Awareness and Education

posted Friday, January 16, 2009        

JANUARY General meeting — Organizing questions:

1) How do we get one million-plus people to be aware and participate?
2) How can we raise awareness in Tucson? (Most people need to hear about Peak Oil and climate change and ways to help adapt their lifestyles to one that is not dependent on oil.)
3) How can we accelerate awareness and understanding of the sustainability challenge so that the community can take effective action sooner rather than later?

Group A discussion:

Awareness of idea that “returning to normal” is no longer possible. What is needed is transformation, awareness of scarcity of resources, resource depletion, change in growth patterns, reaching more people, TV leaders.
Networking among groups.
Rating system for sustainability -emblem, scale, locality, fair trade & labor, distance, energy, impact on environment.
Children’s reading materials – focused effort – task force to schools.
Going to business to engage, groups about their sustainability issues. E.g. United Way gets support widely.
Envisioning process to promote to local need, enlist by local values, needs to come from government/ Present as opportunities.
Internet as an awareness outreach tool. Increase visibility.
The next generation is savvy – they will find it there.
Cool internet newsletter about sustainable happenings.
REGULAR public forum – weekend – festival of education/meeting, interaction of people, “A Village”, All people matter and can be invited to exchange.
Create spaces and places where young people can plug in to sustainable activities which are focused on creating a positive future which is fun.
Reaching teachers, schools, groups.
Prosperity as a motivation; alternative scenarios that fit their values -they will want to want the change. Public exposition: pros and cons; planning by choice vs. adapting by crisis.
Information bundling to prevent overload – COHERENCE – easily understandable, e.g. “where do we recycle batteries?”
Fairs in schools, a regular event, a “sustainability market.”
Sustainability begs a rating system/authority.
Empower people with education – “yes you can – here’s how.”
Mentors to share knowledge, retirees, cultural exchanges, trading, barter.
“Transition Handbook”, exercises, choices, groups to lobby elected officials; explain functional, best practices, how it benefits community.
Hospital food does not represent health choices.
Fear of unknown drives behavior -positive choices can discourage this.
URGENCY framed in a POSITIVE WAY.

Main points:

1) Reaching people in a positive way – young people, businesses, seniors, etc.
2) Regular events and activities to engage people (sustainability fairs, mentoring, hospitals, Internet, etc.
3) Credibility

Group B Discussion:

Children (schools.)
Internet.
Documentary.
Hands-on training (practical models.)
How do we get the message out and reach everyone?
Understanding leads to action (behavior shift/ unlearning.)
Motivation.
Systemic change.
Small changes.
Localizing communities, helping our neighborhoods, taking care off each others needs.
Increasing motivation: economics of price increases, community gardens, creating space for talking, different activities (single issues, fun celebrations.)
Reaching different populations: kids, adults, businesses, communities, neighborhood associations, create projects such as sidewalks, gardens, clean-up arroyos, billboards.
How do find out about existing programs? -education, green orgs, businesses.

Main points:

1) Audiences – children, neighborhoods, business owners, baby boomers, government, spirituality.
2) Ways to reach people – technology, hands-on, role modeling, school programs, person-to-person, movies, music, art, entertainment.
3) Who are the providers, who is doing the work? – teachers, neighborhood groups, non-profits, city programs, businesses.

FEBRUARY General meeting — Discussion

Writing books for kids about a variety of topics re: sustainability, energy efficiency
Where is ‘away” when things are thrown away.
Workshops—not just reading/taking in information intellectually—action/embodied education
Programs that foster stewardship:
–gardens, canning, farmer’s market, crafts
–schools, juvenile detention centers
–multiple intelligences
–ecoeducation

Billboards—murals
Businesses—incentives to get involved
–tax incentives for recycling
publish green businesses in newspaper
–fact sheet for businesses on increasing profits by usinjg green technology
ST awards to local businesses

In-services for teachers
Get printing donated and/or grants to publish educational materials



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