353. Green Team Academy | Joan Gregerson | Colorado


Green Team Academy Podcast

Climate Action Challenge- A Proven Plan for Launching Your Eco-Initiative in 90 Days


Climate Action Challenge Workbook 20200808

Read the unedited computer AI Generated podcast transcript here:

Welcome to the Green Organic Garden Podcast. It is Tuesday, December 1st, 2020, but when you’re hearing this, it’s probably in January, so happy new year and I have a great guest on the line you heard from her once before, but she’s back to tell us about all the great things her book came out. And so here today to share with us as Joan Gregerson, welcome to the show, Joan.

Welcome to the green organic garden. It is Tuesday, December 1st, 2020, but when you’re hearing this, it’s probably in January, so happy new year and I have a great guest on the line you heard from her once before, but she’s back to tell us about all the great things her book came out. And so here today to share with us as Joan Gregerson, welcome to the show, Joan. 2m 37s0 Hi, Jackie, and hi everybody in organic garden world. Nice to see you and, and happy new year, 2m 47s1 Happy new year to you. You’re the first person I’ve said it to me too. So, so if listeners didn’t hear our first interview, do you want to tell them a little bit about yourself and your organization? Sure. I would love 2m 60s0 To. And I’m so happy that I know Jackie, that you, that your, the green organic garden is taking that holistic view. And that’s exactly what, what I’m all about too. So I’m the founder of something called green team Academy. And my background is that I’ve always been passionate about nature. And, but unfortunately I feel like I lost several decades being ineffective as has most of the world, which is why we are right now. So what I learned was that just being enthusiastic, just being committed, just being a nature lover, just believing in the best in people. 3m 43s0 Like none of that is enough to protect the planet. But I did through a lot of twists and turns, figure out what does make a difference. And it’s something very simple and it started team. And so most of the advice that you get for helping the planet is do this, do that. And I want to caution you instead of thinking that you’re going to do something instead, get a team together and work on something together, whether it’s plant-based eating or starting a community garden or getting your city to change. If you start a team, you’ll be able to nurture each other through it all. 4m 24s0 So you don’t lose hope. You’ll be able to figure out, okay, now how do we do this with the pandemic or whatever? Our next crazy thing is, Andrew have a bigger impact. So that, that all kind of led me to this. Once I started going through these experiences where I started teams kind of accidentally started making a bigger impact than my whole engineering career that I wanted to write a book about it. And so I now have a book out called climate action challenge of proven plan for launching your eco initiative in 90 days. And I’ve written some books before that got great ratings, but nobody read them. So I was like, how do we get people to actually read this and do it? 5m 8s0 So I launched the 2020 international climate action challenge we have and the, the website is climate action, challenge.net for the book and the challenge stories. So we had 130 people from around the world, sign up, they committed, okay, this is what I’m going to do in 90 days, I’m going to start a green business, or I’m going to plant 10,000 trees. I’m going to plant three trees or do a cleanup, whatever it was, they made a commitment. And then we had weekly meetings. And then by, so that went September 1st to November 30th and then in December, our impact summit features the stories. 5m 52s0 So you’re listening to this in January. So you’ll be able to go and hear the stories of all these different people who just had an idea and made it happen. So we have the interviews with our top challengers, they’re at climate action challenge.net. 6m 13s1 So this was just this year, just September to November, right? Or just last year, I guess one more. And so what were some of the things that you saw that worked well and what were some of the problems people had completing the challenge? 6m 30s0 Yeah. And that’s, that’s a really great part of it because it’s been funny too, to watch people. I mean, funny, not more ironic than hahaha, but you know, as I went through all this myself, I found these things that happened and you know, it’s like one of the things I want people to realize is that helping people make a difference for the planet is a lot more like addiction recovery than it is like giving information. And so, yeah, I mean, things that you would learn in a 12 step program are directly applicable to this, but you know, like going through with the group and you, most people think that you figure out what you’re going to do and then do it, which seems logical enough, but it actually doesn’t work that way. 7m 27s0 What happens is somebody has an idea and they really aren’t able to get that to come to fruition without talking to people. And so one of the things we did was we had weekly meetings. That was a commitment that people made to be in the challenges that they would meet every week, spend at least three hours on their project. And a lot of people fought. They were going to go one way and turn the corner and did something else. I know one of the groups, they thought they were going to start kind of a tree nursery. This was in Burundi. And instead they had this idea of making tree planting part of their rituals in their town. 8m 12s0 So every time a kid was born, that they would plant a tree, any marriage, any death in the family. So they, they took their initial idea and figured out a way that it was relatable and that people really latched onto it. And the only way, you know, isn’t that so cool. That is way cool. Yeah, but they took it from kind of this abstract thing of, we want to grow seeds or plant trees to marking the importance of people’s wives. We had another person that had an idea about, she wanted to do some kind of circular business and she had all kinds of different ideas. 