There is no shortage of things to be depressed about when it comes to climate change. Rising sea levels, deforestation, smog… the list goes on.
I have found however, it is much more productive to take a realistic rather than optimistic or pessimistic view on the matter. In fact, people who are overly pessimistic about climate change, while probably able to provide some valuable information, have no place in my book.
Last night I was frustrated while looking online for a good environmental place to volunteer for a couple days this coming week. While the frustration was mostly thanks to my lack of planning ahead, I have now realized (yet again) my narrow-mindedness when it comes to being helpful with climate change.
This morning I woke up to a sunny day in the Linden Hills community of Minneapolis, MN. Looking out my window, I noticed particularly crowded sidewalks and I remembered that today is LH Festival day!
Taking to the streets with my mom, I realized that there are some very smart LH residents who are thinking both realistically and actively about climate change. And more importantly, tying their concerns into local action. Oooh how I wish I could have had a hand in planning this! Today was a valuable lesson for me, yet again, to see how global climate efforts do NOT have to be global at all.
Anyway I was SO pleased to find the community-centered and environmentally focused day!
From a barrage of yard sales, free stuff bins, book swaps, and sidewalk tables, someone was thinking of the most forgotten of the 3 Rs (REUSE) in a big way.
In addition to the sharing and exchanging of goods (or in many cases junk), today’s festival was successful in just getting people out of their houses, talking to each other, and being active. There were carnival activities, snacks, animals, and kid stuff everywhere! I was so happy!
Anyway, last summer I was part of another smart effort in LH called Linden Hills Power and Light that worked to establish a community-wide composting initiative and then took on the task of educating the community members and getting the city to sign on board. I was lucky to be around a team of such motivated, organized, and experience leaders. The program has now been successful for almost a year (and is growing) and I was very pleased to see the compost coming back as free planting soil at the festival!
So, today I just have to brag about my own community and learn the lesson that I can help the environment by helping at home. I hope the efforts of some very smart LH residents can inspire people in other communities as well.
Thinking of the 3 Rs,