The environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful outlines its desire for a cleaner, greener and more sustainable Nothern Ireland.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is an environmental charity committed to the vision of cleaner, greener and more sustainable communities. We work to bring about a change in behaviour by inspiring people to become active participants in looking after their local community.
Our work to make life better has three main themes: engagement & volunteering; education; and environmental standards.
1. Engagement & volunteering
Live Here Love Here is a nationwide collaboration focused on improving local communities. It is supported by most councils, the Department for the Environment, Tourism NI and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
With tightening budgets, councils can no longer just keep doing everything. Positive engagement with people and local communities has to be at the heart of making where we live better for everyone. Live Here Love Here (www.liveherelovehere.org) does just that by getting people involved in clean-ups of local areas; green-ups through planting activities; and spruce-ups to tackle graffiti, vandalism or dilapidation. A small grants scheme helps overcome some of the challenges.
Campaign clean-ups include The BIG Spring Clean, which in 2014, involved over 105,000 people or around 6 per cent of the population. Through this campaign a growing number of Adopt a Spot and Coast Care groups are now taking long-term responsibility for improving where they live.
Our education programmes are designed to not only raise awareness but to change behaviours through action based learning.
Eco-Schools, linked to the United Nations Environment Programme, is making a real difference to the lives of our young people, with 100 per cent Eco-Schools participation in NI. Recently 54 countries worldwide visited to see our work as we hosted the prestigious Eco-Schools National Operators Conference. This pupil led programme is not just changing behaviour but also saving schools money. Our next goal is to see ‘Every School a Green Flag Eco-School’ as they achieve international recognition for their work. However, this cannot just be a schools programme if it is to change society for the better.
As Eco-Schools grow we are seeing increasing numbers of students in third-level education who have come through Eco-Schools, so we expect to see an Eco-Campus emerge soon. The Eco-Campus initiative began when students entering third-level education in various countries wanted to join the Eco-Committee only to discover there wasn’t one. One visionary university in Cork agreed to run the programme and immediately gained the twin benefits of significant student participation and financial savings. No wonder that many universities have since followed suit.
3. Environmental Standards
Our award programmes and services support councils and businesses to promote good environmental standards.
Blue Flag, Seaside Awards and Green Coast are awards for beaches; Local Environmental Quality Surveys help Councils to address Litter and dog fouling issues; and the Green Flag Award provides a national benchmarking standard for parks and green spaces encouraging high environmental performance and good management.
Environmental performance is becoming increasingly important to businesses of all shapes and sizes. The TIDY Business programme is a simple way for businesses to assess their environmental performance and make improvements in a clear and structured way, simultaneously achieving key environmental and CSR targets.
While we are focused on NI our programmes are closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, which are everyone’s responsibility.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful
Bridge House, 2 Paulett Avenue
Belfast BT5 4HD
Tel: 028 9073 6920
Facebook: Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful