Taking Environmental Action- Information for Every State!
The sustainability movement or the call to take environmental action can be overwhelming. Where do I start? Who do I talk to? Individual or collective actions also differ by state, as each state faces different barriers to climate change action. In this post, I want to give you information to help you take action in your specific state. I wish I would've had these tools when I started my sustainability journey and I hope it is a help to all of you!
1. Contacting Representatives
-Use this link to find representatives in your state: https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/
-Make sure to choose a representative that has the power to take action on a specific topic (as this differs by federal, state, and local levels).
2. Write a Personalized Email
-Write your own email rather than using a form or submission box. This is more personal and will most likely have a stronger impact on whichever representative you are reaching out to.
-Again, choose a specific topic. This climate deregulation tracker helps you find proposed changes and why they matter: https://climate.law.columbia.edu/climate-deregulation-tracker
-Not sure how to craft your own email? Follow this outline from sciencing.com:
Who you are: A sentence explaining you're a constituent interested in science and the environment.
The legislation you're writing to them about: Outline which issue you'd like to discuss and how it will affect the environment, and call out proposed legislation names specifically.
How it affects you: Hate rollbacks of water protections because you grew up swimming at the local lake every summer? Scared for the safety of your drinking water? Put that in your email.
What you want your representative to do: Clearly state that you want your representative to oppose deregulation (or vote for a piece of legislation you do want).
3. Call them!
-It is much easier to send an email rather than call a representative directly... which is exactly why phone calls often catch peoples' attention. The Citizen's Climate Lobby provides scripts to use to talk to representatives/their offices, which makes the entire process a bit less stressful.
4. Reach out to environmental agencies!
-A lot of people don't know which environmental agencies are in their state. This makes it difficult to find organizations to donate to, volunteer with, or support in general.
-To make things easier, I am attaching the link to the EPA source that lists Health & Environmental Agencies of each U.S. state and territory.
-All you have to do is click on your state!
5. Looking for General Information?
-Sometimes I am curious about issues like air quality, water health, and other local environment data.
-EPA.gov offers some location-specific environmental information that I have found to be both interesting and helpful!
-For air quality by zip code or state: https://www.airnow.gov
-For environment updates: https://www3.epa.gov/myem/envmap/find.html
-For "Envirofacts": https://enviro.epa.gov (see photo below)
6. Search for Cleanups in Your Area!
-It is frequently hard to navigate the world of cleanups or collective action on your own. This resource allows you to see cleanups in/near your community (in whichever state you're in!)
-This a really easy and unique way to take action NOW- without having to go outside of your community!
I hope these resources get you motivated and excited about taking action, wherever you are! If you have any more tips or sites that you think would be useful to our readers, please share them with us! We would love to expand this list and we also love to hear from you.