Change starts with small actions and sometimes we need someone to remind us just that.
Ca commence par moi (from French ‘It All Starts with Me’) is an incredibly creative yet powerful project started by Julien Vidal. It encourages the average person to look at themselves and their environment to realize how they can be part of change for a better world. Through a series of ideas for individual actions, ça commence par moi is empowering people and showing how change starts by each one of us.
- What is Ça Commence Par Moi?
“Ca Commence Par Moi” is a project that I thought about almost 2 years from now, back in 2015, when I was in the Philippines working for an NGO and thinking about what I will do after my mission. I wanted to come back to France after having lived abroad for almost 7 years but I didn’t know what I could do as a professional adult in my own country as I just studied there and then directly left to travel and work.
“Ca Commence Par Moi” is my answer to the question: How can I have a normal life in my own country and still be part of the change, trying to improve the way the world works?
2. What inspired this project and how was it created?
I have red a lot of books and participated in a lot of different humanitarian projects before so it’s hard to tell. Yet, I would have to say that one of the main inspiration I have is the “No Impact Man” project launched by Colin Beavan few years ago. For one year, he tried to reduce is carbon footprint to zero while having a “normal” life as a journalist in New York and what I really loved is that he didn’t try to hide the fact that it was hard.
So I decided to do the same. While I was looking for a job in France, I started with creating the website and then, 1st of September 2016 I started the project to follow the normal 1-year rhythm when summer holidays end and kids go back to school.
3. What is different about Ça Commence Par Moi and other similar projects?
First, I think that the main difference with the other projects is that I try everything. I don’t talk about things I haven’t tested so that I can always give my own opinion, whether I like or not, find it efficient or useless.
Another important thing is that I try to have a global point of view. I do talk about environment-friendly behaviors like zero waste, vegetarianism or minimalism but not only. I also emphasize on how to be part of the decisions of your city or your country, on how to use and save wisely your money, on improving your digital life, on changing the way you buy things or not, etc… My point is that changing the world is a 24/7 job and it can be done in every aspect of your life. You don’t need money, you don’t need to have time, you don’t need to have specific skills, you only need to be motivated.
4. How does it work?
I decided to “test” for 1 year, every day, all the things that could make the world a better place, in all the aspects of our daily life (transportations, technologies, consumption, etc…). On the internet website (www.cacommenceparmoi.org), I test, every day, one action that has a positive effect on the planet or on the society to directly see if it’s efficient, if it’s easy to apply it in my own daily life. Moreover, on each topic, I give some additional links for people to get deeper in the subject if they want to. Each action is being sorted in a specific category depending on what subject I talk about, how long does it take and how much does it cost.
5. What are the main goals of Ça Commence Par Moi?
With “Ca Commence Par Moi” I had two goals. The first one was for me to really take advantage of my “fresh-eyes” as I really never lived in France as an adult to experiment how I could be a committed and a responsible citizen in my own country, defending values that are important to me such as preserving the environment, minimalism, vegetarianism and basically all the things that are putting first human before profits. The second one was to meet people and get to know organizations that are acting for a better future right now, showing that another way of living together is possible.
6. How can people become part of the change? And why is this important?
People will be part of the change when they will start trying. It’s the most important. When you start acting, after it’s a never ending game because there is always one new thing to try, another change to make. I really think being part of the change is crucial for the planet but even more crucial for the people undergoing this process because when you start walking that road, you start questioning all the different aspects of your life and you realize, slowly but surely, what are the things that make you happy and the other things that are only a burden to you.
Trying to change the world will not only help improving our society and saving the planet, it will also help you having a better life, much more intense…
7. Where do you see this project going in the future?
The sky is the limit. So far, it’s only in French but the English version will come soon so that everybody can read it. After that, I want to start discussing with people in conferences, debates and other events like these ones to spread the word.
Once the full year will be finished, I will have more time for other possibilities like writing a book or even launching an app but I have to admit that my dream would be to organize a “Ca Commence Par Moi” day in the schools for the children to also be aware of those subjects. It’s easier to start adopting this behaviour when you are still young as you don’t have all the bad habits that adults have.
8. What are the main lessons you have learned since the creation of this project?
That changing the world is an everyday fight and that it’s very hard. We have to fight against all the things that we have learned and the we are part of ourselves. It’s so tiring to question everything that we do, that we are and that we believe in. Yet, on the other end, I never felt more alive since the day I started this project because, at last, I understand fully my choices and all the things I do are aligned with who I am.
9. How can people support and get involved with Ça Commence Par Moi?
I think that the most helpful thing would be to talk about the project around you, to your friends, to your family, to your colleagues at work, etc…
To do so, you have plenty of options, you can share the website on your Facebook page, you can invite your Facebook friends to like the “Ca Commence Par Moi” page on Facebook, you can register your friends to the newsletter, but you can also invite me to conferences or events when the questions of “becoming part of the change” are discussed.
If you are already trying to make the world a better place, you can tell us about it on the “Ca Commence Par Moi” Facebook page to show that a lot of people are already taking actions.
Last but not the least, you can send me ideas about how to change the world that I still haven’t tried or give me the names of interesting projects that I could mention in one of my future articles.
10. The most important and inspirational message to share is?
I think that showing that you are not perfect but you are still trying is what matters. Exemplarity is the key when it comes to changing behaviours and mentalities.
More infos about “Ca Commence Par Moi” on internet and on Facebook: