As we head towards Green UNISON week, which runs from 15-22 September this year, it’s the ideal time to start planning.
Green UNISON week is a chance to raise awareness of green issues nationally and locally, plan activities to encourage and enable members to get more active and to celebrate all the things they are already doing in support of the green agenda – not just in work but anywhere.
There are many things that you could do to mark the week – here are just a few ideas.
Hold a UNISON green event
You could run a lunchtime stall in the canteen, show a film or arrange a talk. Why not invite a speaker from a nearby environmental campaigning organisation to come along? Ask people to make personal – or team – green pledges, such as committing to create less waste, to recycling targets, green office practices (less printing, switching from plastic to cardboard folders etc) anything green.
Run a green workplace training activity
Talk to your UNISON learning rep and look into running a lunchtime activity session for green reps and members who’d like to learn more.
Run a green survey
Ask your friends and colleagues for ideas on how to ‘green up’ your workplace. Get people involved and offer a prize or raffle.
Find out what your employer is doing to reduce their environmental impact
Ask your employer to share this information with UNISON and consider how you could bring climate change commitments onto the bargaining agenda.
Find out if your UNISON branch has an environment rep
If not, encourage your branch and any interested members to get involved and become green reps.
Set up a local green network
You can find other colleagues who share your concerns about climate change and let Green UNISON week be your springboard into starting a new green union network where you work that can link to the regional and national networks for support and to share ideas.
Promote our Green UNISON week webinars to your colleagues
Two webinars are being planned this year – see below.
Sustainable healthcare – why greening the NHS matters for us all
Haley Pinto from the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare recently gave a talk to health group members interested in this area. It was a clear and comprehensive round up of the impact of the climate crisis on our health and on the NHS, including some of the initiatives that are already happening and many that need to happen urgently.
UNISON thinks all members would benefit from this engaging presentation and has persuaded her to do it all again as part of the scheduled activities.
This will take place on Monday 25 September, 12:30-1:30pm. You can register now here.
How to have conversations about climate change that matter – Larger Us
In a world where most people now accept that climate change is real, what stops people engaging in this vital issue?
UNISON has teamed up with Larger Us – which works to build broader coalitions for change – to deliver free online training to anyone who wants to up their game when it comes to climate conversations.
This webinar explains the project in detail and explores what the training will look like and what this pilot project will involve.
One of the key objectives is to have conversations that really explore people’s views on climate change and get to the bottom of what people really think. Larger Us provides guidance and training on how to have climate conversations that can take people from inaction to engagement and action on this vital issue.
This is a brand new programme and it’s only on offer to a handful of organisations in the UK.
The webinar is on Thursday 21 September, 12:30-1:30pm. You can find out more and register here.
The start of the week coincides with not one, but two, global climate mobilisation events on Friday 15 September – and both sharing the initials ‘FFF’.
Fridays For the Future climate change strikes is the global movement started by Greta Thunberg and other students in protest at the existential threats to their futures that they did not create but will have to live with.
UNISON is encouraging members to support any Fridays For the Future events nearby, in your lunch breaks or by organising an event in support of them.
Fight Fossil Fuels is a global mobilisation event on 15 and 17 September. It started in New York and is now world-wide, demanding a just transition to be Fast Fair and Forever (another FFF!).
This is an international call out and looks likely to include regional demos and events around the UK.
Find out more about UNISON’s green work here.