Tell a Green Story
Stories have incredible power in our world, shaping the ways we understand our relationships and our environment. Through stories, relationships are built, meaning is made, and communities are created. Telling stories and listening to other people’s stories are essential steps in creating green communities that sustain both people and the environment. When asked about his approach to organizing, Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers, replied: “I talk to one person, and then another.” Chavez and other leaders have understood the power of personal connections and of listening to people’s stories. These interactions are the fuel for everything from social movements to presidential campaigns.
Telling Our Stories: Creating Green Communities
Download this toolkit to learn about the importance of storytelling in our world, to discover new ways to collect stories from people in your community, and to think about how stories can be a strong basis for taking informed social action. Collecting green stories will allow you to discover what residents are doing to take care of the earth, themselves, and each other. Community members’ stories will provide you with starting points for developing a Go Green strategy tailored to your community’s strengths and aspirations.
Story Collecting Tools
The toolkit refers to a number of tools for collecting, documenting, and analyzing stories. They are all downloadable here.
- List of Environmentally-friendly Practices
- Visual Collages
- Energy Efficient Home Diagram
- Story Collecting Form
- Analysis Sheet
Watch two of Illinois’ master storytellers perform green stories. These stories were collected by community leaders in Chicago using Field Museum tools.
Library Stories in Action
As part of the Go Green @ Your Illinois Library project, librarians from Des Plaines gathered green stories from across their community. They spoke with local residents and discovered what green means to them. As they learned, the people of Des Plaines are going green in diverse and creative ways, from shopping at flea markets and yard sales to using rain barrels and compost machines. Follow this link to hear their stories, actions, and visions.