Recipes for Change

by Beth Osnes
CSTPR Faculty Affiliate and Associate Professor of Theatre and Environmental Studies, University of Colorado

One of my great pleasures that is part of my research and creative work on creative climate communication is working with a group of Boulder middle and high school girls known as Young Women’s Voices for Climate. We meet weekly and use arts-based methods for climate action and vocal empowerment through SPEAK, which I co-founded with Chelsea Hackett, in partnership with Inside the Greenhouse. Along with CU students Lianna Nixon, Jeneé LeBlanc, and Sarah Fahmy, we worked together to create an online gallery exhibit entitled Recipes for Change, which was originally designed to be displayed at the Boulder Public Library Canyon Gallery in May 2020, now moved to an online platform due to the library closure because of the pandemic. You can visit it here. Don’t forget to check out the music video of them as rapping fruits and vegetables at the end! We used this exhibit to share arts-based approaches focused on food to help reverse global warming. It may seem a bit frivolous when perusing the exhibit, but this online platform is being used to creatively communicate a solution that can ensure our survivability as a species. By partnering with Project Drawdown, we are focusing on top climate solutions. According to Drawdown’s 2020 revised list of the top solutions for reversing global warming, Reduced Food Waste is the #1 solution and Plant-Rich Diet is #3 (for the scenario that seeks to reach drawdown in 2060, See The Drawdown Review page 86, available for free download). In scenario number two (The Drawdown Review page 88) in which projections of top solutions are based on achieving drawdown by the mid-2040s, Reduce Food Waste is #3 and Plant-Rich Diets is #4. The term “drawdown” refers to “the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline (The Drawdown Review page 2).” By adding the total CO2 and equivalent greenhouse gases reduced and/or sequestered by these two solutions–according to either scenario– focusing on food is clearly the number one solution for reversing global warming!

*To read more about Young Women’s Voices for Climate, visit this article in HowlRound.

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