Collective

Enviro Collective

Enviro Collective

Enviro Officer: Roweena Ow
Enviro Convenor: Anna Thieben

#Who are we?

The Enviro Collective is the UTSSA’s 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 collective is a gathering place for all students who are passionate about creating change for the better. We’re not just ‘greenies’, and we’re not all vegans. You don’t have to know all the chants at rallies, in fact, you don’t have to have any experience campaigning. Whatever your experience, we would love to have you on board. And unlike societies, becoming a member is FREE!

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.

Within the past few years, this country has been catastrophically ravaged by bushfires, with record temperatures straining 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 the Global South 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 the shortsighted illusion of economic growth over forward-thinking and collective good. Change, whether environmental or social, will not come unless we critically reconsider and then radically reconfigure the structures we live under.

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 organised multiple banner paints and participated in climate rallies in September to urge the government to ‘Fund our future, not gas’ and in December we rallied for an increase of climate jobs and justice.

Throughout the COVID crisis, we continued to grow our membership by kickstarting a seed planting initiative, where free seeds were mailed to UTS students. They were encouraged to spend their time at home growing their own herbs and veggies and shared tips and tricks during meetings.

Enviro Collective members headed up a ‘Fossil Free Super Switch’ stall on Alumni Green during October, having discussions with UTS students on the importance of switching to sustainable banks / super accounts and channelling money out of fossil fuels. (If this piques your interest, search MarketForces for more trustworthy information!)

Throughout 2020 we also held Zoom movie nights, streaming ‘2040’, ‘Something in the Water’ and David Attenborough’s film ‘A Life on Our Planet’. There is something uniting about watching films which exemplify our continued fight for environmental justice together. These films fueled the fire of our collective even when we could not gather in person or take to the streets in protest.

Together with other UTSSA collectives, we ensure that we place disadvantaged and marginalised people at the forefront of our advocacy. In 2020 we worked with ASEN (Australian Student Environment Network) to organise a rally in solidarity with the Djab Wurrung people in Victoria against the decimation of sacred trees and ongoing cultural genocide faced by First Nations People across the country.

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.

#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!

UTS Enviro meets regularly (every two weeks or so) and we’re always keen to get new members involved in our decision-making!

You can register to join the Enviro Collective and our mailing list via the UTSSA website [https://utsstudentsassociation.org.au/collectives/enviro] — or contact us directly via email [environment@utsstudentsassociation.org]

If you are keen to get involved in the Enviro Collective in 2021 keep your eye on our Facebook [@UTSenviro] or Instagram [@enviro.uts] for updates on meetings, banner paints, rallies or other events the collective is holding. Can’t wait to see you around!

#Sign up

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