The Great Big Green Week

Take action in your community to tackle climate change and help nature

11 June 2024

This week, 8-16 June, is The Great Big Green Week, an opportunity to make the world a greener place.

But improving the environment can take place at any time of the year. Our partner Daisy Corporate Services' Green Team have shared their hints and tips on how we can all be greener.

Get outside

Spending time outside can have a positive impact on mental and physical health, while communal green spaces bring people together.

Start a community garden

Community gardens come in all sorts of shapes and size and give people a chance to be creative and add some nature in the neighbourhood. Has your meeting place got a flower bed, or a piece of land that's unloved? Speak to the booking secretary or person that looks after the property to find out whether your unit could look after it.

When it comes to starting a community garden, you don’t need much! You can start with just a plant pot, and it will go from there. You could reuse old bookcases that aren't used. You don’t need planters – anything will do, even old tyres. You could also ask parents for help. If you have a large area, your unit could grow vegetables to donate to the community whilst also helping girls learn about gardening and work on their badges.

Litter picking

Litter picking is a great way to get your unit noticed in the community. If there's a local community group who go litter picking you could join in with them. If not, borrow some pickers and high vis jackets and head out to your local area! Don't forget to carry out a risk assessment and get the relevant permissions if needed. You could also take any plastic bottles to recycling banks to encourage girls to become greener.

Have nature-based meetings and walks

Nature walks are a great way to learn about pollinators (bees, wasps, and butterflies) and their job in pollinating plants and crops which we all rely on to survive and thrive. Did you know that moss is a natural air cleanser? You could help girls learn how to cultivate and grow moss to build air cleansers for their own home.

Re-using plastic bottles

Plastic bottles can be turned into many useful things. They can be used as plant pots or bottle greenhouses. Girls can also build their own mini water vats for collecting rain water to water their plants. They can use a recycled plastic bottle, a bucket and a lid, or a bin and a lid.

Organise a unit walking bus

If girls live close to the unit meeting place, thinking about setting up a walking bus. Don't forget the adult and child ratios and to be safe at all times. It’s a great way to get some exercise and lowers carbon footprints too.

Other things you can do

  • Minimise printing and encourage digital communications rather than paper.
  • Reuse and upcycle in your unit especially with Guides or Rangers. If there are chairs, bookcases, drawers etc that nobody wants, girls can have great fun decorating them. You could perhaps think about selling the items to generate funds.
  • Hold a uniform exchange so parents can bring in unused items of uniform and exchange it for what they need.
  • Where you can, use reusable materials for activities and crafts and use reusable cups, plates and utensils instead of plastic.
  • Ensure everyone knows about energy efficiency - turning off lights when not needed and unplugging everything at the end of sessions. If you have your own building you could change lights for LEDs and try putting tin foil behind radiators for extra warmth.

And don't forget there are many programme activities that girls can do to help learn about the environment. For more information on what you can do have a look at Girlguiding's environmental plan.