New year message: Bravo to the eco-warriors!

Debbie Bourne

Debbie Bourne. - Credit: Debbie Bourne

As we approach the end of the year, I’m replacing the "o", in eco-worrier for an "a"! 

Looking back on this tough year, I’m in awe of the number of eco-warriors in the borough, who have worked tirelessly on climate and social action projects, helping our borough become leader in green recovery. 

Active travel is an area the council has developed this year. We have more cycle lanes than recycled baubles on my Christmas tree! But what if every student in every school had access to a bike and was taught to maintain it, and ride it safely? I like the idea of cycle confidence lessons from local eco-warrior Dr Bike - Sam Parkes of rebuiltbikes.co.uk. 

Talking about the council, while the politicians normally get the credit, we owe thanks to unsung heroes: Council officers, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that Camden’s climate action plan is being pursued during the Covid crisis. Let's pay tribute to the sustainability team: Harold Garner, Jackson Bylett, Carlos Queremel & Abi Roberts. Thanks also go to the participation department team: Caroline Kennedy, Sue Sheehan, to name a few. 

Let's raise a glass to Transition Kentish Town, who have created many of the borough's community gardens. Never has there been a year when we have valued public outdoor spaces more. 


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Also to Emily Walker-Smith and Ellena Bryant from Friends of the Earth Camden/Think & Do - developing a sharing and gift economy. They say: “Let’s swap fast fashion for fair fashion and support swap shops, not sweat shops!” 

Communi-tree heroes! Camdenforest2025.wordpress.com has given away 400 bare-rooted trees in the last two weeks. In the new year they plan to give away 1,000 more trees, with a focus on greening balconies on estates.

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Bravo to Powerupnorthlondon.org, who are dedicated to installing low-carbon energy solutions.

At a foody time of indulgence, thoughts should go to Cooperation Kentish Town and Refugee Community kitchen, who are doing brill work. Big shout also to vegbox.org.uk, a truly local social enterprise. 

What if, next year, we turned empty shops into pop-up food co-ops, swap shops, repair cafes and food hubs that celebrated the diversity of cultures? 

I raise a glass of homemade sloe gin and invite you all to join in the fun. Together, let’s start to make eco-worrying a thing of the past. 

Here’s to a partridge in a (local) pear tree….and er….a vaccine. 

  • Debbie Bourne is from Transition Kentish Town and Camden Think & Do.

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