Read more about our story @ Oneactatatime.org/our-story!
In brief: I had three years ago come across a story about the Leatherback Sea Turtle, which has roamed our seas for 116 million years, but was now facing extinction because of plastic pollution. This story had led me three years ago to make a personal pledge: To pick at least one piece of letter (or more if I could) each day... Even if one turtle's life could be saved, that would be worth it. But then I wondered how to scale that impact? How could the story of the leatherback turtle be shared & how could we motivate others to also commit to those small, every-day acts?
What it does
The OATHE project takes a page from revolutionary websites driven by social media & the internet, like the Arab Spring & Greta Thunberg's #FridayforFutures event. It uses social media as the driver to get people talking and uses its website (oneactatime.org) to get them to sign that pledge. Think the petition methods here of Change.org, but where the audience- the people who need to change- is not government, but indeed us.
And so we share a campaign each month... Check out: http://www.oneactatatime.org/trashbegone.html.
Whather it is committing yourself to picking up one piece of litter each day, or recycling one old piece of clothing each month, or planting one tree/ plant each year, it is a platform for motivaitng & capturing collective action. And when poeple act, it makes a difference. Check out the attached screenshot for how just 3,000 people signing up to the three pledges now on the site could result in thousands of kilos of plastic diverted from oceans & so much more.
And one key part: This is a collective movement. And so, there is open sourcing of new OATHES for each month from the community at large: It is they that generate the new commitments & vote on which one to focus on next.
How I built it
Plans changed. Had tried to recruit some team members, but only one (Luca M) was available, & him being in Italy made the time difference a challenge. Although he did give some excellent suggestions, for which I am grateful.
TBH, I am not a coder by trade, and so ended up needing to re-learn a little website development myself, but using the tools available at Weebly & a combination of various other apps that were available through it, am proud that a sleepless night & many hours of work has produced what I think is a website to be proud off: oneactatatime.org.
And truthfully, even if it's not the most high-tech solution, this particular solution did not need anything more fancy. Thunberg was not a coder when she sparked a revolution & a combo of a website, Facebook page & instagram will work wonders. And also worked with a contact at Ocean Brige (bridge.ocean.org) who gave incredible advice.
Challenges I ran into
The manpower challenge for sure! Compounded with the timezone difficulties for the one teammate I did have which limited our conversations to a few chats back-and-forth. As well, recording video has been proving a challenge, but will message Artem/ Matthews to get their input. And certainly, there were some programming things which I wish could have been integrated into the site, but used Google to learn as much of Weebly's CSS code as I could.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Building that site in just over a day with very little programming experience: oneactatatime.org!
And also just feeling really motivated to keep this project going. The OATHE project has been in the back of my mind for a while & can see it making a worldwide impact. Regardless of prizes, this will just be the first step.
What I learned
And old dog can learn new tricks! It was quite an adventure (but a fun one :) learning Weebly.
Even more about the challenges that come with so many environmental issues, but the opportunity that is also there to use social media & technology to motivate big-scale change around the world!
What's next for The OATHE Project: One Act at a Time to Help the Earth!
Have reached out to a few contacts in the environmental industry, and they see a huge opportunity for the project. In particular, had a chance to connect with some contacts at Ocean Bridge to get some advice, and they've been incredible. To make this campaign really fly & make a "splash" that gets everyone sharing & tagging it with their frients, am workign with the Ocean Bridge folks to get connected to other organizations for a launch date.
And when is that? June 5. World Environment Day. I cannot wait!
Here too, I'd really love your support & advice. And help getting the word out to prep the marketing. And help with some coding advice to get this to the next level. And- just to get the funds to register this as an official NGO- would not mind some donations as well (it is all linked up to actively take thos if you so wish): neactatatime.org/donate.html!
Verticals to Consider: Lifestyle Change, Pollution, Climate Change & TBH a couple others might also fit.
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