The Ruckus Society on Eco-Justice

I like this site. These are some great ideas on how we all can take an active role in doing something about climate change, which is what I feel like most people see as being a herculean task that they’re just not cut out for. Not so! Everything helps, though I’d say the most important thing is to avoid the temptation to de-politicize your actions, especially in explaining what you’re doing and why to others. What we really need to do, though, is organize ourselves into real communities with a real sense of accountability, where we can support each other in making personal changes as well as having a stable foundation for holding our businesses and politicians accountable.

One of the real big messages that I liked from watching/reading No Impact Man, and one that the film spent just a few seconds on, was the idea of accountability, and how the western lifestyle has nearly eradicated the concept of it. Beyond the nuclear family, there is no accountability from one neighbor to the next, one city to the next, one region to the next. We need to remember how our actions affect others, how they exist in a great big web of cause-and-effect, and nobody exists outside of it. Build up your communities an get organized!

This is a Ruckus Society list-in-progress of ideas for actions that we can all take to help turn climate justice and sustainable communities into reality.

Ideas range from individual actions that we can all take in our homes and offices, to ways that our communities can reclaim the commons, to direct actions against corporations and governments.

We believe that ecological and climate justice is only attainable by taking action at all of these levels – from the personal to the global.  We need to implement the kinds of solutions our world needs while demanding the same from global destructive powers.

Thanks to folks from the Ruckus network and Movement Generation for helping generate this list so far!

Please feel free to send us more ideas for this list, and stories and photos of you and your community in action, to be featured on our website!  (Contact:


  • Install Composting Toilets
  • Buy local food – support your local farmers
  • Install Greywater Systems (especially in cities where greywater is not yet legalized), including:
    • roof rainwater catchment systems
    • use a 5 gallon water drum in shower or under sinks to use excess water for flushing toilets, watering the garden, etc.


  • Create Liberated Streets/Liberated Zones (take over intersections and use for community activities – check out these folks from Portland)
  • Rip out Sidewalk and Plant Fruit Trees
  • Organize Seed Drops in public places, with follow-up care
  • Mass Detox (work with mushroom experts) to detox brownfields, 9th ward, etc
  • Distribute Citations for Climate Pollution, Fake Parking Tickets on SUVs
  • Guerrilla Garden, including taking over rooftops, or yards of abandoned buildings, and turning them into garden spaces
  • Set up Community Gardens
  • Occupy bank-possessed foreclosed homes
  • Reclaim the commons:
    • Water harvesting
    • Slow, spread, sink, store water for community use
  • Participate in/organize Critical Mass Bike rides in your town
  • Organize Mass Public-Transit days
  • Distribute/Share Public Food in Public Spaces
  • Organize Local Bulk-Food purchasing for your neighborhood
  • Occupy abandoned land and claim it for the people with a body of activists who hold external line, and a body of gardeners who get the land detoxified and started for growth
  • Reclaim grass for food
  • Build Living-Food Walls
  • Redistribute Solar Panels
  • Perform a Climate Justice Puppet Show
  • Attend the U.S. Social Forum
  • Bison Commons – rip out rancher fences
  • Attend Freedom Summer in Appalachia


  • De-Greenwash stores/corporations that pretend to be eco-friendly while practicing multi-national de-localization schemes (this could include turning their landscaping into garden spaces)
  • Guerrilla Garden/Concrete removal at Corporate HQ/CEO’s homes
  • Guerrilla label GMOs, carbon footprint, etc. on products in stores
  • Pull Crops: Weeding actions against Mono-crops, GMOs and AgroFuels
  • “Get your head out of the Tar Sands” (action with ostrich suits at offices of corporate Tar Sands investors – check out this action)
  • Actions against OFFSETS: Smokestacks to ploughshares
  • Climate safety testing actions- health and safety, climate footprint, impact
  • Climate justice crime scenes
  • Animals for the Ethical Treatment of Humans- actions in front of places with excessive consumption


  • Chair Action- demand “A Seat at the Table” of any place that decisions are being made (groups of individuals can bring their own chairs to decision-making offices)
  • Make a Citizens Arrest of Climate Criminals