So here you are going your part by reducing your personal carbon footprint. You turn of the sink when you brush your teeth and take short showers, recycle, turn off lights, and have a nice collection of reusable water bottles and travel mugs. You did your research on environmental issues and despite your best efforts, global environmental problems still occur. You’re doing your best but all you can think of is, “now what?”
I can relate. You want to do more. You want a change and you crave to actually be the change! Here are some ways that you can do more, but before we get into it, we need to address that there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’ and that amazing things take time to accomplish. This is a key mindset because when it comes to trying to save the planet, it takes a group effort.
Lets get fired up!
Firstly, use that passion to write/call your elected officials and vote to keep the ones that are environmentally conscious in and the others out. This is key if you want to have an impact on something that you can’t control yourself. After you do it yourself, encourage your friends to join you. Remember, strength in numbers!
Light it up!
If you want people to join you in doing little things to take care of the environment, perhaps hold educational events! This is easiest if you spend a lot of time in a school setting, but you can potentially do little things in the office as well! Find some time to gather people together in a fun environment and you can make it as simple as holding a conversation to as fun and large scale as having a green themed field day. It honestly depends on what it will take to get your audience’s attention. One reason why some people aren’t actively conscious of their carbon footprint is because they either don’t know they are doing harm or are unsure how to properly live eco-friendly. The best part of educating those around you is that they are likely to tell what they’ve learned to their friends and so on! All you and maybe a small team of people need to be is the spark that lights a fire.
One thing that takes hard work and effort but is extremely rewarding is taking part in community clean-ups. If there is none going on in your area, feel free to start one yourself! You might have to notify your city hall and local police though just for safety and reassurance. If you would prefer to join one: clean-ups happen all of the time! You would just need to do a simple google search or pick up a paper and look in the local activities section. Personally, I find the best place to start would be looking at your county’s conservation district, local parks, or Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
A lot of these events are in the form of trash pick-ups, like what the Wiconisco Creek Conservation (if you are in the region, totally check them out on Facebook!) did a couple weeks ago where they dedicated a Sunday to picking up trash to promote their waters. Some can also be in the form of beach cleanups as well!
Eyes on the money!
A lot of local agencies need to raise money in order to get their equipment they need to help restore environments and grassroots fundraise to build their organization up to get attention from government officials. Some rescue places, such as Appalachian Wildlife, need supplies donated (Appalachian Wildlife needs cleaned discarded mascara wands to clean the parasitic insects out of animals’ fur). Hold fundraising events and donate to environmental organizations!
It takes a lot of time and patience in helping the environment, but it also takes lots of people working together. It is also important to take time to yourself with this and remember that you are one person. We are all small but mighty all working together for our Mother Earth!
Keeping it green,
This is the main lesson I’ve learned with my time in the Albright Sustainability House, and I wouldn’t trade these lessons for the world. If you would like to see me continuously blog, I am hoping to start a .wix page with the same name once this busy semester is over! Hope to see you there one day. It will be slow at first but please join me on my journey to being more environmentally conscious with my Environmental Science Major, Evolutionary Studies Minor, and (coming soon) Marine and Aquatic Science Minor as well as working to bring Albright’s E.C.O. club up and magnificent.