Do you feel passionate about saving the planet for your great-grandchildren? If so, don’t be afraid to speak out! By raising your voice, setting a good example, and educating others about how they can take steps to reverse global warming, you will help turn the tide for our planetary problem, or you can join an environmental group and volunteer or support them online.
How do I become an environmental activist?
To become an environmental activist you can join any environmental organization or spread the word by yourself in many different ways.
How you spread the word about global warming prevention is not as important as just doing it! There are countless effective ways to get the green message out to the general public and to our elected officials who make decisions and pass laws that will affect global warming.
Blogging is a great way to make your voice heard by wielding the power of the keyboard. Short for weblog, a blog offers an interactive, online forum for airing your opinions and points of view.
The media and politicians pay attention to blogs, most of which are updated daily and provide important information about pertinent issues and public opinion. Doing a Google search for “green blogs” or “political blogs” nets thousands of choices for places to post your thoughts.
Calling or writing your local representative or senator is another easy, effective way to make your views known. Each call, letter, and e-mail will be tallied by the official’s staff and will help them to understand where their constituents stand on the issues.
Most local, state and federal representatives have websites, many of which feature user-friendly feedback forms. You can find the mailing addresses and phone numbers for your local representatives at www.congress.org and for your senators at www.senate.gov if you are from the USA.
You can also call or write corporations to request that they incorporate greener
practices. You may want to suggest that they aim to meet the qualifications for
the Green Patriot – Green 100 companies or praise them for the environmentally responsible steps they are currently taking.
You can find contact information for corporations on virtually every company website under the heading “Contact Us.”
Don’t underestimate the effect your letters may have. In the documentary The
Corporation, Roy Anderson, C.E.O. of Interface (the world’s largest carpet manufacturer), reported that consumers asking what Interface was doing for the
environment inspired him to investigate the effects that his chemically treated
carpets were having on the public and the environment, and since he has become
a major force in the green movement himself.
Campaigning and voting for elected officials who share your green values also
effectively get your point across. The time you contribute to a green campaign
—whether to pass a green proposition or to elect a candidate with a carbon
neutral mission—is time well spent on behalf of our future generations.
Project Vote Smart has a helpful website that shows how current elected officials are
voting on environmental issues. You can also be an advocate for the planet at all of the locations you frequent throughout the week. All you need to do is pay attention to what is happening around you, find your courage, and take the time to speak up.
For example, as a member of an organization such as your school or church, you can speak up by requesting recycling bins or lobbying to reduce paper waste, use compact fluorescent bulbs, or consider green energy options.
If you experience resistance, you can have your fellow students, parents, or
parishioners sign a friendly petition calling for greener practices. You might
even suggest that your organization take a carbon-use inventory and create a
green action plan.
As you approach decision-makers, emphasize that our real enemy is excess greenhouse gases, and our reason for fighting them is to benefit all humans on earth and our beloved future generations.
Even religious organizations that are skeptical about global warming may respond to a more general environmental call to action, keeping in mind our role as the stewards of God’s creation.
As a customer at your local coffee shop or favorite lunch spot, if you notice
that recycling bins are absent, feel free to request them. If they are incorporating
green practices that you like, let them know that, too.
Keeping customers happy is important to retailers and restaurateurs, so it’s very important to give them feedback on what they are doing that makes you want to continue patronizing them and what they aren’t doing that makes you feel inclined to go elsewhere.
You may find a time when doing a sit-in, protest, or public boycott is called
for. Having the freedom to disagree publicly with the practices of corporations
and government is one of our greatest rights.
When protesting, you may create some meaningful dialogues, as did the peaceful group of protestors who visited the home of Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, former Chairman of Royal Dutch shell in the documentary The Corporation.
Granted that his response to their unannounced visit was unusual, Moody-Stuart had an open dialogue with the protesters and offered them tea and lunch on his lawn. As they talked, Moody-Stuart and the protesters discovered they shared similar environmental concerns, although they differed in their approaches to the solutions.
Displaying tasteful eco-bumper stickers, license plate frames, and even clever T-shirt messages is another way to spread the word to people in your community. If you have a long commute in a big city, you could actually make hundreds of impressions every week without opening your mouth!
A great way to share your green enthusiasm with your community is to plan
an Earth Day event, eco-party, or neighborhood tree planting. These events tend
to be very fun, bonding experiences for participants of all ages who can work
and play together to fight global warming.
To prepare for this step, arm yourself with knowledge by reviewing the EPA’s
website on climate change (www.epa.gov/climatechange) or their site, especially
for kids (www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids).
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the group that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with Al Gore, offers very detailed scientific information about global warming on its website.
Keep current on green issues by listening to the Green radios and podcasts or by enjoying other green media.
By raising your voice for the environment, you become a positive force for a
green, global warming-free world.