The Next Green Generation Survey
[Image Credit : Christian Ecology Link]
If you are under 30 (ish) please could you answer some of the questions in the questionnaire below.
And if you are over 30 but have family or friends under 30, please can you invite them to help us by contributing to the survey.
We want the replies to be public in order to stimulate discussion. (We prefer your real name but feel free to write a pseudonym pen-name if you wish).
Answering just one of the questions would be really helpful even if there is not time to answer them all.
We would like to hear and include the advice and guidance of younger people in making CEL plans.
1. What activities and projects would draw you and people of your age into an environmental network ?
2. How can Christian Ecology Link integrate younger people into its network ?
3. What would the Christian Ecology Link network have to look like for you to want to join it ?
4. What sort of actions should Christians be undertaking in the light of current environmental problems ?
5. Do you have any ideas or proposals for changes that Christian Ecology Link might like to consider, either to the nature of its project work or its organisation ?
To send in responses, please add a comment at the bottom of this post.
If you or any of your contacts would like to take part in this information gathering, we can send the latest edition of the Green Christian magazine, and other printed resources, to show the range of our current activities.
0845 45 98 460
Comments on "The Next Green Generation Survey"
1. What activities and projects would draw you and people of your age into an environmental network ? I guess working alongside other people who are passionate about Christians doing environmental work would be the starting point. A lot of the suggestions above seem good - especially the social media side of things. 2. How can Christian Ecology Link integrate younger people into its network ? I would echo what people have said above about "mid week talks/walks/coffee mornings" not necessarily attracting younger people. Local groups with a critical mass combining both prayer and practical action might be more attractive. 3. What would the Christian Ecology Link network have to look like for you to want to join it ? I would probably join anything happening locally. 4. What sort of actions should Christians be undertaking in the light of current environmental problems ? Christians should be at the forefront of the environmental sector, actively working to protect the environment, inspiring others to be involved through effective communication, underpinning the movement's goals with clear science, and providing a christian response to the ecological crisis which would otherwise missing. However I think there is a danger that if the Christian response is merely to tell people they need to change their lifestyle, it will sound like the Church once again preaching personal morality while not practicing what it preaches. If this is the case I think many people would lump the church's environmental stance along with the stance it holds on other social issues, and dismiss it as hypocrisy. I think there is a balance which emphasizes the Christian belief that God will recreate, restore and redeem his Creation (which provides Christians with hope where others may have lost it) while also emphasizing that this emphatically does not mean we can just sit back and wait for Jesus to come again. 5. Do you have any ideas or proposals for changes that Christian Ecology Link might like to consider, either to the nature of its project work or its organisation ? Some thought about how Christian Ecology Link works alongside organisations such as A Rocha UK, Eco-congregation and the John Ray Initiative. It would be a shame for effort to be duplicated or potential supporters to be split so that local groups do not include everyone who might be interested. As some other people have mentioned it is not clear what you gain by joining Christian Ecology Link. Essentially what does CEL do which other organisations don't.
I discussed these questions with my son Dónal (now 24): Dónal said that his generation tend to want (mentally) easy answers. Should we (CEL and the wider movement) be more directive - tell people what to do/not to do? E.g. 'Don't fly'? He was thinking of the Christian Union (CU) which (in his experience in Bristol) imposed quite stringest restrictions on its members. But then the Teze Club (set up by the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy) was quite different. Could that be an avenue into student life for an organisation like ours? Issues: preferably 'doing things' rather than the thoughtful, reflective. Activities like promoting cycling. I mentioned the A Rocha programme, the conservation projects in the more deprived areas, and he thought that might attract interest. But he reminds us that he is a sample of one!
So does the new home page statement grab you any more than the previous??
Cat the grumpuss:
This is possibly the worst opening statement/introduction to a website I have ever seen. HOW does this help someone who has heard of CEL and quickly looked it up? I would read this, be bored in 2 seconds, and go do something else. YOU HAVE TO GRAB PEOPLE! "Welcome to Christian Ecology Link’s website, recent posts and latest comments are shown in the right hand column, CEL Campaigns are listed under About in the menu bar above; additionally Discussion contains posts that will stimulate comment – so please have your say. Archives pre 2012 can be found at www.christian-ecology.org.uk."
