Massive Action the 21st of Every Month
Those of us at Turn21 have put out a call for action, regularly and consistently, and you are beginning to answer the call.
As part of what we call Launch Turn21, we will showcase groups that are committing to making a difference and living the solutions. We will spotlight groups that have signed on as supporters of a call to action every 21st, every month, who are starting with actions on Earth Day this year!
We will share their upcoming actions and events, so you can pick where you want to plug in and make a difference. Using social media, our website, newsletters, and ads, together, we will get the word out.
Read about the next showcased group doing fantastic work here:
What does it mean to take action every 21st?
You likely already work to align things like where you spend your money with companies that support the environment, their staff, and give back to community groups that support progressive issues. You also likely donate your time and money as you are able to different progressive causes. And considering that we are in the sixth major extinction hyper-accelerated by Climate Change, you are probably outraged over the absolute lack of both vision and leadership from the Executive Branch of the United States and share your disgust freely with those who listen.
Considering you are likely an activist, what possibly can you do on the 21st that you are not already doing?
The answer is simple. Find people who are also activists, keeping an eye towards those who are just starting to pay attention to this major transition we are all going through, and when you make a personal connection urge them to also spend every 21st raising awareness about our current state of affairs!
Let the idea spread like fire, like ripples of water impacting the next ring, like a breath of fresh air and grounded in reason, passion, spirit, and also sensitivity to the fact that for each person, their transition to awareness is a personal choice to wake up and stay awake. You cannot force another to believe something against their will, but you can spend one day a month spreading the message that the time for action is now. If others agree they might take take heart and take action!
Do you remember your transition? Do you remember your awakening? At first, it seems as if no one else is thinking about the crisis we are in. Or maybe you are just now starting to see the world in this way? Regardless, know that there is a growing consciousness that acknowledges both the quagmire we find ourselves in and as well recognizes that there are solutions we can and must employ post haste.
So this 21st, let your voice ring out. Sing to those in the choir and just beginning to find their voice. Invite them to join in the chorus.
As the new year approaches, now is the time to think about how we can hit the reset button on our calendars and on our routines. Let’s do things differently. Let’s consider how we can effectively assist the world in solving its predicament of transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energies. Part of that solution will require using fewer resources—not an easy task when faced with carbon-gluttonous lifestyles. The other part will require helping others wake up about the fact that the status quo is morally bankrupt and deserves to be rejected en masse.
In this spirit, here are 21 New Year’s resolutions that we can all do together on the 21st—or any day, if a different day is what it takes—to be part of the Turn21 rhythm:
- Change your account from a big bank to a local bank or credit union. Already switched? Help one person you know make the same switch. Local financial institutions help local resiliency in ways that big banks can’t.
- Shift your investments to sustainable, green technologies, and away from fossil fuels.
- Start a Meatless Monday. Meat uses far more energy, per calorie, to produce. See if you can increase that to two days a week without meat. Already vegetarian or vegan? Encourage at least one person to start their own Meatless Monday. One day a week might not seem like much, but it adds up. When just 1/7th of your week is meatless, that comes out to 52 meatless days a year—almost two months!
- Eat more organic food. They use far fewer carbon inputs. And, these days, they’re common enough that they’re often priced competitively against conventional foods.
- Eat more local food. Source groceries from your region. See how low you can go when it comes to your carbon footprint. Can you walk to the market to buy your food?
- Be car-free for one to two days a week. Support local transit, carpool, bicycle, walk—whatever you can. Encourage others to do the same.
- Work to cultivate a sharing economy to eliminate redundancy and waste. Work to create a tool-sharing program, or one for games, books, cars, and work. Get creative. The more we share, the less we need to consume new stuff—and the faster our transition can be.
- Encourage local political participation by Turn21–minded folks. Every 21st, read about what’s happening with your local city council or commission. Share and discuss your observations. Encourage others to do the same.
- Support local leaders who understand that we’re in a transition to resiliency, and do what you can to help them one day a month.
- Find out which seats are open on local boards and commissions. Help find qualified candidates who will support our issues. Then, help them to prepare to run for local office. Consider that you might be the most-qualified candidate who needs to run!
