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How to get involved with climate activism

By Callum Barraclough
March 14th, 2022

Figure 1: Try getting involved with your local climate activism organisation. (Copyright: Pixabay)

The increasing threat of the climate crisis has pushed more and more people to start getting involved with climate activism, with some people easily being able to find a role they can occupy to help push for progress. Still, many others can struggle to get started with getting involved. 

If that happens to be you, don’t worry, there are still many ways to make a positive impact and make your voice known. You can start getting involved by checking out the websites for organisations like Friends of the Earth, or Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, plus you could sign up for newsletters from organisations like the World Wildlife Fund, or for Keep Scotland Beautiful to keep up to date with all they are doing, along with finding out what you could do yourself.

Is there anything else I can do?

If you have a local organisation that you can join, getting involved could help Improve climate protests in your local area. Friends of the Earth has a helpful search function to discover a group local to you.  There is also the option of reaching out to local members of parliament to raise issues related to climate change, Green Party MPs especially will be receptive to any news or feedback related to climate change, as the party has a focus on mitigating the climate crisis.

How can I reduce my impact on the environment?

There are a few crucial ways in which you can make sure you’re reducing your impact on the environment: you can make sure you are recycling all that you can, that you are switching off electronic devices when you can, as well as ensuring that the amount of food waste is kept to a minimum. Many of these tips can also help reduce the amount of money you spend on bills and shopping; reducing waste could be done by buying less products, which will lead to lower spending while shopping. These are just some of the tips you can follow, and there are many more on the Friends of the Earth website.

It is worth saying, that your personal environmental impact should be considered secondary to the environmental impact by companies and corporations, as they produce most carbon emissions globally. According to The Guardian in 2017, only one hundred companies are responsible for over 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, showing how much of the responsibility for the climate crisis can be laid at the feet of large corporations, namely fossil fuel companies like Shell and BP, who fail to do much of anything to prevent their environmental impact. However, this does not diminish the importance of each person in helping to reduce the impact on the climate, as there are many ways people can do that are beneficial to both the environment, as well as themselves.

Focus on smaller, more personal changes

Sometimes people might buy items to feel better about themselves for a period, with many retailers utilising this with things like sales to pressure people into buying somrthing they might not have otherwise. Unfortunately, this leads to the scenario we are in currently, where more and more raw materials are used to make these items that are then not used by people, leaving them to act as waste or rot. Meanwhile, about 10 million tonnes of food gets wasted each year in the UK, leading to a significant amount of wasted food each year. Tackling both of these could lead to a reduction in the amount of carbon emissions produced each year and a reduction in how much people spend.

Find a niche

Whilst it may seem logical to go for larger issues such as companies’ carbon emissions, as well as government targets for tackling the climate crisis, it is more practical to focus on smaller issues to better engage with your local community. John Coventry from GoFundMe discussed how, “the very best campaigns take those huge problems and make them real for people in their day-to-day life.” Therefore, try to focus on local issues, such a fracking being started in your local area and the harm it will cause to your community, which in turn, might push them to take action. 

Don’t focus on climate change deniers

Whilst climate change deniers are hard to ignore and will make sure their voice is heard, it is  important to focus more on appealing to people who could be won over instead. A paper endorsed by 97% of scientists says that climate change is caused by humans’ actions, so it’s important to focus on bringing people on board who are interested in listening already, whilst also trying to get more sceptical people onside if possible.

These are just a few of the many things you can do to start getting involved with climate activism; there are many more to be discovered online through ecological organisations, but these are a few of the essential areas you can tackle. Hopefully, with the help of this article and the many eco organisations available to help, you can make your voice known and impact on how people view climate change and its related issues.

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