8m 60s0 They ended up with her, her company is called remat pet, you know, mattresses 9m 5s1 Or one of these things that are really difficult to recycle. 9m 9s0 So what they do is they recover the mattresses and they repurpose them the upcycle of them into pet beds. And so, you know, that’s brilliant because there’s so many pet lovers and people will spend money on their pets more than they would maybe on, I don’t know, a recycling class or bins or something. So 9m 33s1 We’re recycling their mattress. Don’t most people I figured they took it. 9m 37s0 Right. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So now they have the cutest feed on Instagram of all these pets on these different, you know, recycled mattresses, these new, you know, upcycled pet beds. So I would say when you were saying, what is almost every single team had an idea, they went one direction and then they took a right turn or a left turn or something. And that is the process. That is exactly what happens. And so, but, but having this idea of, Oh, man, I still got to do something in 90 days. 10m 19s0 Pushes gives people that, that thing of pushing through to, okay, well maybe it’s not that maybe it’s something else. There was another group that wanted to do, they wanted to start a, some kind of an eco community and they were having a really hard time getting anybody interested. And then just kind of out of the blue, they found someone that already has property and already had this idea and just needed exactly that person skills. So you, the, the creativity of it, the unknown, but not like the pandemic unknown, more like you can create something more like writing a book or, you know, making a collage. 11m 7s0 You do have by putting your creativity to it. And, you know, putting it out there in the universe, people are just creating these amazing things. We’ve had teams that have done voter outreach that have done tens of thousands of voter outreach. Some of them were youth based. Others were, you know, just all kinds of things. One was doing it with her mom who is 86 years old. Like it’s just, anybody can come together and make an impact. And it’s, it’s just a really exciting feeling compared to what usually when you hear about the environment, I mean, it’s a bummer man. 11m 49s0 Like no wonder people don’t wanna participate, it’s all gloom and doom. So this climate action challenge idea, giving people the idea that let’s take 90 days, see what we can do in 90 days and let’s do it together. It just flips it around. 12m 9s1 So my mom is always like, I don’t understand why you have to do a challenge when I, like I was telling you to preach at that. I just did this Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But I think that’s what I love about a challenge because it’s like, you’re committing for 90 days. It’s going to be pretty much your main focus for 90 days. And then after 90 days it’s done, it doesn’t mean you stop forever. Like, I don’t just stop running forever, but like, it just takes some of the pressure off. Instead of being like, I have to run every other day or every three days a week for the rest of my life. It’s like, I’m only running during a certain season or during like trait. Like I like to do a half marathon in June. So I’m training for the four months up to that, the rest of the year, you know, I’m trying to stay in regular shape. 12m 51s1 I try to walk regularly, but I’m not actively training. And so I think that’s what makes it doable. And then 90 days, if you’ve had a success, then you’ve got a success under your belt. And then you can build on that maybe, you know, and eventually try some different challenges. And then before you know, it, you found something like you said, you finally figured out this is, you know, this is, I figured out what works, what works for you? What’s working in your community. How many different things can you bring to your community instead of being like, Oh, it’s so helpless. There’s nothing we can do. Or like, so sunk, like making these little changes really adds on it. 13m 27s0 Exactly. Well, and I like how you linked it to, you know, our health, it’s the same thing. You know, that it’s, it’s like a doctor handing somebody a pamphlet and saying, you know, you should eat better and get more exercise. It’s like, you know, we do that with the environment too. And that doesn’t work nodding in agreement. You know, it just doesn’t work. But if your doctor said, Hey, we have a group coaching program and it starts on this date and we’re going to meet every week and we’re going to have, you know, things that we do each week and we’re going to share, and we’re going to report, we’re going to share recipes. You know? 14m 6s1 Well, I got into running, I joined weight loss group and then I didn’t even, like, I never ran. I started running in 2013 for the first time in my life, four. So six years ago I was in my late forties and now I completed my third. I would’ve done my fourth half-marathon if it wasn’t for COVID and I am definitely doing it, a virtual one in 20, 20, 20, 21. I mean, it’s just been life, shit. Like there’s so many secrets I’ve learned about running that I wish I would’ve known when I was 13. Not everybody is a super marathon going to go run for five miles every single day. You know, there’s other, like, I love my treadmill because when I’m on my treadmill, I do sprints. 