The Beginner's Guide To Climate Advocacy
The climate crisis is overwhelming. We are surrounded by environmental issues, whether it be the use of harmful plastics or pollution from fossil fuels. These huge issues can make joining the climate movement a very daunting task. On top of that, climate activism seems even more unattainable for those of us with busy lives and other responsibilities! As a college student working two jobs and running this blog, I wasn’t able to completely change my own lifestyle completely, and the guilt was eating me alive. I found some amazing mentors who showed me how to use my passion, depression, guilt, and anger to make large scale change instead of sitting at home feeling defeated because I couldn’t find a plastic free item at any of the grocery stores near me. My mental health surrounding the climate movement completely changed once I felt like I was in an active role of contribution to a sustainable future.
All of these ways to take action can be completed at any time, and with any amount of time! Whether you have 10 minutes, or a whole day to dedicate to making a larger, systematic impact, these ways to take action in the climate movement are a much better way to contribute to a sustainable future than overwhelming yourself to shutting down on your sustainable journey. I incorporate a variety of these actions throughout my week during free time, and it truly takes a small sliver or your day, and is even more fun to do with friends or family!
Sign and Share Petitions: Petitions are powerful ways to spread messages, and show people in power that we are unhappy. Next time you are laying on your couch binging Netflix, consider pulling up these lists of links to petitions you can sign and share.
Join citizen science projects in your area, state, or country: Citizen science projects allow you to have a hand in critical and essential research happening locally, and worldwide! Many projects are year-round, allowing you to contribute however often you want or able to. No experience is necessary, and I have learned a lot through projects I have contributed to.
Host a litter cleanup (or do a solo-one!): Hosting a litter cleanup event is a fun and easy to organize event that can be adapted for any location and number of participants (you can do it by yourself or as a date)! Litter cleanups are great ways to start getting friends and family connected with the impact of our consumerism on the outdoor world.
Volunteer for environmental organizations near you! If you are looking for help finding resources or ideas near you, feel free to reach out to us at Cut The Crap!. We would love to compile a resource sheet for you. Submit a message through the form at the bottom of the page, or this link.
*Sign up to be contacted with volunteer opportunities near you through Earthday.org
Write letters to legislature: Concise and powerful letters have the power to sway decision makers minds, and it has been a powerful tool in the climate movement. Be sure to include personal stories of how the issue will affect your future personally, these stories make all the difference.
Incorporate 1-3 plant based meals a week into your diet: Let’s be honest, animal agriculture is often cited as a huge contributing force to the majority of climate issues we are currently facing. We know completely changing your diet is not accessible to most individuals or families immediately, so we are here to encourage you to experiment with incorporating plant based meals into your weekly meal planning.
Switch your browser to a carbon negative search engine: The CO2 footprint of an average search is estimated at 0.2 grams. Servers use a lot of power. If the internet were a country, it would rank #3 in the world in terms of electricity consumption.
Adopt-a-Drain: Volunteer fifteen minutes, twice a month, for cleaner waterways and healthier communities. Storm drains flow directly to local lakes, rivers, and wetlands, acting as a conduit for trash and organic pollutants. Adopt a Drain asks residents to adopt a storm drain in their neighborhood and keep it clear of leaves, trash, and other debris to reduce water pollution.
Vote for the environment: As citizens, we have the power and responsibility to vote and show people in power what we care about. Voter turnouts continue to stay low, even with increased care about sustainability and environmental issues. Voting people into power who are at least environmentally conscious helps get advocacy into government.
Your actions make a difference, no matter how big or small. We hope you continue to Cut The Crap!, and contribute energy to systematic change for a sustainable future!