We create projects using the ‘better, faster, cheaper’ methodology that is gaining momentum in urban planning — just try things out and then redo them with additional resources if it catches on. Everything we do is scalable and easy to join or replicate. In addition to current projects like BankSwitch and the Pledge Sheets that started it all, we’ve described some of our past projects below. We’re especially proud of Climate Picnic.
ALLemailsALL was a small but successful campaign we ran on Earth Day 2019. We encouraged everyone to email EVERYONE in their address book with a personal message about climate change. It didn’t explode and transform the world, but we had about twenty participants — each of whom emailed hundreds of people. Matt received half a dozen heartfelt replies that included conscious commitments to do something about climate change. One of those replies blossomed into a Climate Picnic in Ottawa — which inspired hundreds of other people to think about climate change for a few hours and hopefully make changes in their lives. Read more and see the promotional video here.
In 2018 and 2019 we had three Climate Picnics in Toronto — complete with musical guests and representatives of most of Toronto’s climate action groups — plus a sister event in Ottawa called Climate Picnic Sandy Hill. These events provided a casual, relaxing space for people to talk about the climate crisis and learn about the work people are doing to make things better. We hope to do more after the pandemic.
- Climate Picnic How-To
- Climate Picnic Overview
- Climate Picnic Video Ads
- The Deeper Thinking Behind Climate Picnic
STONE SOUP: [cancelled until after pandemic] Many people want to get involved with climate action, but don’t have time because the modern economy demands that we work and work and work and still somehow also take care of ourselves and our homes. Inspired by the Stone Soup folk tale, we’re planning climate talks in peoples’ homes around a meal to give back a little bit of free time. 1. Make a huge vegan stew, 2. invite your neighbours, 3. talk about climate breakdown and climate action — and 4. send them home with a recipe and leftovers. We have slides which you can copy and adapt to your presentation style. Check out Climate Fast’s Kitchen Table Conversations for a similar program.
RESTAURANTS: [Cancelled until after pandemic] We are currently developing a training program for restaurants that informs them about reducing their direct emissions, but also helps them become hubs for climate education and action! Because most social change and deep discussion happens over a meal.
DEEP-CANVASSING: [Cancelled until after pandemic] Deep-canvassing is an approach to door-to-door canvassing that relies on extended listening. The approach has had modest success in reducing prejudice in the United States. We helped develop a door-knocking campaign with Toronto350. If you want to get involved, reach out or attend the weekly Toronto350 meeting on Tuesdays.
PLEDGES in SCHOOLS: After connecting through current teachers, students at Matt’s former high school have taken on our pledge system, adapted it and distributed it to the whole school. The points for pledges will count towards the final point tally in their house competition. Get in touch and I’ll keep you posted on what works and doesn’t work and give advice about implementing something similar in a school near you.
NOFLY2020: [mandatory for everyone until after pandemic] By the hour, flying is the highest emissions activity you can engage in. It’s also one of the easiest to cut back on. You just have to stay home and read a book to achieve measurable and immediate reductions. A campaign to stay grounded in 2019 has “taken off” in Sweden. We’re looking at signing people up for the English version of the petition. A one-year flight hiatus is one of the actions on our pledge sheets — but we like the targeted approach here. Did you know that airlines don’t pay fuel taxes?
All of these programs still require planning and organizing. At this time, we are looking for individuals willing to commit to a specific project and take on some of the heavy lifting, but you can also drop us a line to let us know you would like to volunteer for one of these projects in a more casual way.