About Us

Who we are
Lighter Footprints, is a significant and widening group of concerned residents from Boroondara and Whitehorse municipalities in Melbourne who came together in 2006 to see what we could do about the serious challenge of climate change.

In the face of well-demonstrated challenges for local people and the world at large, we aim to reduce our own carbon footprints, and to work collaboratively to achieve positive responses to climate change at local, state and national levels.


Mission
Lighter Footprints aims to influence Australians (including local, state and national decision-makers) to take the necessary action to halt global warming as a matter of urgency. 


Vision
As a committed local climate action group, Lighter Footprints aims to lead and stimulate action that will help to ensure a safe climate future.  This will require a significant change in the attitudes and actions of the community and all levels of government.

To pursue this vision, we will be active in undertaking significant projects, and we will collaborate with, engage with, and support communities and groups that are taking compatible initiatives to achieve a safe, healthy, and sustainable environment.



Approach
Our overall approach is focused on making a positive difference.  We seek to act, not just talk.  Our community recognises that climate change has been scientifically demonstrated for some years, and the extent of the challenges leads us to be impatient for effective action.

We wish to encourage those who are just beginning to appreciate the challenges and who wish to change their practices, to better understand the climate change science that underpins our concern.

We particularly value action that is close to home so that we can engage local people and keep our finger on the pulse.

We also seek to influence the wider political debate about climate change action.  We believe that individual action can make a significant difference, and that strong policy action from local state and federal government is vital for achieving the vision for communities, cities and towns.

We are a diverse group of citizens who volunteer time and skills to pursue our mission and vision.  We are not aligned to any political party, business, or commercial interest.

We bring together significant expertise within our group and continue to educate ourselves.

We welcome new members who share our concern and are keen to make a difference.


What we do
Some of the activities we have undertaken include:
  • Run forums on climate change with candidates for every election, state and federal over the years (2 state and 2 federal). 
  • Run regular large public forums on issues of relevance and interest to the community eg in 2011 we ran: 
    • Can we live well without coal? - can renewables cut it with baseload energy? (BZE director, Josh Frydenberg Fed MP, Hydro Pacific Director) 
    • What does sustainable living look like in a suburb? (local and state government sustainability officers, mayors and Rob Gell) 
    • How to live well with a carbon tax (World Vision, Anna Burke Fed MP, Academic - Energy) 
    • Wind Power – where to? (tba) 
  • Run monthly meetings with speakers eg Peter Seligman - Renewable Energy, Graeme Moore -The value of trees, Prof Ros Gleadow - Plants and high carbon dioxide, Bill Chandler – Planning approaches in the USA versus here, Nick Mclellan – Pacific nations and climate change. 
  • Surveyed all candidates for local election on their views on climate change and relevant action, and then posted results in Leader press and website. 
  • Organized an open ‘sustainable’ house and discussion of features (400 people). 
  • Run workshops on home improvements for draughts and reading electricity bills. 
  • Made submissions to local government on budgets and strategic plans and spoke to them at Council. 
  • Made submissions to state, and federal government on Climate change policy. 
  • Appeared in the local paper as respondents/commentators on many issues related to climate change over the years 
  • Visited politicians in the area, so they know who we are and what we stand for. They also ask us for information on some of these issues. 
  • Built a local presence through articles in the local paper – about our regular speakers and on any issue with an environmental flavour. 
  • Written many letters to the papers most of which have been published (15 in one month!). 
  • Run stalls, spoken to local groups, attended conferences - local and national, run workshops for ourselves and the community. 
  • Set up a website/blog, and built up membership to around 600. 
  • Established regular meetings with local council officers. 
  • Provided an information base for members through the email interactions. 
  • Supported local network links around the country - members joined the Board of Climate Emergency Network. Also international organisations. 
  • Built friendships.

Participation
We welcome new members. For details of how to participate in Lighter Footprints click here or just turn up at a meeting, call us or drop us a line!