Taking action has a ripple effect. The more I develop a practice of everyday climate justice work, the more I meet other people who are doing everything they can, the more I understand ways of resisting, and these ways of resisting become increasingly possible. This is powerful stuff!
1. Go to and Facilitate Meetings: I went to the second Climate Strike Planning meeting. At the meeting I was able to advocate for having one of our three action items be that the City of Bellingham hold a commitment to respect the sovereignty, self-determination, and treaty rights of Lummi and Nooksack nations. This would include commitments to be a strong presence against developments that would threaten traditional ways of life and sustenance: e.g. pipelines, coal train expansion.
2. Get into Gardens: I took my kids to harvest squash, tomatoes, basil, green beans, zucchini, and kale from the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters Community Garden. A friend and co-volunteer has been making Food Share boxes and putting them up around the neighborhood (do you know, that you can just do this, too?) so we stuffed a few with these local goodies. This included talking to neighbors as they passed. An elder with disabilities talked about how she misses gardening but doesn’t have room or enough light in her building. Next season, I’d like to organize a shuttle to get more folks able to be in and grow food with the BFDF Garden. It’s really not fair to have your grocery store closed and also not have a way to get your hands in the dirt and grow your food!
3. Make Donations: I made a donation to Amazon Watch to support Indigenous nations who are working to protect their homes and the lungs of the earth.
4. Agitate Politicians: This week I made calls, wrote letters, and circulated contact information and templates to agitate politicians to step in with the amazon forest fires and to protect the Endangered Species Act. Calling is getting easier the more I do it!
5. Ban Bee Killing Pesticides: I had a great meeting with Jason Davidson and Friends of the Earth and now have a solid action plan for getting the use neonicotinoids and glyphosites banned on Bellingham public land. I highly recommend following the link and using these resources for accomplishing the same within your city.
6. Support Indigenous Events: I will be volunteering at Neste Mot: One Mind for Xw’ullemy (The Salish Sea). I’m not sure what jobs I’ll do yet but will just jump in where needed as the date approaches.
7. The Unist’ot’en Food Drive: Many folks who donated food got sizes that were too small for an industrial sized kitchen. My family wrote down the quantity, kept the smaller sizes for our pantry, and then picked up the equivalents (and then some) in large sizes from Costco. I passed them off to an earth protector who is going to drive up to Unist’ot’en soon. Another summer project that will be wrapped up before my teaching term starts!
8. Create Networks: I’ve been working to bring the Queer Ecojustice Project together with the WWU Queering Research Project, a joint endeavor between the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and LGBTQ+ Western. The goal is to bring the question of climate change to the forefront in how we think about creating and circulating knowledge. I’ve also been working to combine the expertise of Dean Jackson, the Director of Hilltop Urban Gardens, with WWU coursework, the Office of Sustainability food security organizing, and the Whatcom Health Authority Food Summit. There are powerful movements that we can all learn from and we can learn in ways that leads to building strong communities.
9. Get to Know Plants and Trees: This past week I spent two nights on Lopez Island, one night with each of the kids. The first kid and I were able to go out kayaking and spend time at Shark Reef Sanctuary where over 100 seals were hanging out. One played and fished really close to us for a long time. So amazing! The second kid had horrible nightmares and many triggers being out in the woods so the trip was more about supporting her to get to know the earth as a safe and loving place. Very hard, but also important.
10. Utilize the power of Words: Three more posts and only one more to go in this series. It has been strengthening to make sure that I take action every day (and write about it every few days). I will shortly be turning my writing attention back to lecture slides and lesson plans.
The checklist is based on my skills, passions, and capacities. What are your skills and capacity? What ignites your love, anger, and passion for change? Can you make a commitment to regular action?