Looking at news headlines about the climate crisis, humanitarian tragedies or social injustice – let’s be honest – the future doesn’t always seem too bright. You might not be the only one hit by major anxiety when trying to look for solutions. The problems seem too big and complex, so you might think you are powerless. Well, we have a much more optimistic take on that!
Think global, act local
Making your voice heard doesn’t necessarily mean you need to tie yourself to a tree. There are humble ways of making an impact and becoming an activist in your own way. We gathered initiatives that are fighting for social or environmental causes that are dear to us. We believe that even the big changes in the World start with one decision and one individual step. Starting small, like joining a community, supporting a movement or volunteering to an organisation is a way to make your contribution.
Join the zero emission revolution – transport movements
World Car-free Network
The biggest car free movement in the World is advocating a more sustainable future through promoting alternative modes of transportation instead of the car culture.
The very first car free day – not surprisingly- was organised ad hoc in 1973 during the big oil crisis. Since then, 22 of September is the official day when cities around the World celebrate Car-free Day.
It is clear that we must move away from fossil fuel dependence, not to mention the space private cars take up in urban areas. So ditch the car, hop on a bike and enjoy the many benefits of cycling or go back to basics and just walk your way towards a brighter future with less cars and fresher air.
Critical Mass is not your average bike ride, it is a global social movement described by many mediums as a “monthly protest by cyclists reclaiming the street”. Looking back at its history – a small group of people starting cycling events in San Francisco- it is the greatest example how a grass root movement can grow global. Today Critical Mass events are held in around 300 cities Worldwide to raise awareness of the biking culture and promote cycling as a healthier and more eco-friendly alternative of city transportation.
If you are a cycling enthusiast – as ourselves- join the revolution of Critical Mass! As the movement is decentralized, you can find updates of the events happening around the World on the city-specific Facebook pages. Donkey Republic supports Critical Mass in Berlin, Hamburg and Barcelona, so if you need a bike to participate you can get on a Donkey Bike for free.
This planet needs you to give a sh!t – environmental movements
Extinction Rebellion (XR)
XR didn’t even turn 1 year old and it’s becoming one of the biggest global environmental movements based on nonviolent, direct action. The mission of the – London found – movement is not only to raise awareness of the climate crisis, but to pressure decision makers for urgent action as the climate crisis is threatening the biodiversity. The organisation is decentralised and events around the globe are arranged by locals under the principles of XR.
If you feel the calling to support environmental causes, check out Extinction Rebellion’s official website and learn more about them and their ongoing protests.
School Strike for Climate Action (SS4C)
It all started on a Friday in 2018, when the 15 year old Swedish student, Greta Thunberg decided that the future of her generation is way more important than sitting in school learning facts about climate change. Greta wanted to do something, so she sat alone in front of the Swedish parliament with a “School strike for climate” transparent. Up until this day she continues to protest, with a little bit of difference: now she speaks up in the EU Parliament, and in Ted talks, meanwhile millions of students and adults joined the movement organising protests globally demanding immediate climate action from politicians. So, whenever you think you are powerless to make a change by yourself, just think about Greta and the massive movement she started. All by herself.
On 20 of September there is going to be a global climate strike by School Strike 4 Climate and they are calling all schools and adults to join the march. So, keep an eye on the official Facebook page of SS4C, where you can see all the upcoming marches Worldwide.
You have the right to pride – support social justice
Pride – as many think – is not just a big colourful parade. It is a lot more: it’s a celebration of diversity and is the important civil right movement of the LGBTQ community. This year marks its 50th anniversary of the movement with many parades happening in the summer globally.
Since we think love suits everyone and so does a bike, we are extremely proud to be one of the sponsors of the remarkable Cristopher Street Day Berlin pride.
If you are happen to be in Berlin between 18-28 of July, use the code CSDBERLIN for a 6 hours free ride and support the movement – we donate 1 EUR after each ride- or check out the international Gay Pride Parade Festival Calendar and join a colourful celebration close to you.
Build your lifestyle, join communities – sustainability movements
Unlike the other aforementioned movements, Meetup is a platform and mobile app, where anyone can create groups based on their interests of any kind and organise events, communities around it. As the platform’s name suggests, you can meet up, connect, share ideas, network with other like minded people. Meetup is both for fun and more serious stuff, it is a great way to start or join a grass-root movement around a cause you care for. Remember, big changes start with one small step.
So, go on register on Meetup.com and become part of some kick-ass groups, like Urban Sustainability Copenhagen. It only started out as a passion project of a student and since then more than 300 locals attended the events wanting to learn more and make a change.
Slow is an online and offline lifestyle revolution, came to life mainly as an answer to our fast paced – often times stressed- 21st century life. The core idea is, to go back to basics, slow down and become happier through appreciating the small things in life. Slow can manifest itself in design, objects, concepts and industries. It addresses the conscious consumer, who prefers quality over quantity.
Under the Slow movement many industry specific initiatives have started like:
- Slow food, which is all about supporting local farmers, keeping in mind no food a waste policy and promoting conscious consumption.
- Slow money tries to reshape spending habits, where frugality and buying only the things we truly need are the key concepts to influence our consumer society for the better.
- Slow travel is about the attitude towards traveling, where people incorporate mindfulness and their principles of sustainability while on the road. This could mean anything from reducing the number of flights you take in a year and instead discovering your local area or just becoming less of a tourist and more of a traveler.
- Slow cities are the cities designed with human centric approach, prioritising the wellbeing of citizens as well as sustainability, be it public spaces, transportation or infrastructure. In a sentence: Cities where people are happy and healthy.
- Slow fashion: We bet you’ve heard all the fuss around fast fashion, but what about its opposite? Slow fashion is all about mindful consumption, promoting durable, hand crafted and sustainable brands, which will be trendy and wearable not only until the next season, but way beyond it.
So to wrap it up, finding your inner tortoise is really rewarding, because becoming slower means you have more time for things that really matter in life.
If you want to follow the causes we support, keep an eye on our blog, where we share important dates and events around the World.
Along the way of saving the World, don’t forget that we don’t have to do everything perfect, we just have to do it! We might just be a drop in the ocean alone, but together we might also become the whole ocean.