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Engage Your Neighbours with Eco-friendly Projects

Published on March 16, 2016

People at a bicycle workstation. (Photo: Vanina Torres)

A how-to guide to community activities for your own Project Green Bloc

Community projects are a sure-fire way to engage residents and get people on board with reducing their footprint. By engaging your neighbours with a larger scale project they will feel like part of a community and care more about what goes on in their neighbourhood with a greater sense of accountability. Below are some ideas for workshops that can be implemented during your time as an ambassador.

Host a vegetarian cooking class

Meat & dairy make up around 50 percent of the Food category of the population’s Ecological Footprint. Eliminating or even reducing meat, especially red meat, can make a big impact.

Try hosting a vegetarian cooking class (you can use these two delicious recipes) to inspire residents to eat more vegetarian centered meals. Reach out to local restaurants and sustainable chefs and see if they will donate some time to teach a cooking class. Approach some grocery stores and ask if they are willing to donate ingredients. At the end, hold a community meal for all to enjoy!

Helpful Hints

  • Keep it seasonal! Stick to cooking with foods that are local and in season
  • Take it to the next level: Look for local celebrity chefs to teach or have a cook off

We’ve got two vegetarian recipes to get you started:

Host a bike repair or bike riding workshop

Transportation is a large contributor to our Ecological Footprint. Another idea is to offer a bicycle repair workshop to get those bikes tuned up and ready to use! There might also be adults or children within the area who do not know how to bike ride or are feeling apprehensive to ride on the streets, so partnering with an organization like HUB Cycling to run a Ride the Road class for your neighbourhood might be beneficial. Or, if there are people in your community who are avid cyclists have them partner up with those feeling a little nervous.

Helpful Hints

  • Reach out to local bike stores for donation of time and bikes
  • Reach out to bike repair stores
  • Get pocket bike lane maps
  • Give away bike bells/reflectors/locks at the event as prizes
  • First ask neighbours! Someone around might be a bike pro
  • Use our sponsorship letter template to craft donor requests

Every community is different! Finding the right workshop for your area might involve a survey or community visioning session where citizens can say what they would like most. Perhaps there is someone who knows how to run an apiary, or the in’s and out of composting, or is a pro-tomato grower. You could ask what your neighbours feel comfortable sharing. You never know, until you ask.

More ideas

  • Wake and Shakes
    Connect with neighbors before work and start your day off right! Have a healthy smoothie potluck while blasting some great tunes.
  • No Junk Mail Sign Making
    Reduce paper waste and your annoyance at junk mail and clutter.
  • Zero Waste workshop
    Get a Zero Waste expert to share tips on how to reduce common household waste such as plastics and packaging or food waste. Or better yet, have neighbours share tips.
  • Documentary screening
    Hold a movie night on a topical film, and perhaps even hold a debrief discussion after!
  • Gardening & Food Growing workshop
    Get a local gardening expert or a neighbour with a green thumb to lead a session on how to start a garden, how to grow food indoors, microgreens, or another food and gardening themed workshop!

If your neighbours have a lot of project ideas, this is a good thing! To let them manifest into something, encourage committees of people to take on the ideas with the most traction. This will allow people to divide and conquer, in addition to allowing people to have different ideas that contribute to the plan.

Ready for the next step?

Here's How to Take Action to Create Change.