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Between fires ravaging the Bay Area and Covid-19 reshaping the way we live our lives, sharing is all the more important.  Right now is the time to be kind and to take care of each other.  We encourage you to look around, see who needs some help, and decide how you can make a difference.

Living Sustainably during the Pandemic

Times like these can feel disempowering—with our health and the health of our loved ones resting in the hands of leaders, some of whom have been treating undeniable social realities as if they are little more than political ideologies. But this pandemic cannot be argued away. One powerful positive thing about COVID-19’s concurrence with the long-existing crisis of racial inequality in this country is that we have seen the strength of the community.

So how do we take care of each other? 

The first step is to recognize where we already are: situated within various communities, from our cities to our neighborhoods—whose side-streets and other crevices many of us have become much more intimately acquainted since the start of shelter-in-place orders. So many of the mechanisms of modern life are shrouded in obscurity; we don’t know where our shirts, our food, or our technologies come from. But these production processes can be demystified. 

Indeed, the time of COVID-19 has brought us back to older ways of life. Being where you are, you begin to recognize the workers who pick up your trash or stock your groceries. You might even reflect on where your water goes, how it comes to you, whether you really need from a trip to the grocery store, and—most importantly for this month’s BAGT newsletter—what you have that you can share. Goods and services flow to us, many times in ways unseen. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Now is the Time to Share

While we are in these ways already sharing our realities—and our tragedies—now is the time to realize our shared networks as consciously and actively as we can. Now is the time to share. 

Channeling the spirit of our partner organizations is
Shareable, and as part of the NorCal Resilience Network that offers these tips on resource sharing, this month’s BAGT newsletter offers ways to share our resources. We also have thoughts below on the paradigm shift now occurring by The Green Market Oracle.

“The coronavirus pandemic calls us to share more than ever”

The Shareable article by Neal Gorenflo points out that leaders of several nations neglected to shield us from Coronavirus. And we were asked to shelter in place and/or practice social distancing. Leaders have suggested that the only thing we can do now is to stay home and wait it out. What's frustrating is that some are using this situation to make a profit. When we can’t count on leaders to protect us, we have to protect ourselves.

“We must do so by sharing, cooperating, and taking decisive action when leaders have failed to.”

Millions of ordinary people worldwide have risen to the occasion. We’ve experienced an unprecedented wave of prosocial behavior, resource sharing, and mutual aid. Volunteer support for front line medical workers and those most vulnerable to the virus has been especially robust. We’ve only just experienced the first of many waves. If you haven’t joined this worldwide community of action, now is the time to invite your friends and family to help each other and help others. 

Shareable is BAGT’s partner and together we began offering “Sharing Economy” Green Tours before the quarantines. We now offer virtual team building activity and private virtual tours to adjust to this difficult time!

Illustration by Cal Brackin

10 Ways to Share during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Gorenflo also gave us 10 ways to share safely during this pandemic. Sharing might be the last thing people think of during a worldwide outbreak of a highly transmissible disease, but there are many ways to share that don’t require physical contact.

1. Safety first

    Practice social distance, follow shelter-in-place order and wash your hand regularly. Inform your family and friends to do the same. 

2. Check-in with your family, friends, neighbors, and the most vulnerable in your community

    Stay in it with them. Share your emotional support. 

3. Support front line medical workers and the institutions they serve

    Check-in with them to see what they need and what you can donate. 

4. Join or start a mutual aid network

     Focus on mutual support for the most vulnerable 

5. Support those that need it the most

    Support those who are the most vulnerable to the effect of COVID-19 

6. Be social, safely

    Kind to people virtually, and check in on others 

7. Share reputable information responsibly

    Some internet sources can be misleading, make sure it’s from a credible website.

8. Engage government

    Check with their COVID-19 pandemic plans with your state and regional representative, and have your voice heard.

9. Budget time to do the above
10. Take care of yourself!

"COVID-19 can be a Paradigm Changing Social Tipping Point for Climate Action"

Another resource relating social change and Coronavirus is a post from The Green Market Oracle, which relates climate change and Coronavirus. It describes how the pandemic may have changed our perception and behaviors due to the Coronavirus being a social tipping point (STP) - rapidly changing social norms - which leads to Social tipping interventions (STIs) that activate a contagious process that rapidly spreads values, norms, behaviors, and technologies. 

The present-day plague is by no means a promise that we can reverse our risky path, but it offers us a chance to do so. We have all noticed how climate change has drastically decreased triggering greenhouse gas pollution and now we are forced to maintain these shifts. For little else, the coronavirus has made it plain that there will be a significant improvement.

Grant Announcement! 
Bay Area Green Tours Inc. was awarded a grant of $5,000 from the COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Fund, a component fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Thank you to SVCF for supporting us during this time!
Additional Resources 
For more on the Sharing Economy

The above article is part of Shareable’s reporting on The People’s COVID-19 Response. Here are a few articles from the series:

Resources for Coping with COVID-19:

“Sharing accurate information about COVID-19 and strategies for coping can be an effective way to manage stress and connect with others.” Consider sharing these resources.

Resources for workers in California:
If your employment and business were affected by this pandemic, please use the link listed below: 
Food Resources: 
With the unemployment rate going up, a lot of families are in need of more nutritious food, here are the resources to help:
We create interactive tours and experiences highlighting the sustainable economy in action to inspire and educate youth and adults, to build a more enduring, resilient, and just future

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