January is the month of New Year’s resolutions. For week four of my resolution series, our last, I want to focus on talking about and advocating for change.
As I have mentioned before in this column, climate activist Will Grant encourages us to act for change on four levels: (1) individual, (2) family and friends, (3) community, and (4) political.
Let me guess that if you are reading this column, you probably have already done many personal actions to lessen your carbon footprint. Bravo! If not, you may wish to read prior columns to get you started on level 1.
For most people, going beyond personal action to the higher levels is harder, but if we are to make real, sustained change, we must level up! At the family and friends level, there are two great ways to act: first model personal action to your family members and friends and second, talk about climate change/action with your family members and friends. Yes, talk about climate change, but not in a preachy or judgmental way.
Don’t forget to talk to your children, even though it may be difficult. Start by telling your children what actions you are taking. If possible, try to involve them in some of your decisions and ask them to help too.
At the community level, I suggest you consider joining some climate change groups, participate in activities like a neighborhood cleanup or protest, and, when appropriate, advocate for community action in your workplace, community center, schools and other places in your neighborhood. And don’t forget to support responsible, sustainable companies and organizations and refrain from using the products and services of the big climate change offenders.
And finally, and this one is key, but may very well be the hardest to do (I know it is for me): advocate for change at all levels of government. Vote and make your voice heard. Here’s a resource page to help you: saintfrancisseattle.org/how-to-contact-your-leaders. Using this page, it’s very easy to contact your elected representatives and make your voice heard.
Resolve to talk, advocate, and vote for climate justice on as many levels as possible to give voice to our children, future generations, the poor, the marginalized, and the billions of animals and plants with whom we share this planet.
Working together, we can help take care of our common home.