The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

The BEST Way to Be Eco-Friendly: Write Your Rep! May 17, 2010

Filed under: activism — Alden @ 9:31 pm

A poll by George Mason, Yale, and American universities showed that people concerned about climate change are more than eight times more likely to buy “green” products than to contact their elected official multiple times.”

[Washington Post]

Whew. As Americans, we really do take consumerism to a whole other level. Oh, I’m guilty of it too. I buy more than my fair share, and sometimes I justify it to myself because it’s organic, local, or uses 30% less plastic. There is merit in voting with your dollar. But there’s only so many problems money can solve.

You can’t go out and buy windpower, until the government gives it enough support. You can’t prevent mountaintop removal by buying a gas grill instead of a coal one. And organic food will always be prohibitively expensive for most Americans until subsidies for corn are axed and pesticide use is banned.

Let’s face it, the government can be our biggest ally – and our biggest foe. We need to show our representatives that we do care. Do you think when they are deciding whether or not BP should pay more in liability for the gulf disaster, they’re going to look at Whole Food’s latest profit numbers in order to gauge public support?

Write your rep. Write her about anything – cafeteria food reform, toxic chemical reform, the BP gulf oil disaster, or more bike lanes in your city.  Really.  Anything. Just tell them what you care about. They probably won’t read every letter they get. But they will know how many came in, and that counts a big deal.

And it’s easy! Did you know that? It involves opening an email, clicking a button, filling in your zip code and name, and pressing “send.” I’ve found myself on several different email lists from places like Credo, the Gulf Restoration Network, and Slow Food USA. They periodically send out emails exhorting me to stand up against bad legislation, or to support good legislation, or to just say something to my representative. They will look up your local rep for you, write the letter for you, and send it for you. Simple as pie.

Get on a list that you care about, and when they ask you to send an email, do it. Easiest thing ever, and you’ll be making a real difference.

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