What Can I Do?
Summoning Determination and Taking Action During Dark Times
Hello there Sunshine! Welcome to Save Our Happy Place, your weekly pop of environmental and climate activism. This newsletter was created during a particularly ferocious hurricane season when I got lost in my ponderings on what I could possibly do to contribute to the betterment of our climate. I felt like I had nothing more to offer than my own anxiety, but creating Save Our Happy Place became my way of both navigating this query, taking action, and sharing what I find with others who are similarly asking the question: What can I do?
Summoning Determination in Dark Times
With the tragic events of the past two weeks, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the darkness of the world and discouraged by the lack of progress from a governmental standpoint. The trappings of our day-to-day lives make it hard to find the energy to stand up for what we believe in and demand the changes needed to create the world we want to see. Going to work, putting food on the table, and protecting our mental and physical health while processing the grief from tragedy after tragedy is often more than we can bear.
Our collective exhaustion and feelings of powerlessness in the face of adversity is by design and the goal of the people and systems that seek to benefit from our shared tragedies. For instance, we become so distracted by our own survival that we say nothing and do nothing. Our shared state of autopilot - get up in the morning, drink two cups of coffee, and off to the grind we go - renders us forgetful and sometimes to the point of actively blocking out these systems of reoccuring violence, destruction, and oppression.
What can possibly be done when the cards feel so stacked against us and it seems that the financial benefit of the few far outweighs the human or planetary benefit of the many? Protecting gun rights is no more about adhering to a constitutional amendment than preserving oil infrastructure is about maintaining a way of life and access to energy. These are both about lining the pockets of those at the helms of these industries. If it wasn’t about money, politicians would listen to the nearly 70% of Americans that support climate policy and the majority of Americans who support sensible gun control.
So, what can be done? - This is the question I ask myself tirelessly and on my journey to figure that out, each week I share my findings with you. To fight off the looming complacency, apathy, and exhaustion, remember to rest, take breaks from the news, and spend time finding joy with loved ones outdoors. Today I’m going to touch on the three things that you can do to make an impact no matter what crisis needs your attention. They're low effort and get straight to the source.
For the climate, for our safety, for a better world
Here are three effective ways to make your voice heard on everything from climate policy to sensible gun laws. For more on inspiring political will, check out our article from earlier this year.
Call Your Representatives
Senators, House Representatives, on the state level, on the federal level, they all need to hear from you. Being as specific as possible about the legislation you support is ideal, but also just letting them know what you generally do and don’t support is amazing too. Don’t be intimidated, this standardly takes two minutes and the person answering the phone is not going to fight you on your opinion. If you’re in the US follow the steps below:
Look up who represents you, here.
Call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to get connected.
Email (or Snail Mail) Your Representatives
No matter the cause, bombarding inboxes both digital and IRL is always a quick and easy way to have your voice heard. If you’re in the US follow the steps below:
Look up who represents you, here.
Click the “Contact“ button next to each name to get their direct email.
Voting is one of the most powerful things you can do within a democracy. Funding from the NRA or oil companies means little if a politician can’t get elected. Vote at every election, on every level of government. The local elections might not be as sexy, but they’re just as, if not more, important as the major presidential elections. Midterms are coming this fall, get ready.
Check if you are registered to vote, here.
See what's on your ballot & find your polling place, here.
Vote on climate policy champions, and check for endorsements, here.
Some Rays of Sunshine
The Headlines We’re Happy to See
California and New Zealand announce a climate change partnership to share ideas and best practices. - Read More
Israeli schools to make classes on climate crisis mandatory for all ages. - Read More
The world is set to install another record amount of new renewable energy capacity in 2022. - Read More
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