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Among the most frequent comments we get is one that points to citizen action as (too) partial a solution to the crises we face.
In the following article, I’ll explain why it’s worth it to take action on a small scale, especially since we’re never alone in getting involved!
1. Don’t underestimate the power of an individual action
Individual actions are inextricably linked to collective actions! One often leads to the other, especially in our inner circles.
Here are some ideas drawn from my experience:
– Chatting about plant-based food by bringing tofu or zucchini to the barbecue
– Discussing food waste by pointing out that your salad is still crunchy after three weeks in the fridge (wet cloth + plastic bag!)
– Bringing up second-hand by showing off your clothes and your best finds
– Talking about sustainable mobility in a neighbourhood by pointing out the lack of safe sidewalks in the area
Tip: we remind you at every workshop that we don’t aim for perfection in our actions, so don’t expect perfection from your loved ones either 😊
2. Soothe your eco-emotions through action!
Do you also experience fear, anxiety or sadness about environmental inaction? You’re not alone! Let’s call it eco-lucidity: there’s indeed a lot of work to be done to get society on the road to transition.
To me, and to many people who are active in social or environmental action, the best way to transmute the energy that drains us into energy that empowers us, is to act! And to connect with others who are working alongside us as well!
Photo credit: Groupe GEYSER
3. Share the positive initiatives that already exist here!
There are many outreach projects across the country, please spread the word!
– Ask your organization or city for one of our introductory environmental action workshops: they offer a guilt-free and dynamic experience that inspires action. The ideal way to get started in your community with tips that everyone can use in their daily lives!
– Spread the word to other provinces le Défi Pissenlits (the Dandelion Challenge) happening in Quebec! Initiated by Miel&Co, it promotes the health of pollinators by postponing spring lawn mowing! 166 cities signed up last year and the third edition is open. When will there be a Canada-wide edition of the challenge?
Photo credit: Miel&Co
– Learn about The Butterflyway Project by the David Suzuki Foundation, which creates protected corridors for butterflies and pollinators in urban areas. The project is even designed for children, offering people of all ages the opportunity to become ‘Butterfly Rangers’.
– Create a Generations Chair, with the collective Mothers Step In and your local school. The Chair is then offered to the City Council, to be placed at the decision-making table, so that a symbolic voice is given to future generations. More than 30 Chairs have already been appointed, and another 60 are currently being created!
Photo credit: Mathieu B. Morin
– Make your city a starry sky reserve, where light pollution is reduced to a minimum, to the delight of biodiversity and star gazers alike. The initiative can then be certified by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, as is the case for the Mont-Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve, the first in the world involving 34 municipalities!
4. Form a group to protect the planet
So, are you ready to take action? Many active groups probably already exist nearby, so all you have to do is find one for you!
– Explore the calendar of Earth Day activities, or the directory of environmental organizations across Canada, to find the right activity or group for you and take action near you!
– Dive into the Future Ground Network which brings together passionate people like you who unite to defend woodlands, to green and improve their neighbourhoods, to accelerate the socio-ecological transition, and to re-imagine how we function as communities.
– Discover the Mothers Step In, groups of mothers and grandmothers who give love, beauty, poetry, art, and anger a central place in all their activities. Their goal: to protect the future of our children against climate inaction.
– Join a gleaning group, and head to the fields this summer to harvest fruits and vegetables that would have otherwise gone to waste. A good way to motivate your loved ones for an extraordinary afternoon, and to take home some fresh food.
– Sign up for a collaborative workshop like the Climate Fresk, or Biodiversity, , workshops to understand the connections between different environmental issues through illustrated maps. It will be an opportunity to meet new people who come like you to play, debate and discover new inspiring ideas for action.
Photo credit: Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique de Québec
– Use Facebook to search for groups by typing in “transition,” “citizen committee,” “coalition” or “association for protection” followed by the name of your city or a city near you. If there aren’t any, make a request to another local group. It can all start with a post to help you find people like you who want to take action!
I hope these ideas have stimulated your appetite for positive and creative action. When you’re ready, now is a good time to join us: the movement is not about to die out, and it will always need you! 😊
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