Collective

Enviro Collective

Enviro Collective

Envro Officer: Josh Hernandez

#Who are we?

The Enviro Collective is the UTSSA’s main student organisation for environmental activism, causes, and engagement. We focus and mobilise student efforts to take action on a wide range of environmental issues—all of which are becoming increasingly urgent and relevant in our daily lives.

Our membership is open to any and all students who are passionate about creating change for the better. We’re not just ‘woke capital-city greenies’, and we’re not all vegans. You don’t have to be a loud person who knows all the rally chants or has a list of least-favourite MPs in order to join.
While we do organise and take part in campaigns, protests, and fundraisers, we also function as a space where like-minded people can come together and empower each other. We’re here to help students who want to develop their knowledge on current environmental issues and critical, independent thinking. We regularly hold skill-building workshops to train us in tackling these issues in our own lives and communities

Being environmentally friendly should not be an “expensive” or “difficult” choice, and transitions to a sustainable future should be socially sustainable (e.g. ensuring the livelihoods of people currently employed in fossil fuel industries). All people should have the equal right to a world where the environment is treated with respect and care, and where future generations can experience the same natural abundance that we have.

It’s important to understand the context which underlies the world that we live in today. Our society is built upon the dispossessed lands of First Nations people—and thanks to their sustainable management, this country has harboured a natural abundance of life for tens of thousands of years.

This country is now being catastrophically ravaged by bushfires, as record temperatures strain our ecosystems and the regional communities whose livelihoods are linked with the land. While they are starved of water, our neighbouring Pacific communities are being inundated by increasingly powerful storms and rising sea levels. Millions of people in Asia and Africa are already being displaced as unpredictable rainfall makes it harder to grow food.

There is absolutely no doubt that these shifts are due to human emissions and the changes in climate they have created—and yet, the governments and “leaders” of the world remain complacent in taking decisive action. Our social and political systems continue to reward greed and shortsightedness instead of forward-thinking and collective good—and change will not come unless we radically reconfigure our ways of life and living.

For these reasons, we must be intersectional in responding to environmental issues and recognise that their effects are focused on populations who are already disadvantaged and underprivileged. Righting these wrongs requires the application of climate justice—the people most responsible for climate change should be held accountable for solving it, and voice must be given to those who are often overlooked.

#What do we do?

UTS Enviro’s activism ranges from grassroots to national actions; from on-campus sustainability to government climate policy. Last year we were active participants in the Climate Strikes of March and September, and recently we’ve taken part in rallies to protest the Australian government’s unsatisfactory response to the drought and bushfire crisis. We helped to implement sustainable waste disposal in the UTS Central (B2) food court, and we continue to work for UTS’s accountability in divesting from fossil fuels.

Together with other UTSSA collectives, we ensure that we place disadvantaged and marginalised people at the forefront of our advocacy. In 2019 we worked with FIRE (Fighting In Resistance Equally) to fundraise for the town of Walgett in northern NSW—due to water mismanagement and drought, the town’s water supply has been critically low and unsafe to drink. Enviro Collective members participated in water runs to deliver drinking water to Walgett, and engaged with members of the community first-hand.

As a member of the Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN), we also work with enviro collectives from other universities and organisations from the broader climate movement. In January the annual Students of Sustainability conference was held in Sydney, and UTS Enviro members took part in building a stronger grassroots activist community for the environmental movement. Further days of action are scheduled for the remainder of 2020.

#Get in touch

UTS Enviro meets regularly (every week or so) and we’re always looking to get new members involved in our decision-making—so come along!

You can register with the Enviro Collective and our mailing list via the form below — or you can contact us directly via email [environment@utsstudentsassociation.org] and Facebook [fb.me/UTSEnviro].

We understand that it’s easy to feel powerless about the climate crisis, or ‘fall behind’ because life gets in the way. Nonetheless, we have all have a responsibility to play our part and act for change—and we look to the coming year with hope and determination.

#Sign up

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