Take Action > Climate Change

10% Income Shift

Ensure that 10% of what you spend is on local, ethically produced goods.

Due to globalization, foods and goods produced from miles away have become available and accessible at our local markets. Many of these goods can also be produced locally, yet our global economic system has made importing them in from other countries the most cost efficient – but not always the most environmentally sustainable or supportive of workers’ rights.

By creating a budget that allocates a percentage of how much we spend to local products, we encourage local businesses and workers, decrease our carbon footprints, while learning more about the production and distribution of the things we buy.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Globalization, Sweatshops

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.
  • Action Reports

Boycott

Boycott a product or brand by refusing to purchase or use/wear it.

Boycotting products is a simple way to actively resist consuming products that are produced with sweatshop labour. Resistance is always stronger in numbers: educate your friends/classmates about sweatshops and boycott a product or brand together. Make noise about your action by blogging about it, sharing it on Facebook or telling a local newspaper!

Check out these Successful Boycotts

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice, Globalization, Media Awareness, Sweatshops

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.
  • Action Reports

Bring Your Own Take-Out ContainerCreated by Selena

Having worked in a restaurant where everyday I help people doggy-bag their food items and pack up take-out orders, I am appalled at how much plastic containers, paper bags, paper napkins, plastic forks, spoons and knives and condiments that we give away that will probably end up in the trash. Most of the customers take their food home to eat with their families anyway. However, I remember one regular customer who always phoned in for take-out and would always specify that she had her own container and would inform me that she did not require any extra utensils or even a paper bag to hold her food. When you order take-out and you know you won’t be needing plastic utensils, condiments or napkins, let the server know and bring your own container to hold the food. Or if you need to doggy-bag your meal, use your own container. It will reduce the amount of waste that will end up in the trash.

Goals

  1. To reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the trash.

Climate Change ConferenceCreated by Claire

The C3 Conference brings in speakers on the forefront of action raising awareness about climate change. They come to us from across the Lower Mainland and work with the students to reach the general student body. We share perspectives with the Canadian Youth Delegation as well as these speakers to advocate for system change within our respective communities. To reiterate, topics such as hydraulic fracturing, oil drilling, food security, ocean pollution and fisheries, tankers, air and water pollution will be addressed and discussed throughout the course of our event. Join the 250-300 students will be attending this event, where they will actively participate and learn from workshops, presentations, and activities!

Goals

  1. To bring together youth from across the Lower Mainland to discuss climate change issues
  2. To engage community leaders, facilitators, and speakers in connecting with and educating youth about climate change
  • Action Reports

Clothing Swap

With a group, organize a clothing swap where you exchange clothes you no longer wear for new clothes from your friends’ closets.

Sweatshops – where children, youth, and adults are employed at low wages and in hazardous environments – exist because of consumer demands that enable large corporations to exploit labour to make profit. The more products we consume that are produced by these companies, the more incentive we give them to continue to use sweatshop labour.

Take a stand; instead of going shopping, next time host a clothing swap with your friends. You will finally clean up that closet your parents are nagging you about and end up with new clothes for free! By swapping items in your wardrobe, you are choosing not to purchase something made in a sweatshop and supporting human rights.

Suggested Steps

  1. Choose a location (your house will do just fine for a group of friends!);
  2. Spread the word via social networks and word-of-mouth;
  3. Gather up the clothes that you would like to contribute to the swap;
  4. Prepare some food or make it a potluck;
  5. Set up a few swapping ground rules (clothing should be clean, in good condition, etc.) and decide how the swap will work (is it auction style or does everyone get a turn?);
  6. Swap!
  7. Donate the un-swapped items to your local thrift store.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Globalization, Sweatshops

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.
  • Action Reports

Community Shared FarmingCreated by Brendan

It’s hard to grow our own food in the city. Especially if we want to grow all our favourite fruits and vegetables but don’t have enough room to do so. But wouldn’t it be much easier if we all grew food together? Community Shared Farming connects neighbourhoods in Vancouver by creating a “farm” consisting of a collective of backyard gardens. Each backyard garden grows a different family of plants which allows for proper crop rotation and higher yields. Together we can create a TRUE community urban farm!

Goals

  1. To connect the community through sustainable food practices
  2. To expand our community's knowledge about the importance of food security and sovereignty
  3. To grow our own food!
  • Action Reports

Compost in your Yard or Apartment

Don’t throw your orange peel away! Turn it into a natural fertilizer.

Composting is a great way to integrate environmental solutions into our day-to-day lives by decreasing the amount of garbage we send to landfills, and putting biodegradable waste to good use. By composting at home, school or work, you can educate those around you on the issues related to food security and the impact our food has on the environment.

Check out these Composting Instructions

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice

 

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.
  • Action Reports

Create a podcastCreated by Karen

The podcast that I will be recording will be a series of stories told by delegates from the 2013 Leading the Way Youth Summit on Sustainable Transportation (http://leadingthewayyouthsummit.com/), drawn from across Western Canada about key moments in their lives or insights that have prompted their interest in sustainable urban transportation. The spirit of this project lies in the belief that sustainability will only come about when it is meaningfully connected to the threads of community, diversity, or respect for place that speak to us as individuals.

The podcast seeks to lay important groundwork for advocating at a national level for supporting the life of our communities through making active transportation safe, inclusive, respectful and delightful. It aims to draw similarities between the ways active modes enhance and involve us in the life of our local towns, neighbourhoods and places of importance, while allowing for learning about regional differences. Through the stories of the delegates, the podcast will illustrate the diverse range of goals that active transportation can contribute to — including objectives related to climate and environmental protection, local economic development, community engagement and social equity. In capturing both a specific moment in time — the delegates coming together at the Youth Summit — the podcast will also touch upon the larger conversation happening across Canada about the sustainability of the future of our cities and communities. The podcast can be used to identify areas of common concern and resources for youth to have a part in making a national transportation strategy a policy reality.

Goals

  1. To advocate for safe, inclusive, respectful, and delightful active transportation.
  2. To share the diverse range of goals that active transportation can contribute to.
  3. To contribute to the ongoing national dialogue on active transportation issues.
  • Action Reports

Darn Your SocksCreated by Lillian

In the workshop, we talked about how our society has become so accustomed to disposable things. When something breaks, we throw it out. It is amazing how many people see a hole in a t-shirt or sock, for example, and think that it can no longer be worn. For this action, we suggest repairing something instead of throwing it away. One great way to do that is to learn to darn your socks. If you have a sock with a hole in it, darn it! There are lots of darning instructions online or, if you’re lucky, you might be able to ask your parents or grandparents about how to darn. It used to be a really common skill!

Goals

  1. To repair and reuse an item instead of throwing it away.
  2. To learn new skills from another generation.
  3. To raise awareness of a simple action (darning) on a big issue (globalization)
  • Action Reports

Farmer's Market Feast

Make a farmers’ market feast with locally grown produce to share with family and friends.

Visit a farmer’s market near you with your friends and family. Create your own menu and ensure that all your main ingredients are locally grown. Have a blast picking out fruits and vegetables at the market; ask questions about where and how the food was grown. Then, enjoy cooking up a storm before you finally have a delicious locally grown feast.

Check out some of Vancouver’s farmer’s markets here.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice, Globalization

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.

 

Hold a Documentary Screening

Invite people to watch a documentary on the impact of media.

There are several documentaries out that address the impact of media. Many of them discuss issues about gender representations, consumerism, and social stratification.

Choose a documentary to screen at school or host a screening for your friends and family at home. Create discussion questions for the group to answer after watching the film.

Suggested Steps

  1. Choose a documentary film;
  2. Choose a date, time, and location;
  3. Spread the word through social networks;
  4. Prepare for the screening: make some snacks or suggest that others bring a dish, watch the film beforehand, develop discussion questions for a conversation after the film;
  5. Watch the movie;
  6. Discuss your questions.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice, Gender Representations, Globalization, Health Care, Income Inequality, Media Awareness

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.

Kids for Climate ActionCreated by Sam

Kids for Climate Action is a Vancouver-based youth group dedicated to raising awareness of the need to act on climate change at both an individual and government level. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our generation, and we are working to engage young people in the political process for this issue with such profound implications for the quality of our future lives. This fall, K4CA will be focusing on many low budget and innovative ways to raise awareness and to do outreach to get more members involved (as a large portion of our organizing team just graduated). However, our main focus in the coming months, will be canvassing in the lead up to the coming provincial election. By using a petition that examines the two pipeline proposals through BC, using a climate lens, we hope to create a broader dialogue with the people of Vancouver about these issues.

Goals

  1. Create dialogue with the people of Vancouver about the impact of climate related issues such as the proposed pipelines through BC
  2. Promote civic engagement and empower the people of Vancouver as voters
  • Action Reports

Measure your Carbon Footprint

Have a competition to see how much you can reduce your weekly carbon footprint.

The carbon footprint calculates an individual’s impact on the environment using greenhouse gas emissions as a measure. The activities we participate in during our day-to-day lives have an impact on the environment. Basic things such as food, clothes, transportation, and the watts of electricity we use all contribute to our carbon footprint.

Challenge your friends and family to reduce their carbon footprint for a week and create a fun competition! Maintain an ongoing discussion with participants about how our actions impact climate issues.

Check out these Carbon Footprint Calculators

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice

 

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.

Plant a Garden

Start a garden and track your food from seed-table.

Many of us are disconnected from the production of our food. Our relationship with the food we eat begins at the supermarket and ends in our stomachs. But it is always rewarding to eat what you have grown and know exactly what has been put onto and into your food.

Start a garden in your yard, or join a community garden. Learn about soil preparation, seed planting, and how to nurture plants into full growth. Reward yourself with a delicious garden feast at the end of the season.

Check out these gardening tips to get you started.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.
  • Action Reports

Plastic Bottle FreeCreated by Youth4Tap

Youth4Tap is devoted to water conservation and awareness. We lead the local fight against the bottled water industries, one of the most wasteful and unnecessary ploys of the business world. By banning the sales of bottled water at our school, we effectively led the entire student body of 2200 individuals to drink tap water. To achieve this, we strategically installed water bottle refill stations around the school, for a total of 3 refill stations and $9510. To fundraise for this large purchase, we sold customized metal water bottles, promoting the use of the newly installed refill stations, as well as applied for various grants and awards. Fortunately, our school administration is very supportive, and they agreed to match our funds, which covered the costs for the third station. As well, we host an annual Water Week, which involves sharing our passion with the school and getting our peers to get involved in the movement. Join us and make your school plastic bottle free!

Goals

  1. To raise awareness about bottled water waste and water conservation
  2. To change student behaviour and encourage the use of tap water and reusable water bottles
  • Action Reports

Produce Your Own Media

Create your own media – a blog, a Zine, a video – to share your perspectives and opinions.

Although media often produces negative messages that tell us how to view ourselves and the world, we can take back control of the media by producing our own!

If you have something to say, or an idea to share, multi-media outlets have made it very easy for us to produce our own media and the Internet has made is easy to distribute. Create a video, Zine, Blog, or song and share it with your online social networks.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice, Globalization, Income Inequality, Media Awareness, Sweatshops

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.
  • Action Reports

Project GratisvoreCreated by Jack and Yichen

30% of all produce developed for consumption is inevitably wasted before getting to the general public. A big part of that comes from processing in grocery stores. Project Gratisvore is a food recovery program that targets food considered cosmetically unsatisfactory by grocery stores. An apple that is too bruised and an overripe banana are examples of such produce. Truckloads of such food are composted or simply thrown away every week; this builds up to a humongous amount of food injustice and food waste. We will develop stable recovery programs in grocery stores and donate this food to local community kitchens and food banks.

Learn more about Project Gratisvore at www.gratisvore.org

Goals

  1. Reduce food waste
  2. Support community kitchens and local Food Banks
  • Action Reports

Recycle Your BatteriesCreated by Karin

Batteries are used to power a variety of things — electronic devices, toys, kitchen supplies, and emergency equipment, such as flashlights. Although batteries are great power sources for many common appliances today, they are often disposed in the public waste landfills of cities, creating negative environmental impacts due to the heavy concentration of toxic metals and hazardous chemicals that leak from the battery cells.

Instead of disposing them in the trash next time, gather your batteries and drop them off at your nearest recycling depot. Some batteries can be returned to retail stores, city-wide recycling depots, and transfer stations. Battery recycling is a great way to improve problems like soil contamination and water pollution.

There are two general types of batteries: non-rechargeable and rechargeable. Non-rechargeable batteries are alkaline while rechargeable ones include lithium, lithium ion, and zinc air. Check your local recycling locations to see if they only accept certain types of batteries.

Suggested resources and recycling locations:
Call2Recycle: http://www.call2recycle.ca/
Recycling Council of British Columbia: http://rcbc.bc.ca/recyclepedia
London Drugs – Green Deal Recycling Program
FutureShop
BestBuy
Ikea
Regional Recycling: http://www.regionalrecycling.ca
Vancouver Battery: http://vancouverbattery.com/recycling.php

Goals

  1. Raise awareness of proper battery disposal
  2. Understand the negative effects of battery leakage in the environment
  • Action Reports

School Garden ProjectCreated by Brian

Start a food garden at school. Create a student group with a teacher liaison and plant a garden. Invite the student population to volunteer at the garden at lunchtime or after school. Ask your science teachers if they would like to use the garden to teach students about plant life cycles and healthy ecosystems as a part of their class. Your school can start a compost to use as fertilizer for the garden. This is a great way to learn new skills and grow food with your friends!

Goals

  1. To enable students with knowledge on how to grow food
  2. To promote awareness about the benefits of eating local foods
  • Action Reports

Start a "Meatless Monday"Created by Sydney

Encourage the people you eat with to ditch meat once a week, and enjoy the benefits it has on their health, world hunger, and the environment.

