Supporting Climate Change in the Community

The long-used term “Think Globally, Act Locally” has even more meaning today than ever. Whether it relates to climate change, the pandemic, or the current social justice debates running through our country, it all starts in the local community. This is the last post of my self-assessment on Newton’s new “Take Action” which is being promoted by Green Newton.

There are 18 things outlined in the action plan and I have covered 16 in the previous 3 posts. The last category I grouped the actions into is “community actions, and this includes: Organizing a Community Tree Planting and Promoting Sustainability in Our Schools. On this front my self-assessment is that I can do more.

Over the years I have planted a number of trees, some that are now 30-40 feet high. Trees are not only good for climate change, but also enhance the quality of the neighborhood, and the valuations of the properties. In Newton you can either plant a tree yourself, or request the city plant a tree.  There is a great piece on the benefits of urban trees from Trees for Cities. For every $1 spent on trees, a return of $2.70 in benefits is received; according to the United States Forest Service.

Sustainability in our schools, is part of a broader community education program. As my children get older, and there is less time required to volunteer at their schools or sports programs, I have decided to invest some extra time on climate change. This includes this blog (where do I start?), and I am getting involved at Green Newton. I am really just learning about Green Newton, but am amazed at the variety and depth of the programs they are promoting to help Newton residents make progress in climate change.

Finally, beyond the impact on climate change, I have always found volunteering in the community to be rewarding, and for me has created some amazing friendships. “Act Locally” contributes also to the “social capital” which is so critical for our communities and mental well-being. While many might not have time, or have other worthy causes, taking a few minutes to reflect on what you can do today to help climate change is important. Personally, I found on Newton’s new “Take Action” a great place to start.

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