This November world leaders are meeting to discuss climate change and what commitments they are making to cut their nation’s carbon footprint. This is vital to the future of the whole world. The meeting is in Glasgow so the perfect opportunity for UK leaders to make a stand in support of radical action on Climate Change.
We, the Leeds Craftivists, are asking you, as individuals and small groups, to create a green heart and send it to a local leader. This will encourage Leeds leaders to make a stand and make their voice heard on climate change this year ahead of COP26. We are also asking you to each create a second heart (one from each individual or one from the whole group) to add to a large art piece of green hearts to be displayed in Leeds in November.
This session should take around 45 minutes, if you need more material to pad it out please find some extra resources at the bottom of the page.
Intro – 3 mins
- We are a making green hearts ahead of COP26 in Glasgow
- Craftivism believes that using creativity can be good for our wellbeing but also as a tool for making change happen
- What is COP26? Here is a video that can help explain it!
Mindful moment – 4 mins
Climate Change can cause real anxiety as it feels so overwhelming and to some catastrophic. Therefore we recommend starting the session with a simple mindfulness exercise. Here is a podcast to listen to or a script you can read yourself.
Everyone find a comfortable seated position, some people cross their legs, some sit with feet flat on the floor. When you are comfortable close your eyes. Start by noticing the gentle coming and going of your breath, in and out. Now take your attention to your feet, notice where they are touching the floor, notice the feel of your socks. Are there any sensations? Are they cold or warm?
Now take the attention to your posture. Are you comfortable? Is your back straight?
Now back to the breath, notice it coming in and out. Notice how your stomach moves as your breath….and your chest…..and the end of your nose.
I invite you to stay focused just on your breath for the next 30 seconds of silence.
Start to bring your attention back into this space. Today we are talking about climate change, a potentially very frightening topic. If as we discuss the enormity of the impact of climate change you notice that you start to feel anxious or sad then you can always take your attention back to the breath.
Crafting – 5 mins to introduce, continues through session
As a group you can all do the same craft or each person can choose their own way of making a green heart. Below are a number of patterns you can use. We are asking each person to make one heart for someone in power and one to send to the Leeds Craftivists for their big art piece.
- Origami – here are the instructions
- Knitting – here is the pattern
- Embroidery – Simple heart cross stitch and Embroidery pattern using different stitches
- Crochet – Simple pattern here
- Watercolour painting
- Sew a material heart using leftover green material – here is the template
Choosing your ask – 20 min discussion
We recommend making two asks of the leader you approach:
- Sign the climate change declaration: www.theclimatecoalition.org/declaration
- Make a personal ask that is relevant to your area, group or personal life. What is the thing about climate change what makes most to you personally?
To work out what your personal ask could be ask the group or each individuals to consider the questions below. Go round and ask each person or break into smaller groups:
- What worries you most about climate change?
- Who could make a change happen on this issue here in Leeds? (ideas below)
- What change do they have the power to make? (your answer is your ask!)
- We encourage you to think of a more specific ask as that is more likely to have an impact. Here are a few ideas and tips to get you thinking:
- Think local, you can be very influential locally.
- Is there a local shop still using plastic bags? Write to the manager asking them to change
- Is there some waste ground that could have wildflowers seeds planted? Write to your local councillors asking for this.
- Write to your MP and councillors about the airport expansion voicing concerns about the increased number of flights.
- Write to your bank asking them to prioritise green investments
- Write to a loved one encouraging them in their sustainability journey.
- Write to your workplace or school asking them to reduce their single use plastic and/or change to a green energy provider.
If your group might struggle with this and need more information about Climate Change at the bottom are some additional resource to get conversation going.
Letter writing – do this as part of the session, play some music while people write or ask people to write their letters and send them afterwards.
Closing – 10 mins
Go round each person and get them to show their hearts and share where they are planning to send them and what they are asking for.
Thank them for coming along and using their fabulous creativity!
Sending you hearts
Find your MP’s contact details here: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/
Find your local councillors contact details here: https://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=WARD&VW=LIST&PIC=0
Please post your second green heart for the art piece to:
20 New Market Street
Additional resources – you can use these to make the session longer and inform the discussion:
- Two short videos that could be helpful one from Climate Commission and one from National Geographic.
- The Climate Coalition 10 point plan lays out 10 areas that need to change, take your group through it to give them ideas.
All of our activism is leading towards COP26 in Glasgow in November. The Climate Coalition have a 10 point plan laying out the
You can view these instructions as a PDF below: