5 inspiring environmental Scout projects
Nature, the environment and spending time outdoors have been foundational in Scouting for over a century. Through Scouting, young people are given unique opportunities to connect with nature and become active citizens in protecting and preserving it. Scouts have been able to join global programmes like World Scouting’s environmental education initiative, the Earth Tribe and Scouts for SDGs where young people are addressing major global challenges and working on achieving sustainable development in their local communities.
As we celebrate World Environment Day this year, let’s take a closer look at the role that Scouts from every part of the world are playing in restoring our ecosystems and ensuring a healthy planet:
1. Afghanistan Scouts install solar panels in orphanage
As part of an orphanage renovation project, a Scout group in Afghanistan installed solar panels to provide affordable clean energy to an orphanage in Ghor province that is home to 200 Afghan children. The Scout group has been involved in Earth Tribe’s Scouts Go Solar Challenge and decided to take the lead in planning and installing the panels that generate 3.5KW of energy to meet the entire needs of the orphanage and children living there.
2. South Africa Scouts turn the tide on plastic pollution
Koko, a Scout with South Africa's 1st Port Natal Troop, has been on a mission to turn the tide on plastic pollution. Together with local Scouts, parents, community members and other local Scout groups, Koko has been cleaning up a stretch of the Durban Harbour in Durban, South Africa. To date the team has collected and filled two large trucks with rubbish. Koko and his group have been working with the community to raise awareness about re-using and disposing of plastic, to ensure their environment is protected. He has been actively participating in the Tide Turners Plastic Challenge.
“I have a big passion for nature and conservation,” said Koko. “I really wanted to teach our Scouts more about recycling and taking care of the environment in which we live.”
3. Greek Scout group find ways to end cigarette waste on the beach
When this Scout group in Greece learned that waste from 8.8 billion cigarettes ends up in the sea every year, contaminating the waters, they partnered with their municipality to put an end to this problem. Not only did the Scout group clean a local beach, they helped set-up a recycling system where cigarette butts can be turned into fertilizer and other recycled industrial products.
4. Scouts in Maldives undertake coral reef restoration
Muraka Kudhin is a reef rehabilitation project run by Muhyiddin Scout Group in Vilimale', Maldives. Since 2019, the Scout group comprises PADI certified Scout divers who have been running reef checks, restoring corals and monitoring reef health. The aim of the Muraka Kudhin project is to rehabilitate reefs that have suffered the consequences of climate change through coral restoration. The project is supported by Moodhubulhaa Dive Center, Save the Beach Maldives & Hertfordshire Scouts in the UK - all focused on conserving reefs and beaches of Vilimale’.
5. Croatia Scouts plant 65,000 trees to reverse wildfire impact
In the past two years, more than 6,200 Scouts and volunteers in Croatia have planted over 65,000 trees across the country with the help of Croatian Forests in the Dalmatia region, the most affected part by the devastating wildfires. Their initiative has been an international success, receiving European recognition for their reforestation efforts. The campaign also brought educational activities to more than 5,000 children in schools and kindergartens on the topic of nature and forest protection and climate change.
It is more important than ever that everyone, including young people, take environmental action, adopt healthier consumer habits, and advocate for a sustainable future. The global pandemic has shown us how nature and biodiversity thrive when we change our habits. As outdoor and in-person Scouting activities resume in many countries, Scouts will be able to reconnect with nature and engage in solutions to protect and heal the only planet we call home.