For so many whose lives have been upended by the Coronavirus pandemic, the last thing they might be thinking is how we can make a difference in the face of the climate crisis. We get it – times are tough and we likely won’t be out of the woods anytime soon. For those like us in the environmental movement, activities we have taken for granted – like climate strikes in the streets, in-person meetings with our elected leaders and activists alike, or hosting a Defend Our Chocolate event at one of our favorite local establishments – must be put on hold to stop a global health crisis.
But just because we’re social distancing, doesn’t mean we have to be socially distant. Thanks to the internet and social media, (and yes, your phone!) there are ways you can still raise your voice for activism with friends, family, and neighbors while staying safe and healthy.
Here are five hot tips for staying engaged in the fight against the climate crisis:
USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MORE THAN MEMES
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (give us a follow @DefendOurFuture!) – are how a lot of people are getting news updates and other information from friends, family, and the media. Social media is the perfect way to start a digital outlet for online striking and organizing! With millions of people at home and online more than ever, social actions can have even more impact than ever before. By organizing in this way, we can expand our supporter and messaging bandwidth while continuing to safeguard our environment and communities during this pandemic.
SIGN AN ONLINE PETITIONS
Petitions are a formal request to hold a person, group, or administration to take (or not take) an action on our behalf. Online petitions can also be used to push for particular issues, by demanding Congress to work together to forge legislative solutions to our most pressing problems. They work because our leaders are accountable to their constituents, so if enough of us make noise on an issue, we can get our priorities addressed. Check out the Defend petition page to see our most up-to-date petitions to sign on the issues that matter most to YOU!
WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Writing a letter to your local newspaper helps raise awareness on particular issues in your local community. That way, you can inspire others in your community to get involved in the climate action movement and show others what you’re doing to address the climate crisis.
CALLING YOUR REPRESENTATIVE
Here is a link you can use to call your representatives/senators. Your lawmakers want to hear from you about the issues that matter most to you. They are *literally* there to represent you. It’s right there in their job title. Let’s give them a ring to let them know that addressing climate should be at the top of their list of issues!
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, LOVED ONES, AND YOUR COMMUNITY
Last and certainly not least, check-in on your loved ones and look for ways to support your local community while still practicing social distancing. Non-profit organizations working with and supporting the most vulnerable are in need of volunteers and donations. And if you’ve got a favorite restaurant (or two!) still offering delivery, consider ordering out on #TakeOutTuesday or purchasing a gift card. I bet they could use the business!
Lastly, it is also vital to take care of your own well-being during this tough time. That could be making a list of books you aim to read in your down time, meditating to release those anxieties, or doing home workouts. To be anxious during this period is not uncommon, so practicing self-care is especially important so you can continue to succeed and complete those everyday tasks you are responsible for – remember, you are not alone!
This pandemic sets the stage for how we will address the climate crisis. We have taken historic steps to put our economy on pause, and when we re-emerge from this pandemic, we cannot return to business as usual. We cannot allow the climate change conversation to be swept under the rug, or for it to be made worse by underwriting more pollution. So, while we continue to gather more voices and work to put together an unbeatable coalition, let’s make sure our members of Congress cannot ignore our demand for climate action!