Currently the idea that we all must “go green” is one of the hottest buzzwords around.
I challenge you to do better.
Because while the pundits talk about how fantastic it is to buy from responsible companies, they forget that conservation – i.e. reduced buying and consumption – is the absolute best way to go green. And while we all trot off and buy hybrid cars (helloooo, myself included, people!), we conveniently ignore the fact that our meat-eating lifestyles emit just as much pollution.
We forget that to go green, we must sacrifice.
Because sacrifice is at the heart of love. And when we go green, we are showing love for the Earth, for this beautiful planet that we get the joy to live on. Which means, my friends, that going green is not a buzzword. And it is not a bumper sticker. In fact, it’s not even a lifestyle.
It is a total paradigm shift.
A paradigm shift is defined as “a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.” And while we are all working hard to do our best and fit meaningful world change into our lives, the reality is that it is really quite simple. All we need to do is change our underlying assumptions.
Our assumptions that our resources will last forever. And our assumptions that they are here solely for us. In fact, we must fundamentally change our assumption that it is our right to consume as much as we produce.
Because what we produce is for the good of all.
Big caveat here – I am a die-hard capitalist, as I’ve said elsewhere. My economics background assures that. But my environmental degree also assures that I know there is more to this world than just our human systems – and that we must shift our perspective to be a community that’s IN the world, not just one that USES the world.
And that brings us to today’s project.
Not only is individual action to embrace the environmental life important, but we’re starting to realize that collective, community action is the best change the status quo. So, my friend, let’s collect together and change the future. And because not everyone is on board (or even understands what this means), that means that you are going to have to lead the charge. What better way to lead the charge than with wine and cheese?
This project is so fantastic. And since I live in Rome, it is like breathing here to have an evening of just wine and cheese. It’s the perfect project for those of you who want to change the world, with friends, and make a big impact. Why is that? Because today’s project is to throw a Wine & Cheese Eco Party to help lead people to a truly green paradigm shift – which means you can have a fantastic time, spend time with friends, and change tomorrow.
We call that living The Spark Life.
And now you get to be a part of it.
One of our core principles here at Aina is that we don’t just talk about issues, we give you meaningful, hands-on action you can take to change the world, today. We’re giving you this fantastic project to help environmental conservation with one of Aina’s Accredited Nonprofits. And if saving the environment isn’t your Spark (have you heard of the Spark Life?), or if this project doesn’t ring quite true to you, be sure to Contact Us! Because empowering women to change the world is what we do here at Aina, and we’re here to help you.
Before we get to today’s project, let’s talk a few fast facts on the Environmental Movement so you can wow your friends at your Wine and Cheese Night – and understand why this project is so important.
YOUR ISSUE: GO GREEN
Ok, the Environmental Movement has been around for roughly a century. That means LOTS of facts swirl around it. To help you get started, here’s an easy infographic:
Ohhh, there are so many fun facts. Yep, renewable resources create FIVE TIMES more jobs than fossil fuels. So, us capitalists can still rejoice ;). Did you know that renewable energy now supplies a third of the UK’s energy? And I LOVE the fact that 1 wind turbine can create enough energy to power 1,400 homes – not to mention that one hour of sunlight could meet the world’s energy demands for a whole year. Of course, we are not there yet, people – we have a LONG way to go to make all of these renewable sources a reality. But if each of us took practical action at home to harness this? We’d be a lot farther down that path.
YOUR ORGANIZATION: Practical Action
Ok ladies, the fantastic news is that you can do something about it, right now, from home. Yep, you – because we are SO not fans of doom and gloom here at Aina.
We are women of action. And we’re out to save this world.
Enter this project – and the fantastic organization Practical Action.
Founded in 1966, Practical Action “is a global innovator, inspiring people to discover and adopt ingenious, practical ways to free themselves from poverty and disadvantage.” So. Amazing. And while their focus is on poverty, guess what? Access to energy is a huge equalizer in the economic game. And access to energy that’s cheap, sustainable – and doesn’t require huge investments in the fossil fuel industry? That’s what we call a game-changer. For this reason, one of Practical Action’s main areas of focus is on Energy Access.