14m 49s1 I don’t sit there and look at it and be like, Oh, I got to go out there and run for 45 minutes straight. That’s not how I use a treadmill. And it works. And just like, there’s like little things, but it all started with this group. Like, I can still remember that woman showing me what a pound of fat looked like. And I went there for health things. It was like through the diabetes center and the town I worked at. And it’s just, I love everything you’re doing is so true at work. 15m 12s0 Well, and even what you just said right there, like I’m not a long distance runner. And I’m like, wait, what do you know that I need to know? And so understanding that, that, that, like I just did a live podcast. We had six, five or six different climate reality chapter leaders from around the country. And they were each talking about, well, here’s what we’re doing. We’re working with our state legislators on methane regulation. And it’s like, Oh, well, we did something. We passed a bill that said, everybody in the state deserves equal environmental education access. And we did a pollinator planting and we did this compassionate tree thing. And everybody’s like, Oh my God, that’s such a great idea. 15m 54s0 But you know, it’s the same thing. Just exchanging recipes, exchanging tips. And for some reason with the environment, we’ve just told people, you know, just go do it. And, and that just doesn’t work. So yeah, once you realize, Oh my gosh, we could get a team together. Whether it’s your faith community or your neighborhood or anything. And so the December 13th to 17th in 2020 is our, or was depending on how we say it, our impact summit. And we have, so anybody can go to climate action, challenge.net. We have sessions on how could you do this for your faith community? 16m 37s0 How could you do it for your city as part of your city climate action plan, your neighborhood, your business. And so if you’re interested in anything like that, there’s that whole resource is there, the book, there’s a book, there’s a workbook. You can just run with this idea of, yeah. Let’s just make a 90 day challenge and, and do it. Just do a half marathon, 17m 6s1 Alexandria, Ocasio, Cortez, and Jane Fonda. It’s so funny. I was on my computer when they called it for Joe Biden and I was so it felt really good that I found out because he Greenpeace was my first email and I got the email and I was like, what? And I got on the TV in it like Fox news and called it like 37 minutes before it, nobody had called me yet. Like my first connection was my email from Greenpeace and then algebra or Keisha Cortez did they, they were inviting us. Jane Fonda was going to do a live thing on Facebook. And she had AOC on an AOC, said, it’s the grassroots. 17m 48s1 We cannot stop. It’s all the little things people do that are going to change the world. You know, Congress, people can’t take action without hearing from their constitution. You know, I’ve written a, my governor, I wrote him a hand written letter and he wrote me back saying, I show tired of going to the grocery store and people not wearing masks. I hate that. I’d go to my post office and the post office people don’t wear masks. It’s show ridiculous. Like I’ve lived in a place where liberals, like, you know, it’s like, they almost, it’s almost like you’re feeling people are glaring at you. You left us liberal. I just happened to be in that kind of a community. There’s lots of great people there. It’s like to me, it’s like, do you just dichotomy because the kindest most giving you the hand off your shirt, nicest, the biggest volunteers in our town are these like, you know, whatever. 18m 42s1 I just don’t understand it. How has your wearing a mask really? Like you’re taking away my freedom to go to the store anytime I want. I will only go very first thing in the morning. It’s like, I just feel like they’re holding me hostage would there. I don’t have to wear a mask anyway, totally off topic, but 19m 0s0 Totally it’s totally on topic. And that’s, that’s one of the things it was, it was kind of interesting for me, as I was writing the book, I was trying to figure out, you know, like why, and, and working through that raised as a, in a Catholic family and my parents, as you were saying, you know, my parents were very, they worked at the soup kitchen and they, they tutored people with to get their GED, their high school equivalent, but taking care of the environment was not part of the ethic. And, and so like, I think what we’re seeing is these gaps compared to indigenous cultures, which are all about responsibilities, ours, ours is our rights. 