We often feel powerless when it comes to local environmental policies, but the truth is that we have the power to make a difference. By taking action and using our voices, we can influence the policies that shape our communities and the world around us. Here are some tips and examples to inspire you to take action.
Tips how to take action
How can we make a real difference when it comes to pushing for local, sustainable policies that protect the environment and promote a healthy and thriving natural world? Here are five concrete tips to take action:
- Educate yourself on the issues. The first step in advocating for change is to understand the issues at hand. Take the time to learn about the environmental challenges facing your community, and what you can do to help address them.
- Get involved with local organizations and groups. There are likely many organizations and groups in your community that are working to promote sustainable policies and protect the environment. Join one of these groups, and use your voice and your actions to support their efforts.
- Attend local government meetings and speak up. Local government meetings are a great place to make your voice heard on sustainability and nature-related issues. Attend meetings and speak up during the public comment periods, or even consider running for office yourself.
- Write letters, sign petitions and make phone calls. Another way to make your voice heard is to contact your elected officials and let them know your thoughts on sustainability and nature-related issues. Write letters or make phone calls to express your support for policies that protect the environment, and let your elected representatives know that these issues matter to you.
- Use social media to raise awareness. Social media is a powerful tool for raising awareness and advocating for change. Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share information about environmental issues and the policies that can help address them. Encourage others to get involved and make their voices heard as well.
These are just a few examples to make a difference. And there are countless examples of citizen-led activism that has successfully pushed for local, sustainable policies.
Proof of citizen success
For instance, in 2018, residents of the city of Denver, Colorado, successfully pushed for a ban on single-use plastic bags. The ban, which went into effect in 2020, is expected to reduce plastic waste and protect the environment.
Great turnout by youth at the Denver #ClimateStrike. @ChittoorMadhvi 's call to the govt to ban single-use plastics & Styrofoam by 2020. @350Colorado @SierraClub #ClimateActionNow #climatechange @PlasticPollutes #sustainability @havenruthie @earthguardianz #BeatPlasticPollution pic.twitter.com/DAGlVbqira— Madhvi4EcoEthics (@Madhvi4EE) May 4, 2019
In the UK, citizens in Bristol successfully pushed for the city to become carbon neutral by 2030. The ambitious goal, which was announced in 2018, is being achieved through a range of measures, including the expansion of renewable energy sources and the promotion of sustainable transportation.
In another example, residents of the city of Berkeley, California, worked together to pass a “soda tax” in 2014. The tax, which is applied to sugary drinks, has raised millions of dollars for public health programs and is helping to combat the obesity epidemic.
And in Canada, citizens in the city of Vancouver have been instrumental in pushing for the protection of urban green spaces. The city has established a network of “greenways” – linear parks and natural areas that provide crucial habitats for wildlife and recreational opportunities for residents.
These are just a few examples of the power that citizens have to influence local, sustainable policies. By taking action and using our voices, we can make a real difference in protecting the environment and promoting a healthy and thriving natural world.