The Human Impacts Institute had a sweet start to its 10 Days of Climate Action events. As the first of the ten climate-themed events, the launch party was designed to reach a new crowd of prospective HII participants from amongst the usual patrons at the Little Cupcake Bakeshop and the Freitag both on Prince Street in Soho. All of the events during 10 Days of Climate Action sought to spread the message of climate change issues through creative methods of engagement, and the Launch Party was no exception.
Everyone likes cupcakes and beer. That was the idea for the evening as we set up our climate activity and education station. Our assumption turned out to ring very true as the event began, lured in by the hand-drawn sidewalk chalk advertisements outside or else going about their evenings inside of the businesses and being pleasantly surprised to have the opportunity to get their cupcake for free or sip a beer-wine hybrid as they browsed the recycled bags of Freitag.
I was stationed for the first hour at the Bakeshop. I asked the customers entering if they would like to try to win their cupcake for free. Not everyone did, which surprised me slightly because they were just going to buy cupcakes anyway, but I moved on quickly since there was always someone coming through the door. If they showed interest, I would have them put down their name and email, then spin the climate wheel for their climate question. A number of people did not know the answer or fell for the trick questions (the U.S is no longer the nation with the highest emissions, China surpassed us in 2010, etc.) but many were more knowledgeable and were rewarded with their choice of cupcake. Even if they were just good guessers, it was great to see some people were really engaged in the topics. Several people wanted to talk more about environmental or climate-change issues, but there just wasn’t enough time to chat extensively, unfortunately.
The scene was a little different over at Freitag, once I joined that stop on Launch Party tour. I was able to have longer climate conversations with a few different attendees. The architect of the store was there, with his wife and adorable son. The latter enjoyed running around knocking over anything he could reach, in a cute way of course. I got a few emails from people visiting the store, and some of the HII board members took some fun superhero pictures. I witnessed to some serious climate based conversations. Overall, it seemed as if everyone involved enjoyed the Launch Party, and if that isn’t a sure sign of a successful 10 Days of Climate Action kickoff, I don’t know what is!
Rose Bowen, Environmental Leadership Intern