How can communities deal with climate change and its adverse impact? Some environmental advocates believe the way forward is through a transition movement.
A transition movement, simply put, is a way to provide solution-based approaches to deal with climate catastrophe collectively rather than focusing on the adverse impacts of the crisis and finding individual solutions.
And that is what the Golden Ears Transition Initiative has been doing for the past 12 years.
Launched in 2014, the CEED Centre Society is one of the exhibitors at the GETIFEST 2022, to help bring community members and organizations together to find effective climate solutions.
Touting it as the ‘great unleashing’ of climate solutions in Maple Ridge, Christian Cowley, executive director of CEED Centre Society, said that people finally have climate change on their minds. So, the hope is to get them to work collectively to do both advocacy and hands-on work.
“What we need is innovation, not invention. When we work together, we can lower the prices, and start investment schemes [for solutions]. As an individual, it’s hard to do it but collectively it’s much easier,” he said.
The highlight of the event is a panel discussion featuring Leanne Koehn to talk about waste management, Anna Sanchez for food security, Amir Hassanpur for micro-mobility and Garry Pinel to discuss housing.
Everything is Connected
As this year’s theme is ‘Everything is Connected’, Cowley’s role will be to connect the dots between the speakers and solutions we need to work on collectively.
And if people don’t find an organization that addresses their concerns, they can come together and create their own group.
“The awareness [about the environment] has changed. We went from a modest little festival to a pre-COVID event with 150 exhibitors. But, the event is a means, not the end,” he added.
By that, he means it’s a stepping stone. The focus is on the localization of products consumed. And the idea of this festival is to introduce those aware of the climate crisis to ways in which they can better help the environment.
This includes buying locally produced fruits and vegetables and supporting local artisans.
This also means switching to a seasonal diet when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
Climate change solutions and more
This year’s event, although on a smaller scale with only 30 exhibitors, will include groups focusing on a diverse range of environmental issues.
“We are no longer a wolf singing in the wilderness but talking to people who understand climate change. It’s celebrating what we have done in the past and looking forward to what we can do in the future,” Cowley shared.
Other than climate solutions, the event will include entertainment featuring three local musicians, and a dancer.
There will also be a soap tent for municipal candidates to interact with the public and a connections tent for like-minded people to connect and find solutions.
“The event is a chance to change society so it’s more sustainable and [we] realize that it will take time. The event is celebrating what we have done in the past and looking forward to what we can do in the future.”