Cat the grumpuss:
p.s. the reason i still have not joined, is I have just looked at your website (briefly) and I am not really sure what you do and what I would gain by joining. I should be able to look at your 'Home' page and see JUST the following information: What the organisation is called What it does Why it does it How to join Plus a nice big logo and/or picture. Any other information/ updates etc should be reserved for other pages.
Cat the grumpuss:
I am 25 years old, and have always been interested in green living, so your survey made me wonder why I am not a member already.... My excuse seems to be that I am married, run the home and have a full time (rather stressful) management job, so I hardly have time to socialise let alone join more groups etc. I will try to answer from my own point of view, but also try to give insight into my peers (few of whom are in the same position as me). 1. What activities and projects would draw you and people of your age into an environmental network ? Family activities, e.g. nature walks and craft fairs etc with a 'green' twist. An emphasis on local projects/schemes/networks, with a global view Linking in with local churches, becoming part of 'normal' church life Supporting cell groups to discuss and support these issues I think evening events e.g. at the pub, would help draw the younger generation in Linking into technology, with articles, hints and tips on how to live a modern life in a more green way 2. How can Christian Ecology Link integrate younger people into its network ? As others have said, the design and promotion of the organisation is key. Using social media such as facebook and twitter will help (not that I personally am a big fan of these). This will enable local groups to be able to quickly and easily share information. People like short, sharp headlines, glossy photos. Give people a sense of power over what they do. Being green is fashionable. Use role-models. Think about how to integrate young people's desire for new things with the need to be economical and ecological, e.g. clothes swap parties, charity shopping, altering clothes, natural alternatives to chemical cleaners and 'beauty products'. 3. What would the Christian Ecology Link network have to look like for you to want to join it ? Firstly, it needs to be passionate about what it does, and able to communicate that passion clearly. Simple, easy to navigate website with key information on what the organisation is and does. Links to local groups i.e. on facebook, so that you can see what is going on in your area Fun articles on why and how to get involved, and green living (green shopping, green clothing). Think about how popular magazines are marketed and what sort of things appeal. Regular updates in an e-newsletter Making it future focussed- i.e. in the future we WILL have less power to go around, food and power etc will be more expensive, lets make this a POSITIVE approach! live in the future now and get ahead of the game by reducing your energy consumption and using local, organic, vegetarian (sometimes if not always), making your own gifts and 'ready meals'... let's create the future we want NOW with the resources we have left, not leave it until we have no choice. Then when the oil runs out, and the climate changes, our lifestyles will already have changed to reflect this. 4. What sort of actions should Christians be undertaking in the light of current environmental problems? Any and all possible! (see above) 5. Do you have any ideas or proposals for changes that Christian Ecology Link might like to consider, either to the nature of its project work or its organisation ? I don't know a lot about the organisation to be honest! But I think my previous comments answer this to some extent.
Thank's Ben for this suggestion - See Jo's explanation for having the discussion online. (And we have modified the text in the article above as a result of your and Helen below's suggestions Survey monkey IS useful. I have used it. At the European Christian Environment Network Assemblywe devised a simple paper questionnaire about churchyard wildlife - See http://rainforest-save.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/church-and-churchyard-wildlife.html We made a version of it on Survey Monkey too:- http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KYQCDFK Do have a go with this questionnaire in your churchyard... preferably with some friends or other people from your college/church/work place
Dear Anna, Thank you very much for your thoughtful and clear responses to our questions. Your suggestions and ideas are incredibly valuable to our process of discovery.
Hi Ben, Thanks for taking the trouble to make this suggestion. We could do a tickbox survey, but that would be a closed box. Christian Ecology Link members and friends normally make contributions to the collective process by email discussion, open to the participants of an email group. The learning and sharing is of very high quality, and it has been said it deserves a wider audience. The "Discussion" category of posts on this new website is a trial to try to replicate this process for the Internet. We are putting our toe in the wider pool by hosting open discussions - it may fly or sink. We'll see.