19m 46s0 Well, I have the right to do this and I have the right to do this compared to flipping it around at being well, I have this responsibility. And so, yeah, it’s a hundred percent related, but what we’re seeing going on with the pandemic climate change and racial disparities, it’s all linked by, by people coming from a place of fear and, you know, righteousness rather than, than responsibilities and taking that extra step. 20m 20s1 Can I just show one of my guests, Kathy, from Kathy’s crawling composters up in Canada, invited me or invited anybody who wants to come. I’m telling you, laughter yoga is show amazing. And the guy who started it, so she’s a laughter you’ll get ambassador. I just, I do it on Tuesday mornings at seven 30 here in Montana. It’s the best thing. If you think you can’t laugh for half hour, it’s so easy. All you do is say, ha ha, ha, ho, ho. He, you don’t have to be thinking of funny things. And it’s just, it’s just build, it’s like the craziest thing it’s worth like 300,000 sit-ups or something. I don’t know. But, and, but, but the guy who started it is this is trying to create a peaceful world through laughter and I’m telling you, it’s crazy. 21m 4s1 You wouldn’t think through zoom, we could feel each other’s energy, but I’m telling you a scene. The other woman’s smiling faces. I feel like I’m making friends. We can get between 10 and 16 people we’ve been getting, she started out with like four back in like September and it’s just kind of been growing slowly or October. I don’t know, but it is so wonderful. And I just, I just, I there’s a part of me that feels pieces coming. Maybe we will get there in our lifetime. I mean, I dream of a world where there are no good we’re there. You know, we’re all helping everybody on the whole planet has access to healthy food, clean water, fresh air, and private, you know, an education, everybody, the whole world. 21m 49s1 I don’t, I just, I believe in a world of abundance and you, you are making a huge impact with this. I just, I just think what you’re doing and the connections I’ve made with my guests on my podcast and my audience. I mean, I just love everybody 22m 3s0 Well, and it’s, I agree a hundred percent and the abundance thing, you know, so some of the people that are making the biggest impact are those with the least amount of resources we have, several of our challenges are in Africa, Kenya, Burundi. I mentioned earlier, you gone does Zambia, but one of them, Jeffrey Ooma, he, he, his weekly, we do these weekly check-ins. He’s like we planted 6,000 trees last week. Oh my gosh. And so, and then the cool thing is by having the photos, we’re seeing the pictures and he’ll do things like they’ll go out to these small villages and they’ll meet with the widows in the villages. 22m 52s0 And this is in Kenya and bring, bring some produce, bring some, so, you know, just like as little gifts and then give each of them a tree. And you know, he knows about climate change. So that’s his thing, but he doesn’t talk about that. He talks about all the benefits that trees can bring and how once you learn to grow seedlings, it’s a, it’s a source of income. And when you grow trees, all the benefits that come from it. But what I was, that’s a very long story to say that the abundance, you know, that nature, like one tree drops bazillions of seeds. 23m 34s0 And like, literally that’s the number. If you think of just an Apple tree, how many seeds it’s producing. And so that’s what these folks are doing is just grabbing those, collecting those seeds and growing them, and then going out and showing other people how to grow seedlings and how to plant and this being in one-to-one relationship with nature, we’re cutting out the middlemen of, you know, you don’t have to just sign a petition or send money. You can actually just go to nature and say, what do you want me to do here? What, what can I do, which really loops back to Jackie, what you guys are all about with the green organic garden and how, how you’ve learned gardening just by, just by doing it, by being a student of nature and then, and talking to people and, and doing it together. 24m 30s0 And that’s, that’s all I’m talking about too, is taking that to, to our environmental action. 24m 37s1 Not only that my husband just harvested the volunteer curates that came up and he is like, so they were so sweet and they were the biggest curates in our garden. And they were just huge. The ones that just came up by themselves from the year before, and just in a part of the garden where he didn’t really get to plant stuff last spring. And it was just amazing of talk about nature. You know, when so many people I’ve, so many of my guests keep talking about mimicking nature and mimicking nature. And you know, one of the biggest permaculture things is never letting the ground be beer because the nature of the ground is really never bare and right. And just exactly what you’re saying. And then just, you know, I, one, I just finished reading, got ill Ilhan. 25m 20s1 Omar, is that how you say your name, her biography, who, you know, was born in Somalia and was in a refugee camp in Kenya for like three years from like five to eight or from when she was like four to seven or something. It was freezy. Her life is just what she’s been through is amazing. Such a great biography. It’s I think it’s an autobiography, even it’s like her words and her stories show so amazing. And what was I talking about? And then the guy I was just got off the phone with was the Apple orchard. He, he runs this huge Apple orchard and employing people and just, it’s just amazing. 