- On the 21st, write a letter to a newspaper about how people can take action to create the future we want and need: one of resiliency, sustainability, natural-resources regeneration, and relative abundance.
- Give 5% to 10% of your income to organizations and individuals working on this transition. Encourage others to do the same. Make the donations on the 21st.
- Say no to single-use plastic. Every piece of plastic that’s created will be on this planet forever. Skip that disposable coffee lid, cup, fork, or straw.
- Make restorative time for yourself in nature, without all the electronics. Get out to the forest, the river, the sea. Try to do this once a week, but at least give yourself a respite each 21st.
- Contemplate how you can live with less stuff. Find ways to enjoy life with fewer things. Switch from collecting things to collecting experiences. Maintain this practice through the year.
- Prepare your friends and family for fewer-to-no presents for the next holiday season. Transition others away from the boom-and-bust of the consumer culture. If you still feel the need to give a gift, donate to a worthy charity or organization in their name.
- When you can, give used, or “pre-loved,” gifts.
- When you can, buy used items, not new ones.
- Take more staycations. Save money and carbon by exploring the wonderful new places you never knew about, right where you already live. Support local businesses as you do this.
- Read a book about the green transition. Expand your horizons.
- Meditate, be present, and cogitate on the well-being of the planet and others.
We’re also very pleased this month to offer a new document, our Action Byte Handouts, which you can download by clicking here. Our Action Bytes are business card size handouts that you can use to help spread the word about turning 21. Make sure to hold some of these cards in your wallet or purse so you can hand them out to individuals as you let them know why we must all begin taking action, regular action, to create the world we must to ensure our long-term survival.
Problem: As communities across the globe begin to build resilient, sustainable communities, the need will be great for people in every field, from business and financial markets to the social sciences and the arts, who not only understand how the rapidly changing environment affects their world, but have gained the skills and the hands-on experience to meet the challenges with success.
Solution: Create a college curriculum where every academic field is integrated with a focus on sustainability.
Every year Green Mountain College hosts a week-long series of events celebrating Earth Day, showcasing the programs, projects and community partnerships that the students and faculty of GMC engage in every day. And 2016 will be no different as GMC joins with Turn21 this year.
Students at GMC do more than just learn about sustainable and environmental practices, they live it on a daily basis. GMC offers a model Environmental Liberal Arts (ELA) curriculum that is built on a framework of social, economic, and environmental sustainability that prepares its students for jobs in some of today’s fastest growing fields. GMC is “committed to educating the next generation of transformational leaders that will foster meaningful change in their communities and the broader world.”
For 20 years, GMC’s students and faculty have helped forge strong partnerships in the Vermont community, spearheading and being actively involved in community events and projects, and offering an array of cultural events, art shows and performances, that provided hands-on experiences for students in community-building.
Today, many colleges and universities are introducing sustainability education; GMC is one example, and is a founding member of the Eco League, a consortium of six environmentally themed colleges located across the U.S.—“colleges with a mission.”
Organization: Green Mountain College
Located on 20 acres of beautiful Vermont farmland, the campus itself is a model of sustainability. As the second college in the nation to become carbon neutral, the campus generates 85% of its annual heating needs from their biomass plant and is now working toward a goal of meeting all the campus’ energy needs with 100% renewable energy by the year 2020.
1 Brennan Circle, Poultney, Vermont 05764 website: http://www.greenmtn.edu
DOWNLOAD THE GREEN MOUNTAIN COLLEGE FLYER
Effective Organization – Green Mountain College
Problem: Clean water, clean air, productive soil and biodiversity are the fruits of Earth’s complex ecosystems. But for 10,000 years annual monoculture agriculture has dismantled that complexity to produce more food, more reliably. Our current agricultural system erodes and degrades soil, requires toxic inputs, causes oceanic dead zones and releases atmospheric carbon. Industrial scale ecological destruction combined with the system’s reliance on fossil fuel intensive inputs threatens the sustainability of the system and the human population it feeds.
Solution: Natural systems agriculture: perennial grain crops grown in mixtures that mimic natural systems.
