What does a healthy, sustainable community look like to you?
The enormous challenge of this pandemic has also invited us to reimagine our communities, relationships and priorities. Because, while we all long to get back to normal, together we can imagine a future that’s #BetterThanNormal.
This is an important time for us to share our thoughts and listen to others about what we value and how we want to shape our communities.
A letter to the editor is a simple and effective way to share your thoughts with a wider audience, to get people thinking and talking about their own values and visions of a healthy future.
Just follow the simple steps in this tool to submit a letter to the editor of your local paper.
Here are some suggested speaking points:
- Introduce yourself (i.e., I’m a mother, student, Indigenous person, engineer, scientist, new Canadian, etc.).
- Finish the sentence: My vision of thriving, healthy and sustainable communities includes…
- You can add specific details like “affordable, energy-efficient housing for all,” or “local community gardens.”
- Or you can include a principle like “Indigenous rights are respected in all resource decisions” or, “we act daily on the understanding of our interconnection with nature.”
- Share something you’ve noticed or learned from being in lockdown during this pandemic — maybe something you care deeply about, a value you hold or something you’ve missed — and what it’s revealed to you about the future you want.
- What type of support would you like from various levels of government to help us recover from the pandemic?
- What are you doing or what would you like to do so that we can co-create this resilient future? What would you like to invite other people and your local government to do together?
Your name, email and postal code will be included automatically at the end of your message. Do not write in this information at the bottom of your message.
To stimulate your thinking on this, here is some of what we heard from people just like you on a webinar with David Suzuki and Melina Laboucan-Massimo about reimagining our relationships and communities. Attendees were asked what they want the future to hold and what we need to do to get there:
- We will come out of this pandemic more connected and compassionate, less competitive, more able to listen to and help one another, and we’ll protect nature and the climate.
- We will persuade the people with power and influence to understand and act on our moral obligation to each other and the environment.
- We’ll have better community food security and sovereignty though community gardens, rooftop gardens and farmers markets.
- In our next global challenge, we’ll flatten the curve of climate change by switching to renewables, retrofiting old buildings to make them energy efficient and electing governments that support science-based climate policies.
- We’ll have a just society that respects all people, land and other species.
- Our paradigm will shift to long-term values and decision-making.
- We will grow our own food, and share it. We’ll share skills and tools. With this we will be less lonely, more supportive, healthier and more sustainable.
- We’ll reduce inequality — economic and social.
- Indigenous people will have self-determination and have energy and food sovereignty.
- We’ll live more simply with our priorities on the important things in life: quality time with loved ones rather than buying new things. In doing so, we’ll also protect nature and the climate.
- Even in cities, we’ll become more thankful for the beauty and generosity of the natural world, and treat it with respect and care.
- We’ll adopt a new economic paradigm that puts people and the Earth first instead of money and power.
- In the future, we’ll forget about our political differences regarding climate change and just simply co-operate to reduce our carbon and ecological footprints.