AT On... Not Going It Alone

AT On... Not Going It Alone

Emily Han
Oct 23, 2009

Recently, I was listening to my mother describe the quilt square she had sewn for's International Day Of Climate Action on October 24 (that's tomorrow!). As I learned about the quilt and saw images of similar projects around the globe, they struck me as powerful reminders of the importance of community, contribution, and sharing. We can try to green our own homes and lives by ourselves, but it's so much more effective – and fulfilling – when we work as neighbors...

So many of our green living goals, from buying less stuff to growing our own food, may be best achieved by working alongside others in our community. Sharing with neighbors can be practical (why buy extra power tools when you can borrow from one another?), persuasive (set up a compost bin for the building, pass out CFL bulbs), inspirational (everyone has unique skills, stories, and ways of seeing), and even delicious (they have an excess of cherry tomatoes, you just canned a dozen jars of strawberry jam). The patchwork of our individual contributions can create a stunning whole.

In what ways could you tap into your community to be more green? Are there things you currently do alone that you could share with others?

Here are some ideas and resources we've written about:
Green Community: The Sharing Solution
Green Idea: Community Toolsheds
Hyperlocavore: A Yardsharing Community
Look! Community Book Exchange A Community Sharing Solution
The Community Bookcase
Tool Sharing

My mom's quilt square – "whooping cranes whose heroic and fragile comeback from the brink of extinction is threatened by global warming" – was made entirely from fabric scraps. It will be part of the 350 Reasons Quilt shown in San Francisco. The quilt pictured at top was created in Northern Rivers, Australia. For information on the International Day of Climate Action, visit

Related: AT on ... The Art of Sharing

(Images: Flickr member Brett Hamlyn used with permission; Mobi Warren)

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