Signs and banners for climate action
What a crazy time. First there were the bushfires. Now the coronavirus is changing everything. How can we make sure we don't lose sight of the need for urgent climate action at this time?
One simple way that faith communities can do this is to display a sign or banner in support of climate action. Most of our faith communities have a physical presence in the public space. Some have signs for displaying tailored messages to the community, or they can simply attach a banner to their building or fence. This will be part of a huge number of things that communities of faith will be doing for the climate strike on May 15, which is now taking place online.
When should we display our sign?
The online climate strike on May 15 is an opportunity to show widespread support for climate action. It would be ideal to have your sign/banner in place in the lead up to the strike, from the beginning of May. For some faith communities it can take up to a couple of months to achieve agreement/approval to put up a sign, which would mean getting started as soon as possible. For more information about getting your faith community involved in the strike more generally check out our strike page.
Option one: order a sign ready-made
ARRCC has organised some ready-made banners from Vista Print. They cost between $45 and $157 (plus a further $10 for postage or $20 for the express delivery option). Express delivery takes 1-3 business days, standard delivery takes longer.
Just complete the form at the bottom of this page and we will be in touch with you very shortly to explain the ordering process.
They each come in two sizes - 76cm x 183cm and 76cm x 305cm. There are ten options in total.
Option two: make your own
You could enlist a few people to help you or do it as a community activity. Making a banner together is also a way you can have conversations about climate change. A simple way to make a banner is to:
- Project your message onto a piece of material using a projector and trace the outlines of the letters,
- Paint your banner,
- If your paints are not waterproof you should seal the banner by spraying it with varnish.
If your'e considering making your own sign, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Option three: put a message on your pre-existing signboard.
Back-up option - take a group photo
Alternatively, a small group in the community could be photographed with a sign, and this could go on social media at the time suggested.
Why display a sign?
By displaying a sign or banner you:
- Demonstrate your faith community’s support to address climate change
- Communicate directly with and encourage your local community
- Show that your faith community values care for people and care for the Earth and is engaging with pressing issues that have implications for the wellbeing of us all
- Express solidarity with those who are most affected by climate change – first peoples; people in areas affected by fires and other extreme events, drought and floods; people living in poverty; young people
- Give a boost to those who are calling for action, such as school strikers
- Encourage other faith communities to also display a sign
What message should we use?
Your sign should communicate support for climate action. The exact wording is up to you. Ideally you should include a strong message that references one of the climate strikers’ key demands. These demands are widely supported by ARRCC and other groups working on climate change:
- No new fossil fuel projects, including the Adani coal mine
- 100% renewable energy by 2030
- A just transition and job creation for all fossil fuel workers and communities
It is most effective if there are two parts to your message: one part referencing an ask (e.g. “No New Coal”) and one part referencing the values of your faith tradition (e.g. “Called to care for our common home”).
Care for Creation - our shared moral challenge
No New Coal
“Fossil fuels, especially coal, need to be replaced” (Pope Francis)
No Galilee Basin mining
For the sake of all beings
100% renewables by 2030
Love our neighbour
It's an emergency!
For God's sake Stop Adani
See our Facebook gallery for photos of signs put up in 2019 and to see some of the designs people used last year! If you are part of a multilingual community, you might like to consider a message in more than one language.
What if a strong message on climate change isn’t acceptable to my faith community?
It may be that you can display a more general sign, e.g. promoting care for Earth, and then some months down the track display a stronger message.
What if we can’t leave our sign up?
You will have greater impact in your local community by leaving your sign up. If that’s not possible, you can still take a photo of it and spread the word.
What if we can’t get the sign up in time for the climate strike?
Do your best but if you can’t make it, that’s ok. There are other opportunities for you to display your sign – like World Environment Day (June 5), local council elections, a time that is relevant to your faith (e.g. Season of Creation, Ramadan), another rally in your community.
What should we do once we have our sign?
- Display your sign somewhere very visible to passing vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
- Take a photo of your sign. Ideally one of the sign by itself and also one of the sign with members of your faith community. The photographer should be close enough for the words to be very clear and fill as much of the frame as possible. See if you can make it obvious that the sign is outside a place of worship.
Share your photo on social media. Use the following tags to help spread your message:
- Tag @Australian Religious Response to Climate Change
- Tag people in the photo who would appreciate being associated with it
Include the link www.arrcc.org.au/signs in your post so that other faith communities know where to go if they want to get involved and do the same thing!
- Email email@example.com to let us know when you've shared it
- Consider who else you can tell about your sign – other local faith groups, other groups elsewhere who are part of your religion or faith, your local media, your local Member of Parliament.
What else can we do to take action on climate change?
Here are some ideas and resources to help you:
- Ask your faith community to get involved in the online climate strike on May 15
- Find out about ways to reduce your faith community's climate impact using the Living the Change program, Climate Action Kits and more
- Check out our tools for advocacy
- Donate to ARRCC