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Neighbours for the Planet 2020 Wrap Up

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

Year 2020 will definitely go down in the history books as a year we will never forget! What a crazy year it has been. Luckily with vaccines becoming available, we see a light at the end of the tunnel!

So, what did Neighbours for the Planet (NftP) manage to do this year? Well read on...

January - March 2020 - NftP supported a Weekly Youth Climate Rally, Vaughan

When NftP found out about a weekly #FridaysForFuture climate strike happening in front of Vaughan City Centre, we started coming out to support Mbabazi, a student at Maple High School that organized these rallies.

Mbabazi is a real inspiration! She was so committed, striking every Friday since September, sometimes on her own. Nothing seemed to stop Mbabazi, no matter the weather. And believe me, there were some particularly cold and windy days including a snow storm.

January 27, 2020 - Plant Forward Recipes now posted on our website!

Check out recipes here.

At our NftP bi-weekly meetings Robin Enotera started bringing home made vegan snacks to each of our Climate Action Meetings. Robin wanted to showcase vegan dishes to encourage us to eat them at home.

These were a huge hit and everyone wanted the recipes. NftP decided to create a Recipes page on our website so we could share them with everyone.

Thank you to Robin and Brian, both members of our "A Heathly Diet" Team who have both provided delicious recipes for us to post!

Studies show that eating more fruit and vegetables is better for your health and the health of the planet!

February 12, 2020 - Big WIN for Climate Change in Richmond Hill

Check out details here.

Our work on getting Richmond Hill to declare a Climate Emergency, finally came to a conclusion with Richmond Hill Council passing the motion “ Richmond Hill Climate Change Actions" unanimously on Feb 12, 2020.

Thank you to Councillor David West for his commitment and perseverance!

Thank you to our partners from Drawdown Richmond Hill and Blue Dot York Region who we worked with to make this a success.

February 19, 2020 - NftP have beautiful new flyers!

Check out flyers here.

As part of our outreach and creating public awareness, NftP came up with content for three flyers: 1) Clean Transportation, 2) Reduce Food Waste and 3) Changing Your Eating Habits.

A huge thank you to Alan Rapkin for taking our content and bringing it to life in our new flyers! We are so fortunate to have a graphic designer on our team! We have been passing these out when we are invited to events and have received a lot of positive feedback!

March 3, 2020 - Presentation on Electric Vehicles (EVs)

Martin Bush and Andy Enotera, from our Transportation Team recognized that most people had a lot of questions about EVs. What better way to get answers to these questions than inviting a guest speaker to hold a presentation on EVs. Andy, who was also looking at buying a used EV, had met Ron Groves, who works at the Plug 'N Drive in North York. Ron came out to one of our meetings and gave a very informative presentation about EVs including an overview of which EVs are in the market, benefits of EVs including federal grants.

Thank you to Andy and Martin for organizing this successful presentation.

Then there was COVID!

COVID hit us like a ton of bricks. The world watched as more and more outbreaks were reported in countries all over the world.

We soon learned that we had to stay home, flatten the curve, follow health guidelines and wear a mask and physically distance when we did have to go out for essential services.

It stopped everyone in their tracks and many organizations had to figure out how to move forward. After a time of reflection and re-grouping, NftP found a way to move on...

April 2020 - NftP Vegetable Growing Forum

Check out our forum here.

With the world being in lockdown and no way to get back to our meetings and engaging our community, we thought it was time to start a forum.

And with everyone stuck at home and a bit more time on our hands, what could be better than promoting growing your own vegetable garden?

The NftP Gardening Team started posting about how to start your garden indoors with seeds, to then planting in your outdoor garden. We even learned about straw-bale vegetable gardening from some of our community members!

And when community gardens were finally allowed to open, Dinah Gibbs started posting about her experience with community gardens.

Thank you to Dinah, Wing and Julia for all the help and guidance!

May 2020 - Our Social Media Team is born

One of our goals this year was to create a social media team to increase our outreach, boost our presence online while also increasing traffic to our website.

Marilyn Clark, one of our active volunteers took up the challenge to take the lead on this and find some volunteers to join the team.

Thanks to Marilyn, she not only built a team who are successfully posting regularly on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, but she also grew our accounts to include LinkedIn.

Thank you to Aaron Brown, Anusha Srinivasan, Anushka Karmalkar, Marilyn Clark and Melanie Koicha for the amazing work you have done!

Follow and like us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

June 6, 2020 - NftP Curbside Seed Giveaway

Check details here.

With the success of the vegetable garden forum, Julia Fursova had a great idea about holding a Seed Exchange.

Making sure we followed the health guidelines, we decided that instead of a seed exchange, we would hold a Curbside Seed Giveaway!

Thanks to Julia, Dinah and Wing for all their work in planning this event and making it a huge success.

This will now become an annual event! Stay tuned for our 2021 event!

June, July and August - Beating the Climate Crisis Presentations

With no end in sight from the pandemic, NftP went online. Thanks to Monica Woodley and Stuart Cumners, we started holding online presentations on the climate crisis.

Little did we know that this would increase our reach. No longer limited to how far a drive to come to a presentation, we now had attendees coming from other cities, provinces and even countries! We had attendees as far away as the Philippines!

Even once we are able to come together physically, we will continue to host online presentations as well!

July - October 2020 - Meeting with our MPs for a Just Recovery

Check out details here.

Over the summer, NftP helped organize online meetings with MPs in York Region. This was part of a Leadnow initiative. With our climate partners we met with MPs in a few ridings. Unfortunately we were not able to secure meetings with all the MPs we contacted.

The meetings that we did manage to schedule were successful with attendees representing different groups, diversity and generations. It was powerful to hear our youth speak out!

One highlight of the meeting with MP Majid Jowhari, in the Richmond Hill riding was an invitation to the group to come to Ottawa where Majid offered to give us a tour, and introduce us as a group working on climate change, in his Member’s statement in Parliament. We will definitely be taking him up on that when it is safe to do so!

Thank you to everyone who stepped up and came out to an MP meeting! Without your presence, these meetings wouldn't have been the success that they were!