When asked what concerns them most, people will invariably say litter or dog mess. The fear of crime, exacerbated by poor local environmental quality, is also always 'up there' on most people's agenda.
MLAs and Councillors know this and are often reminded at election time. Yet the most significant environmental, economic and political issues we face are global, such as climate change, peak oil, the financial downturn and biodiversity loss. Making the link between individual behaviour and these intangible concerns is difficult which is why we believe engaging people where they are at is the most important first step in growing local pride, building community confidence and developing an awareness of the impact that our individual actions have on the local and world stage.
That is why, here at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, we are passionate about making a difference for everyone living in, working in and visiting Northern Ireland. We understand that action taken at a local level to improve environmental quality issues such as littering, discarded rubbish and dog mess and also wider issues such as reducing waste, can bring major benefits to local communities and businesses.
We work with councils, volunteer and community groups, local businesses and other organisations, to deliver the vision of creating cleaner, greener communities. We want to encourage everyone to take part in improving their communities, work places and recreational areas in ways that work for them. Alone we cannot make the difference. Working together we cannot fail.
Dr. Ian Humphreys
Chief Executive, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful