If the White House announcing that it will be installing solar panels after all--let's not begrudge that they didn't take 350.org and Sungevity up on their offer of free new ones--hasn't inspired you to get to work this Sunday as part of the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, here's some more great events to get us heading in the right direction: Los Angeles Is Going Car Free & Saying No To Coal, Oil Lobbying
A key part of building a more social and ecologically sustainable, less oil dependent future, and just more human-scale cities in general is reducing car use and making more walkable cities. If you're in or around Los Angeles, join thousands of your neighbors and take part in CicLaVia. 7.5 miles of road are going to be shut to promote bicycle and foot traffic and a rally will be held at City Hall in protest of coal-fired power and the oil industry-funded ballot initiative Proposition 23.
NYC's Getting White Roofs
Want to reduce your building's energy consumption with just some paint? Then get up on the roof and paint it white. That the color dozens of rooftops in New York City will turn next Sunday as hundreds of people join in. In fact the interest has been so high that more locations have been added by event organizers. Find out more info at 10/10/10 New York City White Roof Work Party. Doubtful about the big impact a little paint can have? The US could save a collective $1 billion annually.
Jimmy Carter's Solar Panels Return to White House
In you're in Washington DC and want to take a more informative approach to the day--learning is work, after all, and important work at that--head over to the White House for a rally/press conference/green showcase. NASA's James Hansen (who's really been putting his body on the line for his beliefs lately and deserves some serious credit for it), Climate Progress' Joe Romm, Lester Brown, and others will be speaking. What's more the original solar panels that Jimmy Carter installed will be re-presented to the White House. The importance of that last gesture may be slightly lessened considering this morning's solar power announcement, but it's still a good one.
There are lot's of top-tier national 10/10/10 events on 350's website, and you can find an event near you there as well--there are thousands of them scheduled around the world, with this year's scheduled events already surpassing those of last year on October 24th.
But there's one more event that I think is really worth highlighting as it truly sends the right message about the importance of community and the sort of pitching-in that is currently needed (and will only become more so) in taking practical action on climate change and environmental problems more broadly.
New Bedford's Having a Weatherization Barnraising
In New Bedford, Mass. volunteers are participating in a modern 'barnraising' to weatherize a home, as part of the city's goal of weatherizing 10,000 homes. Afterwards the block surrounding the home with be turned into a big block part, with the Mayor, musicians, and a basketball tournament. For low-income members of the community there will be compost bin distribution and educational outreach on food justice.
Here's the greater importance of the event, in historic context:
The idea is simple - bring people together to help their neighbors. In the old days, people would come together to help their neighbors build their barns - instead of raising barns, we weatherize neighbors' homes. Throughout our history, people have supported each other in harvesting food, building shelter, raising children, and other facets of community. Today it should be no different. Many of us are struggling to pay the Winter's high energy costs, we all at least know someone who is out of work, and we are all living on a planet that is being degraded and overloaded with green house gases. Although it may be a small act, by coming together to make one home at a time more energy efficient we can work towards three goals: saving money, creating jobs, and reducing green house gas emissions. All while building relationships and strengthening community in the process.
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More on 10/10/10:
Nine Days to Go Until 350.org's Work Party on 10/10/10 - Here's Ten Top Events To Inspire Action
Don't Just Simmer, Get Busy Getting to 350
VegPledge Campaign Tackles Every Angle of Greener Eating