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Ticketing for Climate Change: Meet Gareth Lind

A rave by Toni Ellis

Here at Pivot Green HQ, we admire those who take matters into their own hands to do good.

Graphic designer Gareth Lind is just such a person.

Recently, Lind created an eye-catching and informative idling parking ticket that passersby can place on the windshields of parked vehicles. We were happy he took some time to tell us his story:

“I had thought about doing it for some time. In fact, 15 years ago, I found an online version to give to what I thought was an idling Hummer outside my studio. Turns out the offending noise was actually coming from a mower – a shouting match ensued, and I decided to put the idea on the back burner.”

Frankly, if you’ve ever tried to communicate with the driver of an idling vehicle, you’ll understand; it’s hard and sometimes it takes some explanation.

Fast forward, and the idea kept coming back especially as climate change began reaching crisis levels. While there are various versions online, Gareth decided to create his own that “would inform without being confrontational and include a link to a government website, so that it was clearly not from an organization with an agenda.” Lind recommends dropping the ticket on the windshield of a parked car rather than arguing with drivers which can be counterproductive.

His initial draft was more of a coupon that focused on saving money by turning off the engine. Feedback from peers led Lind to believe that the coupon wouldn’t be read, so he created a message with what he hopes is a middle ground – a positive spin at the outset (“What’s in it for me? Saving money!”) – while being clear about the negative repercussions of idling to children’s health and our climate.

Gareth has a history of activism and guerilla tactics. He was involved in the peace movement in the 1980s and against the Gulf War in the 1990s. Now he puts his design skills to work instead of “putting my body on the line.” Through his Guelph-based design studio, Lind Design, he works on progressive projects, from encouraging a plant-based, nutritious diet to protecting the Paris-Galt moraine.

His goal is to help us confront the disconnect between personal action and the health of the planet. “If I’m not doing something, the problem feels more insurmountable. If I can do something I’m more at peace with myself.”

Gareth is planning an Earth Week blast, sharing his artwork, and possibly print copies, far and wide. Meanwhile, feel free to download a copy of his stop idling ticket – either black and white or in colour. It fits in a bag or rolled up in a coat pocket.

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