February 10, 2011

Work in progress: Great things people are doing (together) for the planet

Above video via GOOD: Brooklyn’s Habana Outpost is a Mecca of Food and Sustainability

You’re probably familiar with 350.org‘s global citizen engagement on climate change at the local, grassroots level. I love hearing about these social and environmental change actions and, similarly, what self-propelled groups are doing in their own communities to improve their urban spaces, make cycling safer and save beached whales. The power we have as individuals is even greater when combined into collaborative forces. I highlight here some efforts in making our world better that may have been initiated by one person but thrive best with at least one other. I can remember in particular a community garden in Vancouver started by two women that not only resulted in local food, but better relationships between neighbours.

This group of high school students go the safety-in-numbers route by biking to school together in a city that isn’t built for safe cycling.

Safe pedalling installation in Madrid. In a similar vein, GOOD had a 3-part series on “Better Bikeways,” this one being Guerrilla Improvements and DIY Signage.


“GOOD’s MacKenzie Fegan recently took a Ford Edge across the country to meet innovators in New York, Chicago, Austin, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Here she visits Josh Hadar, a designer who combines metalwork with solar cells, and Cathy Erway, a writer and rooftop gardener, to learn how they’re repurposing traditional technologies for the 21st century.” The Edge of Progress Tour: Solar Sculpture and Urban Farming

This one’s pretty funny and makes a good point. “Can Eco Joe change the world on his own? Maybe. But it’s easier with friends.” Meet Eco Joe

At the corporate level: Chicago’s Studio Gang: Architecture With the Environment Built In

Designer creates vegetable packaging that pays it forward: Superb Idea: Supermarket Vegetable Packaging Helps You Grow Your Own

And just a little video I thought was neat: “From eating local food to taking shared showers, here are eight ways to reduce your impact on the planet that will make your life better too.” Sweat the Small Stuff

What have you come across in your community or around the web? Please share! We all need a reminder that we’re making progress and that we’re not alone.

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Note: I am writing solely on my own behalf, and do not claim to represent the David Suzuki Foundation or its views here.