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What can you do?

​No single organization can accomplish large-scale social change - it takes the entire community working together, committed to a common agenda for solving challenges. Little changes made every day can have a huge impact. The following is a list of small things you, your family or your workplace can do to make a difference.
Chatham-Kent Economic Prosperity Icon

Economic Prosperity

  1. Set up a Canada Learning Bond for your children.
  2. Buy Local, Buy Fresh in Chatham-Kent!. 
  3. Volunteer for the Community Development Advisory Committee.
  4. Volunteer for one of the local Chambers of Commerce.
  5. Volunteer as a board member for the Chatham-Kent Workforce Planning Board.
  6. Donate to educational organizations and charities.
  7. Local in-person exchanges – Recycle and Reuse! Another way you can positively impact both your local economy and the environment is by doing business directly with people in your community. Selling and buying unwanted items from other people helps citizens save money and the landfill. 
  8. Invest in small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  9. Help a student between the ages of 15 and 29 start their own summer business with Summer Company
  10. Start your own business and get free expert training, consultation, and advice from the team of experts at the Small Business Centre
  11. Discover and engage with current and future leaders through the Chatham-Kent Women's Leadership Network.
Chatham-Kent People & Culture Icon

People & Culture

  1. Host educational cultural festivals.
  2. Create social gathering places where neighbours can come together, such as community gardens.
  3. Support recreation and social programming which encourages interaction, cohesiveness and community building.
  4. Visit local tourism sites.
  5. Be a positive, engaging ambassador for Chatham-Kent.
  6. Preserve and invest in heritage homes.
  7. Visit and support performing arts, library, education and recreation venues.
  8. Start or invest in a local, creative economy business.
  9. Visit local museums. (i.e. Ridge House, Buxton National Historical Site, Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History)
  10. Visit local theatres. (i.e. Mary Webb Centre, Capitol Theatre, Kiwanis Theatre)
  11. Visit local art galleries. (i.e. Thames Art Gallery, ARTSpace)
  12. Participate in local theatre groups.
  13. Learn something new from local history (i.e. read Romantic Kent by Victor Lauriston, genealogy resources)
Chatham-Kent Healthy & Safe Community Icon

Healthy & Safe Community


  1. Aim for eight fruits and vegetables each day.
  2. Choose water or sugar-free beverages.
  3. Build in 30 minutes of daily activity.
  4. Have all your current immunizations – especially if you are traveling.
  5. See your healthcare provider regularly.
  6. Get connected in the community: mom and caregiver play groups, senior centres, faith communities, sports or hobby groups, and civic engagement.
  7. Welcome newcomers to your neighbourhood.
  8. Encourage voluntarism.
  9. Invest in projects that improve safety and well-being while promoting affordability.
  10. Visit the Chatham-Kent Safety Village with your family.
  11. Sign up for Pulse Point AED Registry - a web registry and app that allows residents to locate AED (Automated External Defibrillator) units anywhere in the community.
  12. Wash your hands often.
  13. Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  14. Provide healthy snacks for family.
  15. Do not smoke and if you do, quit.
  16. Teach children healthy habits.
  17. Eat more fiber.
  18. Work out at home. If you have no desire to head outdoors for your workout, there are plenty of resources online that supply a variety of fun workout videos and exercises.
  19. Be sure to get enough sleep.
  20. Practice safe sex.
  21. Use sunscreen.
  22. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.


  1. Plan a safe ride home.
  2. Get your vehicle inspected. Each year there are an average of 480,000 injuries caused by weather-related vehicle crashes. Ensure your vehicle is deemed safe enough to drive in winter with the right tires for your local weather conditions.
  3. Fully extinguish all flames.
  4. Use heating devices carefully.
  5. Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  6. Use handrails for stability.
  7. Salt driveways and exterior staircases.
  8. Practice a fire safety plan with your family.
  9. Create a 72-hour emergency kit.