The Land Institute is creating a new agriculture informed by nature’s ecosystems. Our scientists are developing perennial grain species with an eye to their being grown in diverse arrangements that will require less fossil fuel, conserve soil and water, and better adapt to weather extremes that accompany climate change. This new agriculture produces food and reduces the loss of biodiversity. Perennial grain crops provide year-round cover, shield soil from wind, absorb moisture, and slow surface runoff. Their extensive root systems host micro-organisms and invertebrates critical to healthy soil. Perennial polyculture systems provide food for years without replanting and interact in complementary ways to manage nutrients, fertility and pests, thereby requiring less fossil fuel. Moreover, perennial polycultures can sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide, replacing soil carbon lost when agriculture displaced native ecosystems.
Organization: The Land Institute
The Land Institute is a non-profit research and education organization housed in a modest collection of buildings on the bank of the Smoky Hill River in central Kansas. The organization was founded by Wes Jackson, on the principle that “using nature as a model for agriculture makes possible…the sustainable production of food.” In addition to the work in Kansas, The Land Institute is building an ever-expanding network of research partners and collaborators across the globe.
2440 E. Water Well Road, Salina, Kansas 67401 website: www.landinstitute.org
DOWNLOAD the Land Institute info sheet and share it with friends:
Effective Organizations – Land Institute
Problem: If we do nothing, what’s at stake? In the face of unprecedented challenges such as food scarcity, water insecurity, climate change, biodiversity loss, fossil fuel depletion, and growing human population, doing nothing will lead to systemic shocks – environmental shocks, financial shocks, and energy shocks – from which we cannot recover.
Solution: The time to respond is now. One vital way to do so is by building community resilience.
Community Resilience is the ability of a community to maintain and evolve its identity in the face of both short-term and long-term changes while cultivating environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
What would a resilient society look like? For one, it would reduce exposure to environmental shocks by learning to live within resource limits. It would adopt different priorities—survival and long-term quality of life over short-term profit, and shift from aiming for perpetual economic growth to flourishing within Earth’s Putting community resilience first means working with our neighbors, supporting local farmers and tradespeople, and prioritizing local economic development over globalized trade. It means building food and water security within our own communities. It means moving away from centralized and non-renewable sources of energy and empowering local communities to produce and use their own ecologically-appropriate energy sources.
Resilience is already being built in communities across the globe, but we need all hands on deck. One place to start is by visiting resilience.org.
Resilience.org provides individuals, communities, businesses, and governments with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated economic, energy, environmental, and equity crises that define the 21st century.
The site provides information on the issues, examples of action, exchanges of ideas, and useful resources. We want you to get involved! First, visit Resilience.org to discuss ideas and projects, and pick up and share tips on how to build the resilience of your community, your household, or yourself. Second, subscribe to one or more of our regular bulletins with the latest articles from Resilience.org delivered directly to your inbox.
Please join us: the movement to support building community resilience is growing, and your help is needed.
Download and share this page:
Effective Organizations – Resilience ORG
Problem: Where do I start? For many people, the environmental problems—maybe even the solutions—are obvious but getting started and knowing where to the find resources can be daunting when it seems the problems are so big, so global.
Solution: Local, hands-on resource for education, action and community building for sustainability and resilience.
“We get stuff done!” says Daily Acts’ website and it’s not an empty slogan. From its earliest beginnings in 2002, Daily Acts’ working premise has been that change begins at home, with the simplest acts by individuals. “We can be the change we want to see in the world,” Founder Trathen Heckman says, and reminds us of the power that individuals or small groups possess for making a big difference through small changes.
Encouraging, supporting and leading hands-on, local action by individuals and groups has always been at the forefront of the Daily Acts programs and projects, but in the spring of 2010 they launched an overwhelmingly successful program which today is known as the Community Resilience Challenge. This community mobilization campaign set a goal of inspiring the building of and planting of 350 new gardens in a single weekend and resulted in an amazing 628 gardens or garden actions being “registered”!
