Sharing a Vision with Neighbours

Inspiring: Karina Wells has been voted Environmentalist of the Year for green projects

Karina Wells is an inspiring woman. Already more than 100 homes have taken part in the Eco Teams programme she set up in West Bridgford. Each Eco Team is a group of neighbours who get together on a regular basis to swap notes on environmental issues, such as conserving energy and reducing waste.

A further 30 people trade their time in the Chippers exchange scheme which Karina started. They may swap an hours hedgetrimming for an hours babysitting, say. Books, videos and other items are also shared.

And now she has moved on to a third project the shared garden, a group of four allotments which are worked by 14 families who then share the produce.

"Ive got the energy, vision and drive to set these projects up," said Karina. "But this award is recognition for all the people who are in the projects. It is all the people who have won this, not just me."

Karinas latest project, the shared garden, started in September. She said: "We had discussed food miles and organic gardening in the eco teams. The idea spread and people were aware of it, but didnt know how to put it into practice or didnt have the time to have their own garden. The aim of the shared garden is that you team up with another member so youre not alone which gives you more incentive and Im there most of the time, which means I can help teach people.

We have four allotments. Three are nearly finished and a fourth one is about to be started. All the produce will be shared among the 14 families. We put in time, energy and share the produce.

It isn't really that different from the other projects. Theyr'e all about a sense of community."

Published in the Nottingham Evening Post, Friday February 23, 2001.
Reproduced here with permission of the publishers. Visit their web site at

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