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.


  • 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?

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

February 17, 2015

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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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