On October 10th, Wolfeboro residents joined in the Global Work Party, a day of action to fight climate change that united more than 7,000 events in 183 different countries, making it the most widespread day of environmental action in history.
Wolfeboro area residents got to work building a compost bin for the Wolfeboro Food Pantry Garden, which is a cooperative project run by a group of dedicated volunteers and organizations including the Life Ministries Food Pantry, Wolfeboro Conservation Commission, the Agricultural Science program at Kingswood’s Voc-Tech High School, and Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.). Dick Shurtleff was the brainchild of the Food Pantry Garden and formed its steering committee in May 2008. Since then, the Food Pantry Garden has been providing fresh, local and organically grown vegetables to the Life Ministry food pantry for distribution to its clients.
G.A.L.A. hosted the 10/10/10 Global Work Party at the Food Pantry Garden, supplying much of the building materials for the compost bin and organizing the volunteers. Other materials were donated by the Wolfeboro Inn or purchased by the Food Pantry Garden. The event was a clear expression of G.A.L.A.‘s mission: to establish a contagious community building model that translates sustainability education into locally inspired action that is practical, effective, and fun. Fun was certainly had by all who participated in the day‘s events. The construction project concluded with a celebratory pizza party supplied by Michael Hodder.
For volunteer Aislinn Johnson the event was also deeply rewarding: “The work we’re doing today isn’t just good for the environment, it improves our public health, strengthens our community, and makes the world a better place for everyone. The fact that our actions today are contributing to a movement spanning the entire globe is even more inspiring.”
The global work parties, which ranged from solar installations to tree plantings, were designed to send a clear message: citizens are getting to work on climate solutions and so should their politicians. “The turnout today…demonstrates that people are fed up with the inaction of their leaders and ready to take matters into their own hands. Game on,“ said Bill McKibbon, spearheader of the 10/10/10 Global Work Party Movement. McKibben is a renowned environmental author and founder of 350.org, an organization that aims to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from its current level of 390 parts per million to below 350 ppm, the safe upper limit according to leading scientists.
Global Work Party highlights included:
• In China, 30,000 students joined over 300 events across the country
• In Bangladesh, citizens demonstrated knee deep in the flood waters that are affecting hundreds of thousands of people
• In the United States, there were over 2,000 rallies with events in all 50 states, including 400 clean energy rallies in California
• In Afghanistan, students planted trees in a valley outside of Kabul while students in Iraq worked to install a solar panel at the University of Babylon.
• In Congo, refugees planted a “Forest of Hope” outside of Goma, home to thousands of refugees from regional conflicts.
• In Mexico City, the Mayor signed a commitment to cut carbon emissions 10% over the next year and join thousands for a solar-powered festival in Chapultepec park.
Organizers estimate that during the Global Work Party citizens planted over 100,000 trees, installed over 100 solar panels, weatherized hundreds of homes and buildings, cycled over 1,000 miles, cleaned up at least 500 miles of coastline, and much more.
A diverse array of political voices including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, White House official Jon Carson, and President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed endorsed the 10/10/10 Global Work Party as a sign of important momentum for climate action.
President Nasheed, who joined the work parties by helping install solar panels on his roof in the Maldives, told 350.org supporters around the world, “As President of one of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries, I want to thank you for your tireless work and offer my wholehearted support for the Global Work Party on 10/10/10. For the Maldives, 350 is more than just a number: it is a passport to survival for our entire nation.”
G.A.L.A. thanks all the volunteers who helped make the local 10/10/10 work party a success. G.A.L.A. organizes similar work parties as part of its Sustain-a-Raiser program and invites residents to contact them if they are interested in a sustainable home and yard retrofits for their own home. Call 539-6460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.