7 Ways to Save the EPA (Or Save the World Without It)
I know. The news is grim. And sometimes I want to curl up into a ball too. In fact, sometimes I do. But here is where our help is needed to protect ourselves and our families. We can get through this together. Cooler minds will prevail – if warmer climates don’t get us first.
- Activate and Mobilize at the Local Level. If the EPA wants to give the power to the states, then the states are where we need to focus. A few states are leading the charge with Maryland and New York banning fracking and California continuing to be a solar energy leader. If you live in blue states continue to push for even more leadership and innovation. And if you are in a red or “purple” state, add your state legislators to your contact list and call, call, call. Consider joining with a local action group like Moms Clean Air Force to lobby at your state capitol. When I went I found it profoundly effective – and I was told by a congressman that there is no group more feared by lawmakers than mothers!
- Donate to EarthJustice. There are loads of worthwhile environmental organizations in need of your help right now. But Earthjustice stands out to me as the nation’s original and largest nonprofit environmental law organization – as they say, right now the Earth needs a good lawyer. Other groups worth supporting include Environmental Integrity Project, Food & Water Watch, Clean Air Council, Friends of the Earth, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, and Environmental Defense Fund.
- Flip Those Districts. There are big special elections coming up for federal house of representative seats in Georgia, Montana, and Kansas. Give money to these campaigns, phone bank, contact friends in those districts, and get out into the fields if you can. Right now, every race is crucial and we need to flip seats nationally and locally. Stay up to date with Flippable. And if your house district is already strongly blue, see the closest place you can help out with Swing Left.
- Vote. This might seem obvious. But I’m talking about voting in every small election that you may have thought was inconsequential – school boards, committeepeople, ward leaders, judges. If this election has taught us anything it’s that these small races matter. We have seen the power and importance of judges as the counterpoint in the legislative trifecta. And we have also learned about what I call “trickle up politics:” For instance, in Philadelphia, commiteepeople select the ward leaders. Ward leaders endorse the candidates. And in crucial races, those endorsements and door knockers can make the difference in who takes a national seat!
- Keep Resisting. It’s easy to become complacent – this is overwhelming. But we have to keep calling, keep writing letters, and keep showing up, especially at town halls. Download the 5Calls and Countable apps to stay abreast of what your members of congress are up to and hold them accountable. Learn more tips for easy activism here.
- Find Your Tribe. You may be a blue dot in a red state. Or even a blue dot in a red family! The internet can be a wonderful place to connect with like-minded people to comfort and inspire you. Use the Indivisible guide to seek out in person or online groups or search for local chapters of environmental organizations. And, remember, most Republicans and Trump voters CARE about clean air and water! Just because someone voted for a candidate does not mean they agree with all his or her policies. Try to find common ground and you may be surprised.
- Hold Corporations Accountable and Vote with your Wallet. While corporations may not be required to protect our health or the environment, some are making the conscious choice to do just that. Support businesses that go above and beyond to be sustainable and lead the path for a better future. Search the thousands of B Corporations doing better business and shop small, local businesses where you can. And applaud the large corporations who do the right thing not because they have to, but because they want to.
Learn more simple and efficient activism strategies on my Budget Activist post.
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