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:
- Host a clothing swap. Invite friends, co-workers — even swap kid's clothing. Leftover items can be donated to a charity or recycled.
- 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.
- Host a green cleaning workshop. Tried my recipes? Teach a friend or family member!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Get outside. Join Project Feederwatch, become a citizen scientist, pull invasive ivy, plant trees, clean up shorelines, etc.
- Host a block party. Slow down, even just a little, to check-in with family, friends and community! (Many cities offer grants for these.)
- Reduce, reuse and refurbish. Join a repair cafe or organize your own.
- 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