Many of the organisations featured on this website rely on the hard work and dedication of volunteers to continue with their good work, and need people like you. If there’s not already something in your area, we hope that we have inspired you and you may like to start something up yourself!
Connect with Others
See below for ideas on how to get involved in some great sustainable initiatives happening across Dorset. You can also search our directory to connect with existing local sustainable groups and organisations.
Become a Member
Support Sustainable Dorset by signing up as a member and become part of a global shift in the way we live. Our members are integral to help us nurture sustainability and resilience across the county.
Take positive action to reduce your impact on the planet and make a differnece. For practical advice on what you can do yourself check out our sustainable living tips on food, travel, water and waste.
Dorset soup is a community based crowd-funding initiative for local people supporting local projects, DORSET SOUP IS: There have already been two successful SOUP events held in Bridport, and there will be a SOUP event in Bournemouth in April. The SOUP events are modelled on the DETROIT SOUP and more information can be found on their website, where you will find all the resources you need to host your own SOUP event in your community.
Repair Cafés are free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). In the place where a Repair Café is located, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. On clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, et cetera. You’ll also find expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields. Visitors bring their broken items from home. Together with the specialists they start making their repairs in the Repair Café. It’s an ongoing learning process. If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Or you can lend a hand with someone else’s repair job. You can also get inspired at the reading table – by leafing through books on repairs and DIY. Bournemouth hosts its own Repair Café and there are over thousand Repair Cafés worldwide. Take a look at their website for more information. You could even start one yourself!
Sustainability Champions are your link to all things Sustainable in Dorset. If you are looking for local sustainable food, or want to know about community renewable energy, maybe you need something repaired, or want to start a Green Drinks. Whatever it is you’re looking for, our Sustainability Champions will be a great place to start. Drop them an email to make that connection and begin your sustainability journey. They will either know the answers to your questions straight away or will certainly know someone who will, or where to find out. Our Sustainability Champions are your link to all things Sustainable in Dorset. We are recruiting volunteer Sustainability Champions in your area.
Dorset now has ten Fairtrade towns since Poole was most recently added to the ever-growing move towards a fairer way of doing trade. The Fairtrade mark is the most widely-recognised ethical label globally and 90% of the UK public trust the Fairtrade mark. Fairtrade seeks to combat the injustices that can be present in conventional trade and put people first. Fairtrade works with agreed, international standards designed and audited to ensure that producers in developing countries get a better deal. Fairtrade enables people to work their way out of poverty and build a more sustainable future for themselves and their families. Bournemouth, Poole, Wimborne Minster, Ferndown, Christchurch, Purbeck (Swanage and Wareham), Gillingham, Shaftesbury, Weymouth and Portland have all achieved Fairtrade Town status. You can help to support Fairtrade by looking for the Fairtrade logo every time you shop. And if your town isn’t yet a Fairtrade town, now’s the time to join the campaign and you can learn from your neighbours in Dorset just how to go about it. Fairtrade is something every one of us can be a part of. For more information visit the Fairtrade South West website.
If you love recycling, hate wasting things and are looking for a new way to do more for your local community, then Win-On-Waste is for you. Each month, save ordinary household items that would normally get thrown in the bin or the recycling, and donate them to local charities, community organisations, schools, faith groups and artists. Win On-Waste sessions are run by Ideas2Action, a small charity that runs community recycling projects across Bournemouth and Poole. They take place in Canford Heath, Creekmoor, Kinson and Southbourne. Once a month residents in these areas are asked to save specific items from their waste (e.g. milk bottle tops, biscuit wrappers, printer cartridges, deodorant cans) and donate them at a given venue. You can take part by saving up your waste to take along to the sessions and benefit some good causes. Or if you would like to see a Win-On-Waste event in your community then get in touch with Ideas2Action who can help you on your way.
Across Dorset, and indeed across the globe, people who care about the planet meet up at monthly informal sessions known as Green Drinks. You’ll find a lively mixture of people from the community, NGOs, academia, government and business. Come along and you’ll be made welcome. Just say, “Are you green?” and you will be looked after you and introduced to whoever is there. It’s a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organising network. These events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity. Visit our events calendar to check out when the next one is on where you live, or if there is no Green Drinks near you, you might want to set up a Green Drinks in your town.
Transition is a movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world. It brings people together to counter the effects of climate change and economic instability to create a more sustainable future. The Transition is an international movement that began in the UK and has been growing since 2005. It is about communities stepping up to address the big challenges they face by starting local. By coming together, they are able to crowd-source solutions. They seek to nurture a caring culture, one focused on supporting each other, both as groups or as wider communities. Dorset has six active Transition Towns and each one has it’s own unique way of building communities, forging strong local links, reclaiming the economy, sparking entrepreneurship and weaving webs of connection and support. Search our website for your local group to see how you can get involved.
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Becoming a member gives you the opportunity to be an integral part of Sustainable Dorset. You will help us support sustainability and resilience across the county.