Be the Change’s Youth Blog Series highlights blogs written by university student interns at Be the Change Earth Alliance. In the blogs, the interns reflect on their experience completing “Action Packs,” which are learning resources that guide students in research, critical thinking and tangible action related to a global sustainability topic.
Action Pack Summary
The Community Building Action Pack explores how community connections can lead to greater sustainability, encouraging the sharing of not only things, but experiences, with neighbors and beyond.
In a world where individuals have friends halfway across the world, but barely speak to those who are near, this Action Pack can reinvigorate belief in the importance of cultivating relationships with those living right next to them, contributing to:
- Vibrant local economies
- Increased safety and well-being
- Reduced ecological destruction with sharing rather than doubling-up of resources
In this Action Pack, student will be exposed to the benefits of strong, resilient communities, Transition Towns, collective houses, as well as how they can personally contribute to healthier neighborhoods. These contributions include taking actions in the Action Pack, such as having conversations with neighbors, shopping at a local businesses, or hosting community get-togethers with family.
By critically examining the costs and benefits of taking more time connecting and sharing with neighbors, students will reflect on the barriers they face in cultivating community and explore how they can mindfully engage with their neighbors, helping to build a more sustainable future.
I was planning to explore a natural sanctuary, but I was unable to make time to do so. I was disappointed that I was unable to carve out time for myself to be in nature. I was writing my final paper for a course, I know it was not productive to constantly sit at a computer- I just found it hard to get away. I’m learning that “when I don’t have time” are the moments I need to be out in nature the most. I realized how separated we are individually in Vancouver, I have heard that it is hard to make friends in this city, but never realized how isolated we are. I asked my friends if they talk to their neighbours on a regular basis, a few of them told me that they rarely conversed with them and wouldn't consider their relationship with their neighbours as “friendly”. Perhaps everyone is too busy with their own lives to create relationships. This Action Pack was great for me to reflect on the importance of the people and things around me. It was comforting to know that I have connections to other people and the community around me.