Earth hour, when lights are turned off for an hour as a symbolic acknowledgement of your care for/impact on the plant, has always struck me as kind of a cop-out. You make a big deal of your action one day a year, but over all you don’t change your habits or overall impact. That’s why I was happy this year that we could use the launch of our Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit to push Earth Hour participation a bit further.
But let me back track a bit – the Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit that we have been posting in this blog about every few months for the past year is done! You can download your very own copy from toolkit.transitionkw.com or check out a hard copy from your local library. This past Saturday afternoon at Kitchener City Hall we officially launched the toolkit with a very successful event. First, we were energized by Organic Groove’s awesome drumming! Next Sylvie Spraakman (my fellow toolkit co-manager) kicked us off and gave some background on the Transition movement and our Toolkit. Then our featured speaker David Roewade informed us about the climate changes we can expect – and in some cases are already seeing – right here in Waterloo Region. We heard some inspiring stories from audience members about how they are already lessening their impact in their daily lives. After that inspiration we had a group of local experts (Stacey Danckert, Cheryl Evans, Jason Thistlethwaite, David Roewade, and Steve LaRochelle) on hand to answer any questions people had about local adaptation actions, local resources, and climate change. Finally it was time for everyone to take action – the Earth Hour Challenge!
If you couldn’t make it Saturday, we would still like to challenge you to take action in the next three months and take your Earth Hour commitment further this year. All we are asking you to do is pick three actions from the toolkit that you haven’t already put into action (no cheating!) and commit to completing them or putting them into action in the next month. Just shoot us an email or reply to this post letting us know what you are planning to do – and then let us know once you do it or by commenting on our check-in post once the challenge period is over. That’s it.
I’ll be doing the challenge myself – here are my three actions:
1. Invest in Alternative Energy (I keep telling myself I will join CREW – but now I will really have to!)
2. Assemble a Household Emergency Kit (again, long overdue!)
3. Plant a vegetable garden instead of a lawn (I only have a balcony, but I intend to plant tomatoes, herbs and peas this year)
I’ll talk to you all again in three months to let you know how successful I have been – good luck with your actions!