The Challenge has grown significantly since then and asks us now to take action, individually and collectively, to save water, grow food, conserve energy, reduce waste and build community. The actions that count toward your pledge start with everyday behaviors, like hanging laundry on a clothesline rather than putting it in the dryer or riding public transit, and range to big resource-saving projects, like installing rainwater harvesting tanks or putting in a Laundry-to-Landscape greywater system. When you register online, there is a suggested list of actions to choose from or you can create your own.
Each year, the Challenge exceeds the annual goal with thousands of home, garden, business and community actions and leading to the building of an ever-growing network of organizations, civic groups and community partnerships. In Sonoma County, the Challenge has inspired over 5,000 people to pledge 22,949 sustainability actions saving approximately 14,722,500 million gallons of water a year from lawn transformed to sustainable landscaping and gardens alone. The program is so successful that groups from across the country have joined in the Challenge, inspiring similar efforts, collaborations and building networks for lasting change.
Organization: Daily Acts Organization
Daily Acts is a sustainability non-profit that inspires action to create more nourishing, connected, and resilient communities. Their education programs, action campaigns, and strategic alliances connect people to each other and to their own power to grow food, conserve resources and build local resilience. Daily Acts partners with the Sonoma County Water Agency and cities of Petaluma, Cotati, Windsor, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa and Sebastopol to bring more education to a wider audience.
The Community Resilience Challenge runs from mid-March through May every year and you can participate by signing up online. Its fast, its easy, and you can sign up from anywhere in the U.S. To learn more about Daily Acts and the Community Resilience Challenge, please visit the website at www.dailyacts.org.
Download the Daily Acts flyer to share with friends:
Effective Organizations- Daily Acts
Problem: Across the planet, humans are living beyond the earth’s means, depleting its resources and fouling the rivers, soil and air due to over-consumption.
Solution: Living more simply, using fewer resources, knowing and reducing your Ecological footprint.
Jim Merkel, a Fellow with The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, exemplifies the “radical simplicity” that he espouses in his workshops, lectures and his book. In response to the global disasters of the Exxon Valdez spill and the Iraq war, Merkel made a radical about-face, leaving behind his career training as a military engineer and devoting his life to sustainability and world peace. While learning how to live more simply himself, he founded the Alternative Transportation Task Force in San Luis Obispo, and, in 1995, founded the Global Living Project (GLP) and began the GLP Summer Institute, where teams of researchers attempted to live on an equitable portion of the biosphere. He is responsible for bringing environmentally sustainable practices to Dartmouth College’s operations and culture and led a Cycling for Sustainable Future speaking tour across the country. Currently, Community Solutions is partnering with Merkel on a film, “The 100-Year Plan,” which will explore how overpopulation and over-consumption are at the core of the earth’s environmental and social problems and will offer a look into societies that are working toward more sustainable practices, such as smaller families, smaller eco-footprints, and healthier, educated citizens.
Organization: Community Solutions/Jim Merkel, Fellow & author/lecturer
Jim Merkel’s book, Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth offers a path to a deeply sustainable way of living respectful of all life. His recent work helped Dartmouth College earn high grades on the Sustainability Report Card issued by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. Jim founded the Global Living Project and currently writes, lectures and consults with campuses and municipalities on sustainability initiatives. Calculate your own ecological footprint at GLP’s website: www.radicalsimplicity.org
Community Solutions: The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, founded in 1940, is a non-profit organization that advocates for small communities and the benefits of face-to-face relationships. Since 2003 their focus has been to provide resources for low-carbon living and to inspire collective, cooperative solutions in the face of peak energy and climate change. www.communitysolution.org
Download the Community Solutions flyer to share with friends:
Effective Organizations – Community Solutions
Problem to Solution, Effective Organizations
Problem: How to survive when faced with the daily realities of a post-fossil fuel world. How do we eat, work, thrive when we can no longer drive a few blocks to a supermarket to buy anything and everything we think we need?
Solution: Begin the transition now to re-educate ourselves and act collectively to reduce our reliance of fossil fuels, strengthen our local communities and create lifestyles that will survive the inevitable changes due to resource depletion.