In the Energy Access area Practical Action works with communities to develop renewable energy solutions. While all options are on the table, they focus mainly on water, wind, sun, and waste. In fact, in 2017 alone they helped 1.2 million people get access to sustainable, modern energy sources. Moreover, they have 104 projects around the world focusing on energy, sustainable agriculture, urban water, sanitation and waster services, and disaster risk reduction.
Not only that, but they are scrappy and get the work done with the fewest resources (one of our big requirements for our partner organizations). Even more – they use only 1% of their funds on governance. Talk about scrappy and hard-working. They are so very awesome – and you can be awesome with them too. Keep reading for one way to get involved, and find more ways to support Practical Action here.
(Note: These might include affiliate links)
Step 1: Host A Wine and Cheese Night
So raise your hand if you love wine or cheese (or both). Yes, literally all hands are raised. So, the good news is that both wine and cheese are a part of the green life. And so are friends. For this project, you are going to gather your friends, have an eco-friendly, conservation, paradigm shift party. Eartha has some amazing tips on how to throw a sustainable party (and how to make the environmental life a reality in general). So follow their tips – but also add in some serious, deep conversation.
Talk about how you grew the vegetables you are serving at home. And how you biked to the store while charging your cell phone to get this locally produced wine. Tell your friends about how you never throw away food – and how all of your food scraps go into your homemade compost bin. Because to go green, we must shift ourselves into a zone where we are a part of this biosphere, not a consumer on it.
Want to do more? Make your wine and cheese night into a fundraiser for Practical Action with this fantastic, easy-to-use Fundraising Guide. In fact, this resource gives you everything you need to incorporate this worthy cause into your Wine and Cheese night. If you need some inspiration for what you need to do to make that paradigm shift actually happen, read the book Being the Change. It is fantastic, stuffed full of facts – and full of yep, you guessed it, practical action ;).
Step 2: Get Connected
Whenever a woman asks us how they can start helping the world in their specific issue of interest, we always tell them to start with a known organization. Practical Action is a great, Aina-Accredited organization to start with if you are interested in conservation. Read up on what they do and see if they fit you. Find out who is on Their Board of Directors, and check them out on Linkedin. Do you have any kind of connection to them? If so, reach out. If not, reach out! Open that dialogue, you’d be surprised to see where it takes you. If Practical Action isn’t your cup of tea or you don’t know where to start, contact us!! We are here to help, and we know how to get you where you want to go.
Step 3: Get Involved
Practical Action not only helps save our environment, but they also care SO MUCH about the community that supports them. Because we know that the world only changes in community, this ability to get involved is one of our must-haves for accredited partner organizations. This is just one of the reasons we love them.
You can see some of our other projects with them – like Solar Flair! – or you can check out the whole gamut of Aina’s involvement projects here. No matter what, you should contact Practical Action and let them know that you want to be more involved with what they’re doing – they are worth your world-changing time!
Step 4: Step Up Your Game
Is all of this slightly intimidating? If so, contact us at Aina and we’ll help you down this path! As we’ve worked in this field for over 15 years, we know how daunting it can be. Believe us, we have few tricks up our sleeves to get you, as we like to call it, Living the Spark Life. We don’t want you to have to reinvent the wheel, because we’ve made all of the mistakes out there. We’d love to chat and shine light onto Your Spark.
Do you love this environmental project and want to take more action to save the environment? We have more fantastic environmental projects for you!
→Conservation Composter is the perfect project for all of your veggie scraps!
→Breathing Forests is a fantastic project for to help stop global warming. This is perfect for those with younger children and green thumbs.
→Powerful Pedals is a fantastic global climate change project for teenagers and workout fanatics.
GET CONNECTED TO AINA
Carmen Westbrook is the CEO and co-founder of Aina Giving, a female-led company that transforms women into world changers. Join the movement of DIY World Change and get our accredited projects, leadership coaching, and nonprofit consulting – Contact Us and tell us how you want to change the world. We’ll help you get there.