s something I normally wouldn’t have otherwise thought to do, and since Enviroweek last year, I find myself riding to work most days now.”

“I think things like this are quite contagious. I mean, more and more people are starting to ride, more and more people are putting in veggie gardens, or composting, and I think it’s a real movement that’s starting around Australia.”

Enviroweek is running September 12-18. If you missed out on the start date it's not too late to get involved and register at www.enviroweek.org. Run your own challenge for the next week and let us know how you go at letters@gmagazine.com.au