Just Cap It: An International Day of Climate Action
As part of our involvement in the Countdown to Copenhagen campaign with Church World Service, Join United Methodist Women on October 24 as we express our support for fair, effective and binding caps on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Thousands of people around the world in more than 100 countries have planned events to demonstrate that they care about the future of God’s creation and the hardships that climate change is bringing to vulnerable countries and people living in poverty. Let’s show our solidarity with women and girls around the world who are organizing to address this major moral issue of our day.
Ideas for Fun, Easy Activities
1. Gather together your local UMW unit or another group of people from your church, don hats and caps of all kinds, print out a C2C sign ( found here) and take a photo in front of your church sign or in the sanctuary and send it in. Ring your church bell or hand bells 350 times, symbolizing the emissions target we are striving for. Consider combining it with a short prayer service and a low-carbon potluck meal.
Use the "A Just Approach to Climate Change" handout to teach people about Countdown to Copenhagen emissions goals.
2. Gather a youth or teen group, a sports team, a Boy or Girl Scout Troop and/or a group of adults and ask them to wear red or black. Assemble in a gym or outdoor stadium. Form the group in the shape of a human stopwatch – like the C2C logo. Do it over a lunch break at school or after school.
3. Gather residents together at a senior center, assisted living facility or other place where elders gather. Have a conversation about what they’ve noticed about the changing weather conditions in your area and about their hopes for their children and grandchildren’s futures. Ask everyone to wear a hat or cap and assemble in a spot where a photo could be taken. Consider video taping some of their comments to post, too.
4. Talk with a mom’s group or a day care center or similar group involving small children. Get a stroller or toddler brigade together. Dress up in hats and caps and make your point. Put C2C signs on the strollers and take a walk together. Or, visit a local TV station!
5. Host a Just Cap It! lunch, tea or dinner. Invite the local League of Women Voters and the local United Methodist Women unit to view the Sisters on the Planet DVD (To obtain, email EBrown@gbgm-umc.org). Talk about climate change’s impact on women and girls and what the issue means for women and girls in your area. Invite people to wear a hat or cap to the event.
6. Gather together musicians in a public spot for a free lunchtime jam/concert playing songs with a climate change (e.g. about heat, stormy weather) related theme or title. Ask the musicians to wear hats and caps. Display a C2C sign and provide climate change literature for the crowd.
7. Gather a group together to make a climate change time capsule. Ask people to bring photos of what they love about where you live – places, people, and things that might be threatened by changes to come. Ask people to write something short about what has already changed or what they hope for the future. Put the contributions along with a note about the date and the contributors into a water and air--tight container and store it in a special place. Make plans with city officials or church leaders to open up the time capsule in 30 or 50 years.
8. Has your town or city done something to lower its carbon footprint or adopted a policy in this regard? Has a business or non-profit group taken a significant step to reduce its energy consumption? Honor local low-carbon leadership with a Just Cap It! footprint champ award. (Trace a small footprint and cover it with aluminum foil as the award). Get a group of people together in hats and caps with a C2C logo or sign and make the presentation.
9. Is there a local dieting group that could be tempted to put on some hats and caps and brag about being on a “low carb” diet – making the Just Cap It! point as a pun that nations around the world need to put themselves on a low carbon diet?
10. Is there a special place where you live that is or could be harmed by climate change? A neighborhood or landmark that might be underwater? A significant tree or animal that might be lost? Gather a group to visit that location, offer prayers of gratitude for this gift and for its future. Wear hats and caps and take a photo or videotape your prayers, comments, stories about what this special place means. This could be a place to ring bells or chimes 350 times to symbolize the emissions target we are advocating for.
11. Talk with local religious leaders, groups and congregations. Plan an ecumenical or interfaith service, vigil or pot luck meal to highlight concerns about climate change and the values that we hold in common that prompt us to action to halt climate change. This could be a place to ring bells or chimes 350 times to symbolize the emissions target we are advocating for. A local United Methodist Women unit, Interfaith Power & Light group or an interfaith network could be a place to start the conversation.
We recommend that for maximum publicity and impact that you do two things:
1) Give an advance call to a local TV or radio station and let them know where and when you’ll be having your event.
2) Send us a digital photo, video clip and/or a short description of your event. We’d like to post it on the web so the world can be inspired!
[Send to LRogers@gbgm-umc.org]