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Lighter Living Action Pack for Neighbourhoods in BC, Canada

  • Published on February 12, 2022

Learn how to take on low-barrier, high-impact actions that advance ecological and community wellbeing in your neighbourhood with OneEarth's Lighter Living Action Pack for BC Neighbourhoods.

The Lighter Living Action Pack for Neighbourhoods in BC, Canada is a guide designed to assist the reduction of both carbon and ecological footprints. These metrics are useful in determining how close (or far) we are to living within the limits of our planet, as well as what we need to do as individuals and communities to get back on track. This guide prioritises breaks down how people can take on low-barrier, high-impact actions that work towards ecological and community wellbeing as individuals, with a few others, and with their neighbourhoods. The 7 Action Packs are: (1) Building on the Block Party; (2) Good Stuff; (3) Big Wins; (4) Next-Level Food; (5) Life Changes; (6) Cultivating Connection; and (7) the Lighter Living Super Challenge. 

The guide helps individuals understand the link between their efforts to live more ‘lightly’ and the larger movements in our communities to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. Lighter Living means addressing everyone's needs and aspirations in ways that make us and the Earth's living systems happy and healthy. The 7 Action Packs are:

  1. Building on the Block Party - Have fun hosting your neighbours, with a lasting impact on everyone’s lighter living practises.

  2. Good Stuff - Extend the lives of everyday things and enjoy less waste, more sharing and more meaningful experiences.

  3. Big Wins - Support long-term choices that have the greatest impact in reducing our ecological and climate footprints.

  4. Next-Level Food - Fuel healthy eating practices that are better for the planet through plant-rich meals and less food waste.

  5. Life Changes - Foster new habits and traditions during periods of big life transition, from moving to retiring to having kids.

  6. Cultivating Connection -  Build a fairer, more inclusive community, inspired by both new and traditional living practices.

  7. Lighter Living Super Challenge - Be bold! Commit to sustained, multi-year, lighter living action in your neighbourhood.

Fig 1: Ecological footprint - Southwest BC

From the illustration (Fig 1), Lighter living priorities include how we eat, move, live in our homes, and the things we buy. To ensure that we can meet our needs now and in the future, we must lessen our ecological footprints. This would help reduce our environmental impact significantly.  From an ecological footprint perspective, the highest impact area is food whereas, from a climate perspective, it is mobility. So what is the bottom line? To reduce our footprints, we must focus on all of these areas. 

The following are some suggestions from the action packs for reducing our carbon and ecological footprints (see PDF for more actions):

  1. Building on the Block Party - Share lighter living skills in person (e.g., vegetarian cooking)

  2. Good Stuff - Repair rather than replace items; Choose second-hand items

  3. Big Wins - Organise an energy retrofit challenge where households improve their home insulation or upgrade their windows

  4. Next-Level Food - Measure how much food is being wasted to show the scope of the problem

  5. Life Changes - Save and reuse event decorations; solicit donations of used home and baby items to support newlyweds or parents

  6. Cultivating Connections - Buy from local, minority-owned businesses; design a bike-sharing system

  7. Lighter Living Super Challenge - Over 2 years, focus on one high-impact area at a time, setting it up to continue on its own before you move on to the next.

The guide is based on the footprints in Southwest British Columbia,Canada; and it can be adapted to any geographical context with actions that are unique to the local context.

This guide identifies the most important local actions we can take to reduce our impacts on climate change and the environment, while also keeping in mind the need to support fair, healthy, and meaningful lives for all residents. In addition, it strongly encourages collaboration amongst community members as it is based on the belief that when we work together and take bold and inspired actions, we can truly make a long-term difference in our communities.

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