So far our articles have mostly focused on personal contributions to saving the environment. But in the run up to Sustainability Day on 26 October and the International Day of Climate Action on 24 October, we want to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone and try to make an even bigger impact.
When you’ve read a ton of information on sustainability, conscious consumption and zero waste lifestyle—and practised them for years—you probably think that everything has already been said, and everyone can find relevant information through a few clicks of their mouse. But we often live inside the information bubbles that social media creates for us, and different kinds of knowledge aren’t likely to find their way through. But, you can change this by sharing your knowledge and experience. From publishing your recycling routine on Instagram to writing a professional eco-blog, everything helps. If you inspire at least one person to live more sustainably, your efforts will have been worthwhile.
Another powerful thing you can do for the planet, living in a democratic world, is to get politically involved in your local community and call for change at the governmental level. Use your vote to support candidates with a robust environmental position, and urge elected representatives to take eco-oriented actions, such as:
One way to do this is by writing letters. Follow the correct structures for formal letters in your country, and don’t forget to include your contact details for a reply. You can also make phone calls, or arrange an appointment to speak with authority representatives in person. Before making contact, find out whether the issue you’re concerned about is more relevant to a local councillor or a Member of Parliament—to be sure your efforts are being targeted at the right level.
Signing a petition or attending council meetings and rallies are also great ways to get politically involved. The more times you raise the issue, the more likely it is to be solved.
Good companies analyse feedback from their customers. So you can use this in your favour, and in favour of the environment. Take opportunities to give hints to your favourite brand on what you would like to see in their products or services. Reach out to companies through email, social media or a feedback form on their website. Be sure to explain your suggestions clearly and in a friendly manner, for greater chance of success.
Nonprofit organisations work to promote social or political change in many areas, including environmental protection. They may be local or nationwide, and use a variety of approaches in their work. In general, such organisations exist through donations and grants, so their budgets are limited and they can’t hire a lot of staff. As a result, they are always happy to greet new volunteers! For example, you can get involved with your local Let's Do It organisation and contact the organisers of World Cleanup Day in your community.
You can find a nonprofit you would like to contribute to by searching the web, visiting local eco-events or looking on social media. Contact them to find out what kind of help they need right now. You can contribute your own skills as a volunteer, for example by designing social media images, writing articles about the nonprofit’s activities, or taking photos of their events. You can also help with other organisational duties under the supervision of the nonprofit’s staff. Or, take it a step further, and try applying for a temporary or permanent job—if a vacancy comes up.
If there are no local nonprofits that take up the issue you’re concerned about, you can establish your own organisation, or start a new chapter for an existing national nonprofit. After following all the legal procedures, you can access funding from the government or charity funds for your own projects. As an environmental nonprofit, you can:
No matter which path you choose, your contribution is valuable. The more people are engaged in any kind of eco-activism, the more powerful our influence will be!