The environmental crisis is one of the largest topics of conversation around the future of the world today, particularly as we recover and rebuild damaged systems in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people acknowledge the importance of protecting the environment and implementing green initiatives, but there are such a wide variety of issues and causes that it is hard to know how to help. 64% of adult Americans say that protecting the environment should be a top priority, yet many don’t know where to start beyond personal lifestyle choices to reduce their environmental impact. While climate activism may seem daunting and time consuming, there are many simple ways to get involved in supporting key issues.
A great place to start getting involved in environmental policy and activism is through educating yourself. Having an overview of the main issues that are at the forefront of conversations and actions will help you to understand what the most beneficial initiatives to support are, and will motivate you to get involved with issues that you're passionate about. It is also important to read books that are written from diverse perspectives, because climate change and environmental degradation disproportionately affects people living in different geographies, socio-economic classes, and of different ethnicities and cultures. Eathday.org provides a well rounded reading list that covers a variety of topics from diverse authors. In addition, podcasts and documentaries are
Support policy change
It is hard to keep track of all of the initiatives that exist to protect the environment, Environmental Action is a great resource that will alert you through email to campaigns that need support, either through e-signing a petition, sending a letter to government representatives, or making a donation. This organization will tailor the campaign emails you receive to also include local issues in addition to larger national campaigns and will keep you up to date on legislation and events that currently need support. Another group that is worth supporting is Zero Waste Washington, which works to pass legislation that prevents and reduces waste on city, state, and national levels. Their website provides resources to help you get involved in environmental policy, such as through contacting your legislators and learning about new legislation being passed.
Start a dialogue
It may seem insignificant, but the power of everyday conversations about the environment and climate change cannot be overlooked. Many people steer clear of this topic, as there is a worry that others will have dividing viewpoints or the conversation could cause challenges. Despite these obstacles, it is important to have these discussions and bring attention to climate change and environmental protection for those close to you. Engaging with your friends and family in these discussions can help spread the knowledge that you have accumulated, inspire those around you to make changes to their lifestyles, and help you learn as well. In order to make the conversation easier and less political, try talking about your own personal experiences with climate change, which can start from small observations such as weather trends and extreme heat and cold in your area.
There are countless organizations that work on both national and global levels to protect the environment, and supporting the work that they do through donating to their causes is one of the simplest ways to ensure your involvement in opposing climate change. Check out this list for a variety of different charities covering different issues, and also be sure to research what organizations are doing work locally in your area.
The politicians and representatives that are responsible for creating legislation that affects the environment have incredible power to protect or harm the environment. Keep yourself up to date on the elections for both legislation and for politicians, and educate yourself on the issues they stand for. Additionally, encouraging others to vote will help create more public awareness and participation in environmental policy.
We wish you the best on your journey to greener living. Be sure to look out for more tips in future articles, and feel free to contact us if there is a topic you would be interested to learn about; chances are people in the Flourish community are looking for the same information, and we’ll give you a shout-out for your participation!