I know, I know, work is pretty hard to sell as a party, but the Global Work Party being held on October 10, 2010 (10:10:10) is different. This work will send a message and make a difference. And who doesn’t like a good party?
Global Work Party is being organized by 350.org, who you no doubt remember were the architects of the Global Day of Action. Held last year in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate treaty conference, the Global Day of Action mobilized millions of people from all over the world at 5,248 events. CNN called the event, “the most widespread day of action in political history.” Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to convince our world leaders to do what they needed to do in Copenhagen, but the Global Day of Action did mobilize people all over the world to demand action on climate change, resulting in a massive wave of momentum.
The Global Work Party will build on this momentum in a very practical way. 350.org’s slogan for 2010 is “Get to Work” and that means that we as global citizens must get to work and start changing our communities from the ground up. If we act, our leaders will hopefully in turn act.
As 350.org founder Bill McKibben rightly puts it “My sense from talking to so many people is, everyone understands the underlying message. Which is not that we’re going to solve climate change one solar panel at a time. Instead, it’s that by getting to work in our communities, we can demand that our so-called leaders get to work in parliaments, palaces, and congresses the world over.”
A man from Texas recently told McKibben that, “if I can get up on the school roof and put in solar panels, then our US Senators can surely do the work they’re paid to do.”
So on October 10, 2010 people from all walks of life will gather in groups big and small to do something in their community to lower global warming emissions. The event was only announced a week ago and there are already over 430 actions planned! Clearly last year’s momentum has not been lost…
Whatever you choose to do just remember to plan a time for taking an action photo that visibly displays the number 350 and people getting to work. That way, we can stitch together a global mosaic for our leaders and the media, and show them that people all over the world are ready to get to work on climate solutions. This gigantic photo petition will show the world: people everywhere demand leadership on solutions to the climate crisis that will get the world back to 350.
Looking for some ideas for your local work party? We have collected some of our favorites here:
#1 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!
#2 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.
#3 Work on a Community Garden or an 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 info, visit 350.org/foodandfarm
#4 Go For a Ride
Biking is a great way to get out and be visible in your community. It also demonstrate 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?
#5 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…
#6 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 MPs office, insulating your basement, weatherizing your church or temple, or doing an energy audit on your school, efficiency can help get us on the path to 350 as soon as humanly possible (This is also likely one of the easiest ways to reduce emissions really fast — like 10% in 2010 as our friends at the 10:10 campaign are helping folks to do).
#7 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 a whole existing network of communities working as Transition towns that you can connect with to learn what they are doing: http://www.transitiontowns.org.
#8 Faith Work
Connections between the world’s diverse religions and the issue of global warming are numerous and strike 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 global warming to the list and harness the network to start working on the solutions.
#9 Trash Clean Up
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–instead of decomposing over the years and sending a stready stream of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.
#10 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% 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 partnerhsip–if you want to get plugged into the 10:10 Global Campaign, sign up by using the widget below:
Watch this space for the Green Times’ very own event, to be announced soon… Write to us and tell us what you’re planning. Let’s share all our initiatives here.