The environment helps you meet people

G Magazine

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When I was growing up, we knew our neighbours. They would babysit us and use our pool. We would lend them the lawn mower and feed their cat when they went away.

We also knew others in the area - through school, or just through proximity. I could barely walk to the shops without running into someone who would ask after the health of my parents.

In short, what I had when I was growing up was a sense of community.

These days, how many people know their neighbours well enough to borrow the lawn mower? That sense of community seems to have waned.

Time and time again, in the pages of G Magazine, we have had stories about environmental initiatives that have simultaneously fostered a sense of community.

The organisers of such initiatives have repeatedly made the comment that many people come for the social aspect as much as for the planet-saving.

To me, a community is a group of people of diverse ages and life-experiences brought together by something shared. Maybe it is geography – they all live on the same street – but sometimes it is an interest, such as the environment.

A community is incredibly important in the development of human beings. It means that voices other than those of your parents are telling you what society deems acceptable.

You learn from older members in the community. You discover that not everyone’s lives are ‘messed up’ or as ‘well ordered’ as your own, and you develop acceptance or tolerance of others.

With generation Y being raised in this community void, is it any wonder they have been labelled the “me” generation?

In the issue of G that goes on sale today, esteemed economist Jeffery Sachs is encouraging people to join community groups and get active in the environment. It’s an idea I would endorse. Rediscover a sense of community through the environment.

Don’t forget too that G Online is also a community. Other G Online readers share your passion, concerns and questions about things environmental.

So get involved in your community! Write comments on the stories and suggestions to other readers who – like you – are interested an energised by green living.

Share your ideas, loves and peeves. Support other commenters when you think they’re onto something good. Shout them down if they’re not. Ask if you can borrow their lawn mower.

And finally, it is with much fondness that I bid you farewell. The current issue of G will also be my last as editor. I’m off to pursue new challenges in the field of sustainability. Keep up-to-date with G advice for greening your life on this website.