On Sunday, at over 7,000 events in 188 countries, people will be getting to work to stop catastrophic climate change—and calling on their leaders to do the same. Click here to find an event in your community. If there isn't one, it's not too late: Here are 10 ideas from 350.org for planning your own climate work party.
- Work on a Community Garden or Organic Farm . To get to 350, we'll need to rethink the way we produce food on the planet—moving away from industrial agriculture powered by fossil fuels, and towards small-scale, local, organic farming. Think about using your work party as a day to model this new system—maybe you can break ground on a new community garden. Or simply help out harvesting at a local farm. For more ideas, click here.
- Organize a Tree Planting . Planting trees is fun, friendly, and a great way to engage the community. And each one you plant will be a little carbon-sequestering machine for years to come. Try to shoot for planting 350 trees or more in one day! Check out this tree-planting guide from our friends at the Green Belt Movement for some tips.
- Go Solar. Working on a solar project is a great way to demonstrate the clean energy future right in your community. Whether its installing a solar panel on a local school, building a solar cooker for your community, or putting a solar hot water heater on your house—it is a great way to work with the planet, not against it.
- Go For a Ride. Biking is a great way to get out and be visible in your community. It also demonstrates the need for improved infrastructure for our alternative modes of transportation. Think about setting up a bike repair workshop, or painting bike lanes in your community. Maybe an awareness ride of 350 miles (or kilometers) if you're feeling a bit more ambitious?
- Harness the Wind . A local wind project can show that you're serious about building the clean energy economy. Putting up a turbine is a big project though, so you'll want to start planning this one early...
- Get Efficient. Energy efficiency is often considered "low hanging fruit" when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. It's often easier and cheaper than installing renewable energy, so why not start here? Whether it's installing more efficient LED or CFL lightbulbs in your office, insulating your basement, weatherizing your church or temple, or doing an energy audit of your school, working toward efficiency can help get us on the path to 350 as soon as possible.
- Start a Transition Town. The Transition Towns project is designed to equip communities for the dual challenges of climate change and peak oil. By raising awareness of sustainable living and building local resilience in the near future, making your community a "transition town" can provide a solid framework for sustained action at the local level. There is even an existing network of communities working on becoming Transition Towns that you can connect with to learn more.
- Faith Work . For many of the world's diverse religions, the issue of global climate change strikes a strong moral chord. This is a great way to gather people together who already have a community in which they discuss the big questions—now is the chance to add climate change to the list and harness these network to start working on solutions.
- Clean Up Trash. Sadly, some of our iconic places aren’t as pristine as we’d like. Why not leave the place better than you found it? By recycling the garbage you find, you can ensure that the embedded energy in the products gets reused.
- Join the 10:10 Campaign . Our friends at 10:10 Global are working an ambitious project: Uniting different sectors of society behind the simple idea that, by working together, we can achieve a 10 percent cut in carbon emissions in a single year, starting in 2010. Their focus is on immediate, practical action; 350.org's focus is on uniting local actions for systemic change on a global level. 350.org and 10:10 are working hand in hand in 2010, and we couldn't be happier about the partnership.
Paint a mural. Improve a local park or sidewalk.
Hang your laundry out to dry ... in the center of town.
Set up composting for your home, school, business, or block. Paint a roof white.
Teach people how to repair bikes. Create a climate action plan for your city.
Host a community potluck. Implement a recycling program. Paint bike lanes.
Create more bike parking. Start a solar cooperative. Call your politicians. Hold a rally.
Put up model wind turbines. Take over parking spaces with gardens. Have a party on a public bus. Form a giant 350 in an iconic location. Hang banners. Protest dirty energy plants.
Host a movie screening. Hold a bike parade...
...and a lot more. Get creative! (And share your ideas in the comments section below).
- ... Just in time for 10/10/10
- : Images of last year's historic Global Day of Climate Action
- by Bill McKibben