Simply ask others to bring/buy something other than meat for their lunches, and enjoy a day of vegetarian meals once a week. Let others know that they’re doing good for animals, themselves, and the environment. Going meat-free once a week is not only a good way to reduce your carbon footprint, but to raise awareness of how poorly animals are treated for food.

Goals

  1. Raise awareness of the benefits of eating less meat.
  2. Engage others in learning about their food and what is in it.
  3. Create conversations about how animals are treated for food.

Start an Indoor Herb GardenCreated by Jeanine

I would love to plant a vegetable garden but unfortunately don’t have independent access to the right space for it. So, I decided that I would plant my own herb garden inside my room. It is a pretty small action (I only have parsley and basil for now) but it is still cool to grow something all by yourself (from seed), to eat something that you’ve grown yourself, and to be able to talk to others about where food comes from. All you need is a pot (that drains into a bowl or plate), seeds, soil, sunlight, water, and some helpful Internet tips on when to harvest your herbs.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice

Goals

  1. To grow my own herbs from seed.
  2. To include some of my own herbs in my family's meals.
  • Action Reports

The 100-Mile Diet

Challenge yourself to only eat locally grown food!

The 100 mile diet was developed by Alisa Smith and JB Mackinnon, a Vancouver duo who decided to only eat food that was grown in a 100 mile radius from where they lived, for a year! They wrote about their experience in a book they published, The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating.
Borrow the book from your public library and find out if you’re up for the challenge. Try it out for a week, ask a friend to join you. You can also write about your experience on a blog, or create a video diary.

For more information on eating locally, check out Farm Folk City Folk.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice, Globalization

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.
  • Action Reports

Use Reusable Shopping BagsCreated by Sarah

It’s estimated that between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are used globally each year. It takes months to hundreds of years for plastic bags to break down, and millions of these bags end up outside of landfills as litter. If they make their way into the ocean, they are often mistaken for food by seabirds, marine mammals, fish and sea turtles.

Over the years I’ve slowly been stockpiling a giant collection of plastic bags. Not wanting to add any more to the collection, I recently purchased several reusable shopping bags. I take them with me whenever I go shopping, and I no longer have to worry about adding to my giant bag collection. My next step? Recycling my old plastic bags! Some recycling locations include London Drugs, Safeway, and Save-On-Foods.

To find more retailer take back programs and recycling locations, check out these websites:
http://rcbc.bc.ca/education/retailer-take-back/
http://rcbc.bc.ca/recyclepedia

Goals

  1. Raise awareness on the effects to the environment and marine life.
  2. Reduce the amount of waste.

Volunteer some time and sweat at a local farmCreated by Jamee

I just volunteered at the Richmond Sharing Farm this past week and learned SO MUCH about farming, farmers, the local movement towards agriculture, and how to avoid slug infestation! :)
The Sharing Farm grows all kinds of vegetables and some fruits, and donates all of their produce to the Richmond Food Bank, so they have more than just canned goods to provide to children and families. Apparently Richmond has one of the highest child poverty rates! This farm provides them the opportunity to be eating fresh and healthy local foods.

I would highly recommend organizing a volunteer day at the farm. They’re always looking for help!

Goals

  1. Help a great organization do good for the community.
  2. Awareness - for the farm itself, for the plight of farmers, for the importance of local food systems
  • Action Reports

World Ozone DayCreated by Kiran

This event is presented by the Surrey Youth Stewardship Squad (SYSS). SYSS was launched in 2006 in order to provide youth with the chance to enhance and enjoy the environment. SYSS does various projects in the community, from environmental cleanups to special events. World Ozone Day will take place on September 15 at Green Timbers Lake from 11am to 2pm. SYSS will be raising awareness about the ozone and what we can do to protect it. There will be some ozone-themed activities, and a shoreline clean-up around the lake.

Goals

  1. Raise awareness about the ozone
  2. Provide ways to protect the ozone
  3. Encourage everyone to do their part for the environment
  • Action Reports

Write to a Member of Parliament

Write a letter to your MP and tell them what is important to you.

We elect MPs into government in hopes that they will speak on our behalf on the issues and problems that concern us as citizens. Even if you may not be of legal voting age, you can still voice your opinion and let your MP know what is important to you. You can also write to Canada’s Minister for the Environment, Peter Kent,  and share your ideas on what Canada should do to protect the environment. Some people have said that for a politician, a letter from one person counts for the voices of 1,000 others who didn’t get around to writing the letter (with hand-written letters and original letters being given even more weight than e-mails).

Find your representative here.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice, Globalization, Health Care, Income Inequality,

Have you done this Action? Tell us about it and we’ll publish it here.
Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.
  • Action Reports