The friendships that began at the monthly study circles we held—on topics ranging from permaculture to income inequality, and local food sovereignty to co-ops—laid the groundwork for a day-long Climate Action Fest, held last April. About eighty community members attended. Those who had a climate action project idea they wanted to champion for our community were encouraged to “pitch it” at the Climate Action Fest.
Amidst creative brainstorming and a lot of laughter, the initiatives that generated the most excitement were selected organically, as folks congregated around the projects that they wanted to work on. We emerged from the Climate Action Fest’s flurry of excitement and positivity with a variety of self-directed “action teams,” each working at their own pace according to the needs and capacities of their volunteers.
The variety of initiatives that are now happening in our community is a testament to the fact that climate change affects every facet of our lives. Two teams have already finished their work; one produced a local guide to reducing your carbon footprint, complete with climate-friendly recipes; the other team took it upon themselves to reach out to the business community about the obstacles they face in providing secure bicycle parking for customers and employees — information which the City of Kamloops is now taking into account as it supports the shift to more active modes of transportation.
Just this month, a creative workshop to harness the power of music and spoken word for the cause of climate action generated inspiration and drive among 25 participants, and a plan for a public performance is now being hatched.
Other action teams are exploring the viability of a local carshare; protecting urban trees during our increasingly hot summers; bringing more native species into home gardens; researching what’s needed to make green burial an option in Kamloops; and the list of action projects goes on.
Behind each of these projects is a group of citizens saying, “I care about a strong, healthy community as we move into a new reality, and I’m going to do what I can.”
The shared hope and commitment of their efforts will continue to ripple outwards in our community.
While we have more people working on this than ever before, there’s still so much that needs doing! If you’d like to join one of the action teams, or have an initiative that you would like to work on with others, please get in touch.
For our part, the same trio of non-profits is planning Climate Action Fest 2.0, which will be held on January 27, 2024 ― register here! We’ll be hearing from the leaders of this year’s action projects and brainstorming ways to build on them. There will be room for new ideas as well. It’s amazing to see the magic that happens when folks share their ideas and energy!
Climate change is scary, but connecting with others to make our community more resilient is a sure-fire way to reduce anxiety. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!
Watch for updates on our website.
Editor’s Note: This opinion piece reflects the views of its author, and does not necessarily represent the views of CFJC Today or Pattison Media.