Ask to do a class project about one of the issues facing our environment. Ask to give a short presentation to your class about an issue; show one of our Educational World Issue Videos or show Sharkwater or Revolution.
Make your own information board, Facebook group, make art illustrating the problem and its solution. The ways of expressing yourself and your commitment are endless – be creative!
Sign Petitions. It takes just a few minutes, but a petition magnifies our voice. If your cause isn’t listed, create your own petition.
Volunteer. Work for good. Most conservation groups are understaffed and underfunded, and need your help. Many organizations have volunteer opportunities or could make use of your many talents. You could help out at the office, or at an event, design their website, raise money, attend a protest, etc. – be creative! Everyone should be involved.
Join the Community – there are tons of organizations like the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, Taking It Global, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Rukus Society, Rainforest Action Network, Ocean Ark, Free the Children, World Wildlife Foundation, World Society for the Protection of Animals, etc – that are communities dedicated to changing the world, and they want you involved. They organize events, protests, civil disobedience, etc. Changing the world is fun and there are rad people doing it all over the world.
Become a Voluntourist. Combine your next vacation with some volunteering abroad. Voluntourists typically share a desire to “do something good” while also experiencing new places and challenges in locales they might not otherwise visit. Give back to a cause, experience culture and see some sites. http://www.voluntourism.org
Write a letter. Every level of government needs to be taking action NOW, so let them know you support sustainability.
Find out who your representatives are on all levels of government. Write down their email addresses and phone numbers and call and write them about every issue that’s important to you. Politicians are scared to make change unless they know they have the community support behind them.
Use letter templates from trusted environmental organizations to help you send your message; but don’t be afraid to personalize it. Tell them why you care, how you take care of the environment and what they can do to help.
Expect a reply from your mayor, councillor, MP, MPP or Prime Minister—if you don’t get it, send another email or call.
Encourage your friends to join in. Have a letter writing party, gather all you need—laptops, or good old postcards and stamps—and send a message together.
Show Up – show up at city hall, or any other political event to get your message heard. Be creative, wear costumes, create a scene, and remember the press responds to bold moves.
Hold your own event. Communities who understand these important issues are crucial to engaging in different activities, corporations and governments. Get people together to discuss these issues. Throw events to raise money for us, or any of your favourite conservation groups; organize screenings, bake sales, games, events, skits, etc – get creative spreading the message!
Make sure your message is clear. Pull facts from the film Revolution or from our study guides (ex 75% of the world’s forests are gone, 90% of the big fish are gone) and then tell people where they can get more info with a brochure or a website link displayed. Here’s a great blog post about how to write an awesome sign that can change the world.
Make sure you have an audience. The lunchroom, school cafeteria, during an assembly, outside in a park or street are all places where people gather and you can tell them what you know. Just find out who is in charge of the space (even if it’s public) and get permission.
If you’re asking for money, tell people where it’s going. Is it all going to a charity? Are you paying for any expenses, like printing or sign-making with that money? Be clear. Here are 10 fundraiser tips you need to read!
Be friendly, ready to debate respectfully, and clear about what you want. Plan out what you might say to people who disagree with you, be firm, but respect everyone. You can’t change their minds if they’re not listening to you. Remember you have youth, 3.5 billion years of evolution, and most of the world’s scientists on your side! Read this Peaceful Direct Action Code for a start.
Manage Your Money!
Every time you use money you direct whole economies towards sustainability or towards destruction.
Invest Responsibly – ask your financial advisor if your investments are sustainable, and NOT being invested in destructive industries, like the tar sands. Invest in sustainable industries who think about a greener planet.