Stand Up and Be Counted! Join the Community Resilience Challenge

If you’re anything like me, your laundry list of things to do gets a little crazy about this time of year. When will I find the time to plant those veggies in my garden? Install those LED light bulbs? Learn more about installing a greywater system for my home? Find out about city rebates for alternative energy? Expand my drought-tolerant garden? Sheet mulch my lawn? Organize a carpool to work? Or the myriad of other things that I could be doing that would allow me to live more closely to the earth. My little five-acre homestead in Sonoma County, California seems like an island in a sea of to dos, but really, it’s the tangible small things that will add up to something big.

This is when I stumbled upon the Community Resilience Challenge – an annual event that makes it easier for me to become part of something greater and more beautiful by joining thousands of other citizens in committing to making our homes, our workplaces, our schools, our cities and our public spaces more resilient and more a functioning piece of the ecosystem in which we live and love.

This month is your chance, too, to stand up and be counted by joining the Challenge!
Created by Daily Acts and hosted on a national level by Transition U.S., the Community Resilience Challenge provides a variety of action items that participants can pledge to do. Formerly the “350 Home and Garden Challenge,” the Challenge is in its 5th year of calling on all of us to make our lives and community more resilient. Organized under four themes of Save Water, Grow Food, Conserve Energy and Build Community, the Challenge offers a straightforward way for folks to get involved and make a difference. By registering and committing to act, each person’s actions will count toward the national goal of inspiring 7,500 actions that will create a more resilient nation.
While we’ve received a few short rains, this season of gardening and greening is underway and yet here in California I’m still reminded of the record-breaking drought that we’re in. In addition, there are so many things that I should be doing to conserve and live more in alignment with all of my sustainability values. Throughout my day, my list of to dos gets various additions that I scribble on a tiny notepad until I make it to the big ‘ole chalkboard hanging in the kitchen of my little slice of homestead. And while there are always a few more things to do at the end of each day, there has never been a better time to add my voice to the ever-growing clamor for sustainability and resilience.
As I start helping Daily Acts get more people onboard with the Challenge, I too finally feel ready to step up and be counted and feel the tug of wanting to be part of something bigger than this five-acres. So I get started and head over to and start plugging away at registering my action list. Install 2014 garden. Check. Hang clothesline. Check. Weatherize my windows. Check. Host a potluck for my neighbors. Change out light bulbs. Check and check. I want to do all the 40 plus suggested things on the registration page but have to hold back a little bit, fortunately, many are already up on the chalkboard. Ones that aren’t, I plug into the other category. As I’m filling out a seemingly lifeless checklist, I feel anything but lifeless and want to do it all. I want to do it all, not because I have to, but because I’m committed to being part of my community and want to do what I can.  Home is so much bigger than the footprint of my house and the chicken coop.
And as I register, it slowly dawns on me that by virtue of joining the Challenge, I instantly become one with a community of thousands of people across the country who have joined me in taking the pledge to create a more abundant and resourceful future. That I too can become part of the solution is humbling and satisfying.
Already the Challenge has become my opportunity to commit to getting those to dos off of my list, but it also offers me the chance to engage everyone that I know in the celebratory nature of creating a more resilient community, local economy, and local food system while reducing our dependence on energy and lessening our use of water. This year is all about resilience and the abundance that it can bring. Will you join me and thousands of others in building this bright future? The time is now.
Story submitted by Temra Costa, Community Resilience Challenge Communications & Outreach Manager, Daily Acts, author of "Farmer Jane"

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