Cities across the U.S. are making Meatless Monday a community-wide affair! Resolutions declaring Mondays meatless have been signed in Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Durham-Raleigh NC, Covington KY, Loudoun VA, and King County WA. While getting the support of city councils and government officials is a huge move in the right direction, there are lots of ways to get your town talking about Meatless Monday! Here are some simple steps for launching the movement in your city:
1) Get a Group Together – It’s easier to spread a message when you have a helping hand. See if local restaurants, schools, hospitals, nutritionists or community organizations have already started a Meatless Monday movement. If so, you have a great starting point!
Keep building your base by reaching out to those who care about good, healthy food and the environment. If you can get local celebrities, health experts or elected officials on board, even better! The team in Aspen, Colorado started out with a personal trainer and a chef and built up from there.
2) Set Up Your Online Presence – Have a place where citizens can learn more about the campaign, related news, and local events (that way, they can join in!). It’s quick and easy to set up an account on Facebook, Twitter or the microblogging site, Tumblr. The team at Triangle Meatless Monday in North Carolina created their own website with complete restaurant listings, a blog and more!
3) Plan an Event – Get your movement moving by hosting an activity in your community! It can be as simple as asking people to sign the Meatless Monday pledge, or you can go all out with weekly potlucks, a wellness fair, contests, and city-wide challenges. In New York, the Meatless Monday campaign teamed up with our local Whole Foods for a cooking demonstration and tasting, sampling dishes like Gingered Apricot Bars with Mango Sauce and Balsamic Fig Bruschetta .
4) Keep Recruiting – Now that your neighbors have learned more about Meatless Monday, see if you can get new community members to support the campaign. Create a list of Meatless Monday restaurants, or ask local health experts to share the benefits with their clients. The more people you get on board, the faster your movement will grow!
5) Meet the Media – Have news about Meatless Monday in your town? Don’t keep it to yourself! Tell local bloggers why you’re trying to spread the movement, invite press to your events, write a release about your latest celebrity supporter, or encourage health professionals to share a story with the town newspaper. Also, be sure to let the team at Meatless Monday know about all your hard work!
6) Become an Institution – Now that you have city-wide support, pitch Meatless Monday meals to your local school or ask your elected official to submit an official proclamation. Soon, your whole town will be starting the week on a healthy note!