Throw a Work Party
A work party is a great way to celebrate climate solutions.
The concept of a work party derives from traditions of the minga in the Andes, the Sarvodaya movement of Sri Lanka, and the barnraisings of Amish people. All of these cultures have in common the idea of bringing their whole community together for a day of collective work, usually to complete a project that will benefit the whole community. These traditions are often typically followed by a fun event involving food and music to celebrate the accomplishment.
The Top 10 Work Party Ideas:
#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.
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.transitionnetwork.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 Reduce your own emissions 10%
By working together, we can achieve a 10% cut in carbon emissions in a single year, starting in 2010. Our focus is on immediate, practical action--350.org's focus is on uniting local actions for systemic change on a global level. We're working hard to show that through hard work, we can achieve 10% reductions on the personal and community level.