Transition US, part of the Transition Network in the UK, began in 2005 as a community response to unprecedented changes that humans across the globe will be facing. Transition US acts as the hub for a national network of citizen groups who are preparing their communities for those changes. Their approach is based on 4 key assumptions: dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable so let’s prepare for it; currently we lack resilience (the ability to bounce back after serious disruption); we must act NOW, collectively to prepare; it is possible to design new ways of living to survive the changes by utilizing our collective genius.
While the Transition Towns movement spurred hundreds of households in dozens of cities to take individual actions to save water, reduce emissions, and turn to renewable energy sources, the Transition Streets movement takes that effort to the streets, literally. Key to the effort is a seven-session handbook that can be downloaded for use by groups of neighbors to help them reduce waste, improve energy efficiency, conserve water, and explore ways to eat and live healthier lives.
Organization: Transition US/Transition Streets
Transition US is a nonprofit organization that provides inspiration, encouragement, support, networking, and training for Transition Initiatives across the United States. Transition US works in close partnership with the Transition Network, a UK based organization that supports the international Transition Movement as a whole. Website: www.transitionus.org
To check out the Transition Streets website and download the 7-part handbook, visit the website at http://transitionstreets.org/.
Please check out the one minute animated Transition Streets video:
Effective Organizations – TransitionUS
Problem: Shipping’s reliance on dirty oil
Everyone knows that oil and water do not mix – except, that is, for the international shipping industry that plies their trade on the world’s waterways. It’s a triple threat: fossil fuels burned to propel the cargo ships pollute our air and our water; the world’s demand for fossil fuels is aided by huge tankers full of oil crossing perilous seas and entering ports where the threat of a massive spill is constant, and, oil-dependent maritime shipping covers 90% of all goods purchased. So how can the consumer economy be perpetuated when the ships are not prepared to switch to another means of propulsion, even if it were known, when oil supplies will inevitably be cut and the world may start strongly protecting the climate from emissions?
Solution: Sail Transport of goods
According to Culture Change, we have passed the point of changing the economy’s energy diet to avoid petrocollapse. While Culture Change also believes in telling the unvarnished truth about mounting climate chaos, they also work to educate people about how to transition now to a fossil-independent lifestyle. To that end, they support an adjunct organization called the Sail Transport Network, which is reviving old-world ways of transporting goods using sailing ships.
The big news is that a renovation is nearing completion on a sailing ship originally built in 1920 in the Netherlands, and is to become the world’s biggest sail transporter boasting a 70-ton capacity. The 44-meter schooner, Avontuur, will have a small auxiliary engine, but it will be used primarily for getting in and out of harbors. The crew will consist of five regular crewmen and about 10 trainees, utilizing a system of volunteers as is used on the Tres Hombres, a 32-meter schooner that has now made seven cross-Atlantic cargo voyages. Interestingly, with traditional fossil-fueled cargo ships often running at slower speeds to save on fuel, there are times when wind-driven sail transports can deliver their cargo faster. Sailing ships can never provide the total trade volume shipped today via oil, but with tomorrow’s localized economies & food production, and leaving behind needless consumption of much of today’s manufactured products, it is possible to provide essential trade and travel with sailing ships.
Organization: Culture Change and Sail Transport Network
Culture Change: educates and mobilizes people to make dramatic cuts in petroleum consumption immediately in order to drastically reduce pollution, avert complete climate chaos, stop the assault of petrochemical toxins on our bodies, end war for oil, and localize economics.Culture Change was founded by Sustainable Energy Institute (formerly Fossil Fuels Policy Action), a nonprofit organization.
Mailing address: P.O. Box 3387, Santa Cruz, California, 95063, USA, Telephone 1-215-243-3144 (and fax)
The Sail Transport Network: connects people – locally and across oceans – for the purpose of building community resilience by reviving heirloom technologies that will enable them to thrive in a fossil fuel-depleted, climate-disrupted world. Trade, exchange, and travel are the basic triad of intercultural connection. STN works to establish a basis for sustainable living in a post-fossil fuel world by using the heirloom technology of sailing ships to establish trade and travel systems beginning now.