As far as I can tell, what we have wound up with in the "community oriented green personal action" arena, are three essentially complimentary alternatives. Looming in the immediate future. That would be COGPA for short, and silly. I like the pa part, though.
I also like diversity- it's one of the best things out there to help "sustainable" along. Choices.
A) is a week long event for everyone, particularly those new to "green" living.
B) is a week long event for those who are already green, and would like to be greener
C) is a.... YEAR long endeavor- for the most serious greenies.
And kind of in the middle is the Planet Picnic/Party; to which everybody should come, of course. Undisirregardless of the Crunchy Commandowannabe's poll, which showed only a minority of party-goers. That's just crazy talk. We NEED the party folks, or we'll be painted as sourpuss party poopers. SP3's. Can't have that. :-)
You can pick your level of involvement, which is a good idea, and also match levels for those you are trying to bring with you. Not all spouzes are going to be ready for #C, for sure.
A) (The best alternative, by far... ) Starts June 21st, with a picnic for friends and neighbors, on the Summer Solstice; and continues for a week, during which everyone is supposed to pick one new (for them) "green" action, and try it out. Picnic Plan. This is supposed to be modeled after Mardi Gras- and Lent. Just borrowing a good idea here. Party first, pay later- it's the modern way, yes? :-)
The warm fuzzy vision for the party is here, In the Moonlight; and the over-all rough philosophy is here; Why, etc..
B) Is Crunchy Moa's "Low Impact Week", starting June 1; and you've got compleat instructions available there.
C) Is the 90% Off year long project from Casaubon's Book. Not for rookies, but an outstanding project, and great one to watch while we all learn.
All of these are intended to be joint efforts- a bunch of folks doing the same thing, at the same time. No question but that new adventures are easier, and less scary, when they are shared. A and B are intended to become annual events- not sure about C.
From this point on, I'll mostly be talking about A, which after all originated here. But that doesn't mean I don't like B and C- I do. I just think we need more than one size here; and my own primary interest is in getting the currently non-involved to dip a toe in the pool. Just a toe, is fine. For a lot of the barely green, even Crunchzilla's lists are going to look pretty scary. But you can catch them with toasted marshmallows, I'll bet ya.
"Earth Day", alas, is kind of a red rag to a bull, for some of the anti's - it started out as more protest than celebration, and it still comes across that way. Earth Day is fine- but we need a wider audience. Right quick.
Basic diplomacy. The kind our recent "leaders" didn't bother to look up in a text book. "Never back your opponent into a corner." And, "Never leave the table; keep talking, no matter what." If you ignore those basics, you tend to wind up - in a war. We can't afford a war over environmental stewardship. If you think it's not possible, you're not paying attention.
So- basic formats set. Now what?
1) Send this link to every newspaper you have access to. Email it to your friends. Get the story out- get folks involved. (We're assuming YOU are already hosting a Planet Picnic, of course!)
It doesn't need a huge group to be a great success- just you and a few friends, a neighbor or two, is a good start. Then there's next year. If we're ever going to get to "sustainable" - next year, and next decade, have to be where our heads are. They really will get here. Count on it. Act like you know it.
Of course if you can talk your local group into doing a Planet Picnic, great. Who? Audubon, Sierra Club, Knights of Columbus, VFW, Chamber of Commerce - anybody MIGHT. :-)
Ask- if you're a member, your opinion should matter. Whether you get a picnic or not, the subject will come up; and will get talked around; plus the fact that it's something you care about. That's important. Basically all you're saying is "Hey, guys- this stuff is important. Let's get together as a community, and just start talking about it a little. And let the kids run. And eat some watermelon." Fairly hard to object to that. (if you holler at me about "local" watermelons, I'll swat ya.)
2) Let me know you're involved, in the comments here. It'll help. Tell us what you're doing, and sort of where. I'm a little reluctant to suggest you give out invitations on the blog- the world does contain some nasty folks, as we all know. But I'd really like to generate a broader sense of community among those throwing Planet Picnics.
Maybe someone (with a bit more web skill and time) could set up a Planet Picnic Web site- where we could safely share photos, stories, and ideas for next time. I'd like that.
Other ideas? Questions? Answers?
I'll stick up some photos of ours here. Summer Solstice is June 21 this year- it's a Thursday; and NO, we can't move it to the weekend. (I tried- doesn't work.) It does happen on weekends sometimes, of course. Sometimes is often enough.
As you may have noticed- we're still kind of searching for the right names for all this. Maybe they'll just show up, after the Picnics.