Cross posted from the 1Sky blog, here's a great post from Andy Silber is a astrophysicist, engineer, project manager, husband, father, and energy activist living in Seattle. Visit Andy's blog on Sustainable West Seattle

sites/all/files/picture_2.jpgOn Sunday, October 10th, 2010 (i.e. 10/10/10), 1Sky is co-sponsoring a Global Work Party with First, a bit about what’s up with the number 350; it symbolizes the parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere that our climate can probably tolerate without catastrophic disruption (we’re already above that, so we have a lot of work to do).

So what’s the Global Work Party? The idea is rather than march or gather for a big photo, we actually do something with our friends, our neighbors, our communities. Hundreds of events are planned all over the world, from tree planting in the Philippines to a bike rally in Dharamsala to cleaning up a creek in Texas. No matter where you are, you can probably find an event that is already planned.

In addition, there’s still time to organize your own. I think a good event has two components: it should build community and reduce CO2 at least a little bit. A good photo opportunity is also nice. There are lots of possible ways to do this: carpool (if you happen to work on Sunday); plant a tree; work on a community garden; and so on.

Here’s an idea that I think incorporates some important aspects. Get 350 Compact Florescent Lightbulbs (CFLs). You can either buy them or you might be able to get the conservation department of your electric utility to donate them. These bulbs are one of the easiest and cheapest way to reduce our electricity consumption, which in the U.S. is the largest source of our greenhouse gas emissions. If you are reading this, I’m guessing that you already have a bunch in your house. But your neighbors may not. So on 10/10/10, go knock on your neighbor’s doors and offer to come inside and screw in a bunch of free CFLs for them. Talk with them about your concerns, about how important it is for us to drastically reduce our energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Talk about what’s happening in your community. If there’s nothing happening, talk about starting things. Go from house to house. Bring a bottle of wine. It should be fun. Invite your first neighbor to join you at the second neighbor’s house. Make it a rolling block party. Have fun!

The most important thing is for everyone to understand that this is but one step, for some the first, for others just another step in years of work. But for no one should it be the last step. Getting people signed up for updates from 1Sky and is a good step, but getting people involved in what’s happening in their community is best.

See you on 10/10/10!

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