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'Green seniors' want to be more involved in environmental issues

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Green seniors bid for greater environmental role

Ecologist

19th June, 2009

'Green seniors' are asking to be trained as volunteer environmental advisers for their local areas, and call for 'age-proof' green strategies in a new manifesto

With 35 per cent of UK voters over the age of 55 – a figure that is set to rise to 50 per cent by 2050 – coupled with the well-documented antipathy of young people to the democratic process, green fortunes will increasingly be in the hands of the ‘greys’ in years to come.

A new manifesto aims to make the make the most of older people’s potential to educate, connect with their families and communities, and advance the green agenda.

Produced in conjunction with Age Concern, Help the Aged, Green Alliance and Natural England, Greener and Wiser calls for older people to be trained as local volunteer environmental advisers and for the implementation of ‘age-proof’ green strategies.

Launched in May, the manifesto sets forth recommendations that will increase the profile of older people in environmental decision-making and address the challenges they face in making greener choices and building more sustainable communities.

It was compiled by a taskforce of 10 people between the ages of 52 and 90, and is the product of discussions with environmental experts and among themselves.

Their recommendations include training older people as volunteer environmental advisers in their communities; consulting older people at the local level to ‘age-proof’ environmental strategies; developing intergenerational projects for young and old to explore the environment together; appointing a high-profile champion for older people and the environment, making it more relevant to older people and their lives; reducing waste and promoting reuse, and supporting older people better in making green energy choices.

 

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