What did you see on 10/10/10, the global day of climate action? Did the 7,000+ events in 188 countries have an impact?
If you pitched in on this daylong, worldwide climate work party, I’d love to see your pictures and hear the highlights from the day. Are you doing other things to reach the goal of cutting carbon emissions by 10 percent to help the world reach a 350 parts per million target?
Reactions have been a bit mixed. But there are lots of positives. Most of the grassroots events centered on planting gardens and trees, riding bicycles, encouraging clean and efficient energy use and raising awareness of environmental problems. The chief complaint was that they didn’t make a big enough splash.
But it looks like there were lots of little splashes. Among the highlights the event-organizer’s website 350.org:
- The big bike fix-up: In New Zealand, a community-run bike workshop opened its doors and invited one and all to get their bikes road-ready. Participants brought their own bike parts to swap and went on a bike ride after the fixin’ was through.
- Killing “energy vampires” in New Hampshire: Not as gruesome as it sounds. Downtown business owners in Concord, N.H., installed educational displays drawing attention to “vampire appliances” that suck up energy even when they’re turned off. Killer solution: Unplug them.
- Painting black roofs an energy-saving white in Harlem, New York.
- Planting a “food forest” in Oklahoma City: This work party used permaculture techniques to build a balanced ecosystem of food-bearing trees and plants. One-upping the community garden? Maybe, but in a good way.
- Promoting eco-charcoal on West Africa’s Ivory Coast: To reduce the amount of forest cover that is depleted to make charcoal for household fuel, one group promoted greener alternatives such as coconut shells, which burn longer and hotter and could reduce deforestation.
- Building a greenhouse from recycled materials in Portland: Cool not just because it’s in Oregon, I say, but because it is ambitious. This group brought people together to build a structure out of recycled lumber, windows and doors from the Rebuilding Center.
- Planting shoreline-protecting mangroves in the Philippines. Mangroves control erosion, offer valuable habitat for fragile species and absorb carbon as they grow.
- Racing to collect trash in Beijing: This group turned clean-up into a competition and then used the “winnings” to create a community art project.
- A Grand Exchange Market in Denmark: Basically, a big ol’ swap meet. Sounds like fun to me.
- Reseeding the prairie in Lincoln, Neb.: There are some places that never had many trees to begin with. But don’t underestimate the prairie. As this work group said: “Help us bring a bit of Spring Creek Prairie back to downtown Lincoln! We’ll be seeding prairie plants for the Union Plaza development. Save water! Save chemicals! Store lots of carbon in the incredible 14+ foot long root systems that develop under prairie plants!”