26m 3s0 Yeah. So the abundance can do that, that thing of being clear that there is a world of abundance, but we have to nature is our teacher not, you know, we maybe didn’t learn it in school, even if we went, you know, as for me, like going through engineering to try and make a difference. I never thought about community organizing or, you know, walking in a parade with kids or having an earth day festival as a, we’re going to speak to my city council people. And those are the things that, that make a difference or, you know, that’s what I was going to say. Yeah. Is that it starts 26m 42s1 With your city and then once more enough cities do it, then a state usually takes it on. And then once enough States do it, like a lot of people probably don’t know we get national holidays. Like if you want something to be a national holiday, what’s a big one. Like I would like to see election day be a national holiday. If we were going to make election day a national holiday holiday. So people don’t have to go work so people can get to the polls. I mean, when we were kids, we didn’t go to school on election day. I, I just clearly remember that that was a day off. We went to the polls with our appearance, it start or an international peace day. I would love September 21st to be a national holiday where nobody goes to school. 27m 23s1 You know, it starts with getting your, you know, you can start with your city and then you can go to your, your governor eventually. And once enough States do it, then the federal government. But a lot of people always think, Oh, we need federal change, but really it’s those tiny changes you can make in your community. 27m 42s0 Well, yeah, exactly. I mean, just to your point, that’s what happened with the Paris accord is that, you know, when, when our, whatever you call them administration pulled out that it was all the cities that stepped up and it was super cool because one place that I started in environmental, nonprofit, that Longmont, they were one of the first to sign on as a city to the Paris climate accord. And I was like, that’s so cool. This was just like a group of random people that started talking to our city council and pushing them to do a sustainability plan. And then a couple of years later when somebody needs to commit to the accord and it didn’t happen on the national level, that that city did that. 28m 30s0 And I was long gone by that time. But it just shows that our kind of what we’ve been told about where power is, is really upside down. It’s, it’s us being in relationship with nature and being in relationship with each other and then telling our elected officials what we want in a cohesive way. And that’s why I say the number one action is to start a team. 28m 60s1 And I was just gonna say, and you know, what, if you’re going to go to your board or change shade policy, there’s nothing better you can do than have someone else there with you too, with the team. 29m 9s0 That’s what we’ve heard. We heard the great story I heard from one lady who said, yeah, I went and made an appointment to speak with the energy manager for this big school district. And he said, honestly, you’re just one person. Can you please come back with a group? Like, what am I supposed to tell my boss? Oh, one person said this, like, you know, there, it doesn’t have the weight and they’re, they’re trying to balance all these different interests. So it’s up to us to come up with that cohesive. And we do that by meeting together and talking and figuring it out as we go. 29m 49s1 Thank you so much for everything you’re doing. Is there anything else you want to tell us that we haven’t talked about today? 29m 56s0 Well, not really, but you know, the book climate action challenge is on it’s on Amazon. The workbook is on Amazon, but also if you go to my website, you can get the digital version of the workbook, so you can write in it. And if you want to do a challenge for your city as part of your, you know, just to engage your city or your faith community or anything, then I hope you will think about that and reach out to me. I’d love to direct you. And we’re going to have all kinds of courses and resources and stuff up there that you can pretty much do it on your own, but I’d also love to hop on, do a training or whatever the heck it takes to let’s. 30m 37s0 Let’s get this party started. Let’s get people understanding that they’re empowered and that it’s fun to get together and take action. 30m 47s1 All right. And on a separate note, tell me about the summit that’s coming up in a few days. It’s December 13th to the 17th. What’s that all about that? Maybe I’ll just cut off the end and put a little promo up. 31m 1s0 Sure. So the December in December 13th, the 17th 2020, we have the impact summit for the 2020 international climate action challenge. And this is our super exciting thing because we are, we have we’re out there recording interviews with these different challengers who have made a difference. We’ve got a lady who works with people in Bangladesh and a few other countries that are decided to try to start businesses and grow food from their kitchen scraps. So they just saw whatever seeds were coming through and now they’re growing them and selling them and eating the food. 31m 44s0 And, you know, that’s just one of the dozens of stories that we’re going to be featuring in the climate action challenge, impact summit. So it’s free. Anybody can come and we’ll have really inspiring stories of what people have been able to do. Go from passion to action in 90 days, and also workshops of how you can make it happen in your community. And we also have zoom happy hours where people can get on and just throw out their ideas and talk to people from around the world. So, yeah, we’d love to anybody to join us. It’s climate action, challenge.net. 32m 23s1 Joan, thank you so much for sharing with us today. 32m 27s0 Thank you, Jackie. It’s always nice hanging out with you and with your whole green, organic garden crew love all the stuff that you’re doing. And so glad that we had a chance to connect again, meet you have a wonderful day. You too. Thanks. Bye bye.