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Greening your Community Part 2: The First Meeting

Please read the First Part Here.

community organizing

Things to bring to your group’s first meeting:

Ideas, enough pens and paper for everybody, an open mind, and FOOD!

As it is October, I am planning on bringing Pumpkin Muffins to my group’s very first meeting on the 4th of November. The recipe is for cookies but I like muffins better — they are delicious and easy — give them a try!  Not finished recruiting people? No big deal, just look back to this when you are!

Don’t jump in too fast. Offer people some food (muffins or otherwise) and get to know each other, and don’t forget to have each person introduce themself to the whole group. After some chit-chat, talk about what you want this group to be, where you see it going, and who you see it affecting. Feel free to propose some ideas during this time and then ask for additional ideas or thoughts from everyone else. Make sure to include everyone.

Make sure to bring a snack of some kind for your group's meetings

Even if you’re not planning on your group working on greening businesses and schools, a good idea is to start out with helping your group members green their own homes. It will get you warmed up. You’ll get to know each other. And it will reduce the amount of mistakes/confusion if you work with businesses and such in the future, because you will already have experience!  Most people don’t have much money at this point in time, but that’s ok, by spending a small amount, we can all benefit by saving energy and, in turn, reducing our electric bills. Solar panels are expensive (if you aren’t leasing them for $0 down or can’t get a wicked good group discount in your area). You may not ble to afford the upfront costs (even though the investment would pay you back in a few years, and then you’d be making money). But that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce your electric bill by implementing energy saving habits like turning off lights!

Follow the seven steps for some easy energy savings:

1.            Install energy-saving light bulbs.

2.            Put into effect electricity saving practices — turn off lights etc. & update appliances, check your weatherization (i.e. good window seals, quality insulation). Look for government-funded assistance here and here.

3.            Start Recycling program (including metals, plastics, paper, and cartons).

4.            Purchase local food, humanely raised livestock, chemical free produce.

5.            Purchase environmentally friendly products — recycled and/or biodegradable, and chemical free.

6.            Implement food-recovery program — feed humans, feed animals, or compost.

7.            Implement green energy programs, including clean gasoline and electric, while installing solar or wind power whenever possible.. OR purchase electricity from a solar- or wind-powered electric company (it’s not necessary to have panels installed on your house to have solar power!).

Have a small get together at each member’s house — donations can be collected for energy-efficient light bulbs, recycle bins, and appliance updates if needed. Here are some fundraising and money saving tips:

  • Sell off your old appliances for parts to help pay for the new one
  • Cardboard boxes work great as recycling containers
  • Talk to your church about starting a Green Fund to help those who can’t afford home improvements
  • Along with the Green Fund, see if you can set up ‘parties’ or get-togethers at members houses, socialize, and help them be green by pointing out things they could do differently
  • Talk to local businesses and ask if they would sponsor you in exchange for your group helping them become green — work together to achieve!
  • Ask everybody you know to collect metal — aluminum cans, steel, scraps, anything. Find a local buyer here.
  • Go for a walk and collect trash, you get money for the aluminum and steel, get exercise, and the feeling you did something good 😀

Have an idea for fundraisers or awesome activities a green group has done or you think should do?  Have a question? Leave a comment below 😀

Image Credits:

AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by povertyinitiative

AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by feministjulie




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