  1. Adopt "Meet Well" guidelines.
  2. Adopt a living wage for all employees.
Chatham-Kent Environmental Sustainability Icon

Environmental Sustainability

  1. Plant a tree.
  2. Volunteer with local conservation authority.
  3. Recycle your household waste.
  4. Create a compost pile.
  5. Carpool or ride your bicycle to work.
  6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
  7. Borrow an energy metre from your local library to help find ways to conserve energy.
  8. Things you can do to conserve natural resources - SF Environment.
  9. Plant pollinator plants. Pollinators are responsible for assisting over 80% of the world's flowering plants to reproduce.
  10. Stop using plastic straws.
  11. Stop purchasing pre-filled plastic water bottles.
  12. Think before you print.
  13. Doubling up on errands saves fuel, driving time, and emissions. Short trips are especially hard on fuel economy because that cold engine needs time to warm up with each stop.
  14. Telecommute.
  15. Bring your own containers when purchasing bulk.
  16. Learn to love leftovers.
  17. Change to LED light bulbs.
  18. Turn the thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down two degrees in the winter. Heating and cooling are responsible for a large percentage of a household's energy consumption.
  19. Turn off the water as you are brushing your teeth, washing your face, washing your hands, etc.
  20. Unplug unused electronics. Items like your television and blender use energy when it is on standby. Unplug your television overnight, or when you are out at work and not using it. Plug it back in during prime time!
  21. Buy locally grown and produced foods. The energy used to transport foods from all over the world is extremely high. By buying locally, you save fuel, as well as help out your local economy.
  22. Make sure your tires are inflated. Driving with deflated tires reduces your gas mileage by up to 3%. You will get to your destination faster and have less of a carbon footprint. Every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
  23. Use a line to dry your clothes.
  24. Turn off the pilot flame of your gas furnace in the summer.
  25. Use tote bags when you shop.
  26. Install low-flow sink and faucet aerators.
  27. Full loads for dishwashing and clothes cleaning.
  28. Get rid of excess weight in the car as it decreases gas mileage.
  29. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  30. Purchase appliances that are labeled with the Energy Star logo, which means the appliance meets or exceeds standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
  31. Air seal your home, closing all potential gaps where heating and cooling can escape. This stops drafts and reduces noise, but most importantly, it decreases the amount of energy lost through poor sealing. Once you are sealed efficiently, then you can properly insulate your home.
  32. Insulate your walls.
  33. Maintain your air-conditioning and heating systems by changing air filters and keeping your air-conditioner coils clean.
    Energy is lost when air conditioners and hot-air furnaces have to work harder to draw air through dirty filters. Cleaning a dirty air conditioner filter can save up to five percent on energy use and 175 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
  34. Use computer sleep and hibernate mode.
  35. Clean fridge and freezer coils. Dusty coils (at the back of your refrigerator) make it work harder than necessary. Improve efficiency by dusting or cleaning them off.
  36. Shorten your showers.
  37. Turn down the temperature of your water heater.
  38. Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation, saving 500 to 1,500 gallons of water each month.
  39. If you wash your car, do it on the lawn. Not only will your car be clean, but it will also water the grass. Your other alternative is to go to a car wash that recycles their water. Try not to wash your car on your driveway.
  40. Do not defrost food with running water. Not defrosting your frozen foods with water saves 50 to 150 gallons a month. 
  41. Try to use pressure cookers and microwaves whenever possible. Pressure cookers cut time by 66%, while microwaves use less than half the energy of a conventional oven.
  42. To reduce the pollution that is caused by your vehicle, you should accelerate and decelerate smoothly. Anticipate stops and starts at traffic lights. We can't avoid being in traffic, but if you are in standstill traffic, turn your car off. This is better for the environment than idling, and it is also better for your gas mileage.
  43. Leave your grass clippings on the grass and let them decompose into the soil. The clippings return nutrients to your yard and you don't have to clean up.
  44. Make mulch from yard clippings, shredded wood, and old leaves. Mulching prevents weed growth, helps you retain water, and adds nutrients back to the soil.
  45. Use washcloths instead of paper towels to clean up spills and other messes. They are reusable and can easily be washed over and over again.
  46. Donate items instead of throwing them out.