Photo: Community action starts with you

Slow down, even just a little, to check-in with family, friends and community! (Credit: Stephanie Rosloski)

Ask not what your neighbourhood can do for you — ask what you can do for your neighbourhood!

In one word, what's one thing you love about your community: ________.
In one word, what's one thing you'd like to see change: _____________.

The proposition that a few simple, selfless acts will make your neighbourhood a better place to live was tested nation-wide by my Queen of Green Coaches and their recruited families during Module 4: Community Action.

They:

  • Donated clothes and children's toys
  • Hosted clothing swaps and potlucks
  • Organized an e-waste drive for their school
  • Proposed to their town's Sustainability Commission to ban food waste from their landfill

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  • Made a Little Free Library
  • Attended rallies, marches and community events
  • Joined Project Feederwatch
  • Started workplace green teams

Ten ideas to fire up your commitment to the people and places you love:

clothing donation.jpg

  1. Host a clothing swap. Invite friends, co-workers — even swap kid's clothing. Leftover items can be donated to a charity or recycled.
  2. Start a soup or salad club. People who take lunch breaks and don't eat at their desks return to work refreshed, refocused, re-energized and relaxed.
  3. Host a green cleaning workshop. Tried my recipes? Teach a friend or family member!
  4. Host a skill swap auction. Get services you need (babysitting, clothing alterations, dog walking, etc.), save money, reduce consumption and build community. Do it with a group of friends and neighbours or for your next birthday party!
  5. Organize an e-waste donation drive. Fundraise for your kid's team, school or an organization (including the David Suzuki Foundation). You need a minimum of 10 items like cell phones, print cartridges, laptops, tablets and digital cameras.
  6. Start a food circle. Help a family member, co-worker or neighbour. It's the best baby shower gift ever and a kindness for someone going through chemo or dealing with loss.
  7. Get outside. Join Project Feederwatch, become a citizen scientist, pull invasive ivy, plant trees, clean up shorelines, etc.
  8. Host a block party. Slow down, even just a little, to check-in with family, friends and community! (Many cities offer grants for these.)
  9. Reduce, reuse and refurbish. Join a repair cafe or organize your own.
  10. Go scent-free at work. Fragrances in cologne, perfumes, soaps and shampoos come from a variety of synthetic chemicals that can trigger allergies or asthma attacks.

What initiatives have you led or participated in that you think others could replicate in their communities?

Sincerely,
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

February 17, 2015
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/queen-of-green/2015/02/community-action-starts-with-you-1/

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1 Comment

Feb 28, 2015
1:45 PM

You may have one already. There was a free library only a block away from home (rec. centre lobby), that I noticed by accident! Now I have a nearby place to donate books. Some places may only need a decent bookshelf to get going.

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