Hi Helen, Thank you for your excellent suggestion ! This discussion post is intended to be just that - an open discussion. Christian Ecology Link has been holding private discussions using an email group for some time, and the contributions have been practical, insightful and progressive. We feel that the things our members and friends are sharing with us in that email group could be valuable to a wider audience, so we are trialling ways to bring that kind of engagement into the public sphere. Please do consider answering the questions in this post - all answers will be interesting, I'm sure !
1. What activities and projects would draw you and people of your age into an environmental network ? Creativity and the arts, lobbying, campaigning, friendly competitions, social networking 2. How can Christian Ecology Link integrate younger people into its network ? Visibility on social networks and online 3. What would the Christian Ecology Link network have to look like for you to want to join it ? A committed, energetic movement with clear aims and, most of all, a clear way for me to get involved. 4. What sort of actions should Christians be undertaking in the light of current environmental problems ? Everything that environmental campaigners are doing, with an emphasis on treading lightly on the earth and stewarding the earth/caring for the planet. Campaigning against consumerism. 5. Do you have any ideas or proposals for changes that Christian Ecology Link might like to consider, either to the nature of its project work or its organisation ? Not sure.
PS: Why not use an online survey tool next time like surveymonkey? Much more functional, suitable for younger users, and confidential :)
1. What activities and projects would draw you and people of your age into an enviromental network ? I'm already keen and involved, I would love to know how to get others involved whether in my age bracket or not! But I'd suggest some campaign actions - marches, lobbies (with training on how to lobby decision makers maybe?), online/mobile e-actions etc, and some strong lifestyle change suggestions - Tearfund's Rhythms thing shows a good way to do this, with monthly patterns of commitment to take on certain actions. 2. How can Christian Ecology Link integrate younger people into its network ? You look like you're targetting an older audience in the way you market yourselves - for example, even this page assumes your readers will be older and need to pass this on to younger relatives! This isn't necessarily the case, and in any case, younger people referred to this site by older relatives will also see this message. You need to think carefully about not just talking about supporters as if they are all elderly. Practically, being more online/mobile, engaging with social media, and being less paper-heavy and postal would also help, as would networking with other organisations working with under-30s. 3. What would the Christian Ecology Link network have to look like for you to want to join it ? I think I'm in it, but it does look old fashioned - very paper-heavy as mentioned above, and long texty emails about specific events happening at churches far away. This could all be online instead, perhaps even broken down by region. Events tend to be more suited to older people - mid week talks/walks/coffee mornings etc. I'd like to see you respond rapidly to news related to the environment with ways we can help - eg, responses to government announcements with e-actions to relevant ministers. 4. What sort of actions should Christians be undertaking in the light of current environmental problems ? Everything we can - there's no limit. That includes campaigning nationally and internationally, to governments and businesses, particularly on climate change but also on biodiversity etc, as well as personal and corporate (church) lifestyle changes such as reduced energy/meat/travel use and creation of space for wildlife. And we need to pray, and be conscious of the environment and other species in our worship too - not just in a guilt-inducing or 'isn't this sunset beautiful' kind of way, but really celebrating the good and engaging with the bad. 5. Do you have any ideas or proposals for changes that Christian Ecology Link might like to consider, either to the nature of its project work or its organisation ? I think the above covers it :)
I'd recommend taking a look at doing surveys online rather than via this approach. There are plenty of "try before you buy" options and some remain free as long as you stay under a certain volume of responses. The one we use here is www.surveymonkey.com and I rate it very highly. BTW, well done for the great work you all do. Ben.
I am over 30 but would like to reply:- What sort of actions should Christians be undertaking in the light of current environmental problems?" The best thing people can do is to go vegetarian, or if that's not possible they should at least reduce their consumption of meat. This would reduce unnecessary killing and cruelty to animals, it would reduce environmental damage and climate change (worldwide farm animals make more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world's transport systems), and it would reduce hunger, as growing crops direct for human consumption requires far less land and water than raising animals for meat. I may be wrong but I think being vegetarian/vegan is less common among mainstream Christians than in society as a whole. Would changing this be something that could inspire young Christians?
1. Case study on resource consumption and waste 3.I want to join now 4. as Christians we should be leading on the issues of sustainability and stewardship. Outstanding for the cause and actively seeking a voice amongst the big players