Earth Week Climate Challenge #2: Green Your Community

Green your community. Think globally, act locally. It’s more than a bumper sticker. It’s a framework for a sustainable economy focused on community strength, support and resilience. You’ve no doubt heard of the sharing economy. You may already be a participant. Well, just go from there. Beyond ride sharing and vacation rentals, there are many ways to share that strengthen your community.

Have you ever found yourself wanting to take on a project at home but not wanting to buy that expensive tool you need? Chances are, a neighbor has it. And maybe you have a book that another neighbor wants to read. And maybe you would love to trade babysitting time with some other neighbors who you know and trust.

Obviously, sharing with friends and neighbors has financial advantages. Borrowing rather than buying saves money. It also has environmental benefits, because it reduces consumption—everyone buys less stuff. And beyond all these benefits, sharing helps us learn each other’s strengths and talents, and grows bonds among neighbors. It creates opportunities for civic engagement and local action for the planet as we build that community resilience we’ll need to face the impacts of climate change together.

There are great resources online to help you think about how sharing can work in your community. For example, check out this four-part guide to sharing, then watch a webinar with cool ideas ranging from how to start a tool library to setting up an alternative gift fair. Or you might start by baking vegan cookies to share with a neighbor!