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Anonymous asked in EnvironmentOther - Environment · 1 decade ago

How do I become a hands-on environmental activist?

I want to become an environmental activist and many people seem to think the solution is to consume less and sending letters to people. This isn't activism in my opinion. I am not trying to save the world single handedly, because obviously that's not possible. I'm simply trying to do my part and I don't know how to do that.


In response to a post:

1. Buy carbon credits. Donate 10 to 25% of your income to purchasing carbon credits.

This isn't hands on and I don't have enough income to donate like that. I already donate 10 dollars a month to Environment Oregon and I can't exactly afford to donate more than that.

2. Don't purchase anything from a company that has copy machines or usesr paper.

Remember how I said that consumption habits aren't activism? Also, I tend to buy what I need, so at least I buy less than the average person in the "developed" world.

3. Quit buying milk. Cows are one of the biggest emitters of green house gases.

I've been wondering about my consumption of dairy products for other reasons; however, remember my point about consumption and activism?

4. Sell your car and bike or walk everywhere.

I don't even have a driver's license...

5. Don't shave your legs.

I don't.

6. Don't wear make up.

I don't.

7. Don't live in a house that has any wood in it whatsoever.

I live in an apartment

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    To me "hands on" environmental work means dedicating your career to it. That means getting training in environmental science, engineering, law, or some other discipline with utility in the environmental arena. (I have a preference for science, and I went into ecology 35 years ago.)

    The folks I admire most in the "saving the world" category are groups like Environmental Defense (ED) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). These organizations combine environmental science with law and economics, and they have not been shy about sueing the government when it comes along with bad environmental policies.

    Today in the US, young people rarely seem interested in science anymore - maybe they don't want to work that hard, take the math, study the chemistry, or maybe they want to go for the money in business careers or go for the snazzy new technology (video games anybody?) But commitment to the environment requires using your money and time in the effort. And where can you get more time (and eventually money) than by dedicating your career to something?

  • 1 decade ago

    I think hands on environmental action can be divided into two types, both which have their place, you just need to decide where you are most effective.

    There is what I call 'negative' which doesn't mean i think it's bad, it just means you're fighting AGAINST something eg. a logging company, a new highway, nuclear power stations, whaling etc.

    Then there's 'positive', where you working towards something, this could be teaching kids how to recycle and care for the environment, reforestation or habitat creation through tree planting, awareness raising about issues etc.

    'Negative' types can be unrewarding and exhausting, but when there are occasional victories, they feel really good. eg. you might chain yourself to a bulldozer to delay a logging company, you get muddy and tired, you're arrested and have to pay a fine, then it gets logged anyway. Or you might join lots of others in a well targeted campaign of illegal logging and chain yourself to bulldozers to delay them while others are working on the legal angle through the courts and they might win and everyone feels great. Or protest with many others at a uranium mine and the bad publicity makes the company pull out because it is too controversial.

    Decide what kind of activism you like and contact your local environment group like Friends of the Earth or Greenpeace and see what they are doing that you'd like to get involved in. Each enviro group always has lots of projects on the go and if you contact them they will have heaps of advice about what you can do, apart from writing letters.

    Joining others is the best. Even if you live in a small country town there may be a small local group working on a local issue you could join.

    Good luck!

    p.s. I'm not sure if you want some specific ideas, but fundraising for a particular cause or project can be a nice positive hands on thing. You could contact your local university and join other like minded people there, and decide on something that needs to be done. It might be getting solar panels installed on the roof of the university/school or it might be raising funds for an indigenous group fighting a logging company on their land. You could ask the college that if you raise half the funds would they buy some solar panels (which would be of financial benefit because after they've paid for them they get free electricity), or a large worm farm for compostable wastes for the uni/school, or set up a community garden. Then do things like:

    cake stalls, fresh-made organic juice stall (know someone with a juicer?), trivia nights, music events (find musicians who will play for free for a good cause) etc. While you're fundraising you also raise awareness about your cause.

    Sorry for crapping on, it's hard to know what advice to give, like if you want specific ideas for action or general advice on where to start, but i hope something has been useful here!!

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    . Your point is actually very valid in purely scientific terms, despite what the zealots who inhabit YA insinuate. Imagine if Hansen was closely linked to a major coal producing company and a known to be a member of, say, the CEI, and an enthusiastic republican who scorned the idea of AGW. If his data set then indicated there was no warming, would they meekly swallow that as "science"? Would they hell! They would launch an 'ad hominem' attack like only they can. Vicious assaults and slurs to blacken his name and try to get him fired. @ Gary F - In what way was Hansen "right"? Given that his prediction A for future temp rises ("business as usual" scenario) was wrong, how can you say he was "right" about anything. Science, ey? It's what you make it.

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