So often have many of us worried what will become of our earth as climate change worsens our environment’s capacity to sustain life. Some, like those with local Indigenous and climate-forward organizations the Beaver Hills Warriors and Extinction Rebellion, have been worrying and warning of these disastrous trends long before many of us started paying attention. Now, it is clearer than ever that individual impacts alone are not enough to change the course of our survival: only by coming together and standing up for each other and our planet can we save the communities we call home.
That’s why today we want to emphasize that there’s still a ton that you can do to fight for our planet in cooperation with existing efforts across Edmonton using your time, money, and voice. The climate justice movement is still going strong: online #climatestrikes are taking place globally, and local organizations are taking to social media to remind us that a green future is possible, so long as we work together for change.
Bust Some Myths and Support Local Climate Education
Today, take some time to step back and think realistically about your community’s capacity to respond to the approaching climate crisis. Are there any groups in your surrounding neighbourhood already committing themselves to sustainability and climate justice in Edmonton? Are there any local environmental groups you would be willing to volunteer with closeby? It’s time to get cracking and see which organizations are channeling their energy toward building a network of environmental resilience.
For instance, Climate Justice Edmonton (CJE) is a great resource for learning how you can help from the safety of your home, while cooperating with social distancing rules. They run two main working groups that you can get involved with (Green New Deal for Alberta, and Free Transit Edmonton). They’re even hosting a Green New Deal 101 Webinar on May 14, which you can check out here.
Of course, it’s important to not limit yourself to activism, but to keep educating yourself too. Take some time today to answer some of the biggest questions you have about climate change, renewable energy, and other related subjects. Find out how you can “green” your home, or what other projects you can begin using that will help change your carbon outputs. And if you’re bringing your young ones along for the learning ride, the Alberta Council for Environmental Education has this great learning tool for the budding environmentalists among us. For the more mature, this article has a great outlook on our current realities as we sit between both the climate and Covid-19 emergencies.
Put Your Money Where Your Tank Is
We’re all saving a bit on gas, so if you’re lucky enough to have some extra cash for the cause right now, we suggest using your money where it counts! CJE has a gofundme page up, and donations help get the word out about a just energy transition for Alberta. Beaver Hills Warriors are also always accepting donations through PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org. You might also consider taking a moment to donate to Edmonton’s Extinction Rebellion chapter, who have their own gofundme here, and who are adapting to the pandemic by providing Edmonton with online talks and discussions on our climate emergency.
Shout Your Truth
One of the great successes of this generation’s climate movement is its VOICE. Today’s climate activists are loud and unafraid of the unsustainable rules and regulations by which many of us silently abide–the same rules and regulations that keep us marked for climate denigration. So today, use your representation to help elevate those efforts, and add your voice to the throng! Bring up your stance on climate change in conversation with your family, or during your next socially distanced hang sesh, and post anything you may have learned recently to your story with the hashtag #LocalGoodnessYEG.
This might also be the time that you finally write that letter to your MLA or local representative about what you’d like to see change in terms of environmental governance in Alberta and Edmonton. Get a crew of friends together over FaceTime and host a letter-writing party, or reach out to local climate leaders in Edmonton to ask how you can help directly. We’re sure they’ve been waiting for whatever greatness you’re willing to bring.
Other ways you can join in on the climate movement in Edmonton:
- Citizen Science gives you an exciting way to participate in a climate science project taking place across the city. Click here for more info!
- Learn more about your own carbon footprint here, and find some great tips on how to live more eco-friendly in Edmonton!
- Check out this Urban Systems resource page, which details some excellent media related to community engagement and activism across a wide variety of topics.
- Check out this Financing Solar event happening on May 21 with Solar Alberta!
- Read up on the City of Edmonton’s Long-term Environmental Plan.
Although Edmonton is currently under the constraints of a pandemic, the climate emergency remains urgent, and it is important now, more than ever, to stay diligent as we face the new challenges around every corner. Stay sustainable, Edmonton! We’ll see you on the other side.