Perhaps you’ve noticed that just about any way you turn, some cause could use a little help. Some of the issues are local and some of them are far away but could definitely affect the local (international treaties or a pipeline, for instance).
Thanks to the Internet we can fairly easily learn about happenings in our world that don’t normally show up in the local paper or even the national TV news. Or if they do, an alternative source can give an alternative view of the same topic.
Organizations’ websites keep us abreast of what’s happening to everything from food safety issues, to threatened heritage animals to toxic chemicals in our common products, to name a few. They also suggest ways to make things better.
What interests you?
There’s likely an organization trying to protect or promote something you may care for and most have email news updates that you can sign up for on their websites. You can unsubscribe, too, just in case you’re wondering. I got a little overwhelmed when I’d signed up for too many newsletters. I had to do a little paring down to just the ones I could really focus on.
Facebook is also a good tool for me. I have “liked” a many organizations that post articles with lots of information and periodic calls for help. While I use Facebook for keeping in touch with friends as well, I have little of my private information posted. My primary use of it is for keeping up with my world. I also have “liked” many alternative news sites because they share different information, stories and viewpoints than mainstream sites. It is good to read all sources with a critical eye to see that there is good referencing and then, even question those references. Language used in the writing is also good for identifying those just spouting off versus those attempting to report well. These organizations also share petitions and updates.
Still about Facebook, many of my friends share things they’ve seen and petitions they’ve signed. Interestingly when I connected with long lost friends after joining Facebook, I found that many who I hadn’t seen for years shared similar concerns about the world as I do. I guess that’s why we were friends way back when and still are today!
Signing petitions and sharing posts with friends are a couple of easy ways to support causes you care about.
Take it up a notch?
Want to get a little more active? It can be as easy as not taking plastic bags and making yourself figure out how to carry the groceries when you have forgotten your cloth bags in the car. I got much better at remembering my cloth bags or going back out to the car to get them when I forced myself to carry my groceries by stuffing cans in my coat pockets and piling the rest high on my arms! I was probably a sight but I learned.
If you have a blog, have you written a blog post lately that lets your readers know about a concern you have or a cause you support? Have you written a letter to the editor or sent an email to a Member of Parliament (MP), Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP), municipal Councillor, senator or congressperson? If you don’t let them know what you care about, your support for whatever they do can be assumed by them whether you agree or not. It has been said that “silence is taken for affirmation”. Saying this another way: you agree. But do you agree? And, by the way, if you have the time, an actual hand written, old fashioned letter carries more weight than an email according to one of my local MPs.
Have you made artwork that expresses concern or shares beauty so that others may see some of what’s in you that you care about? Have you changed a habit or started to? (stopped buying regular toilet paper and gone recycled) Have you read up on a topic that affects you or someone or something that you love? Did you pick up some garbage that makes the place look better and/or may help animals? Have you attended a rally or march in support of or against something?
Can you spare a few dollars?
Many organizations operate thanks to the work of volunteers and maybe a few staff but what they are doing can often cost quite a lot of money. They could benefit from financial support. The Whooping crane rescue, Operation Migration, recently needed new ultra-light styled planes to meet new FDA guidelines or they were grounded! I sent $8 to help buy the planes. A lot of others must have, too, because they were able to buy two new planes and now they are back in the air showing young cranes where to migrate! This knowledge was lost due to human intervention but with patient help and small planes, Whooping crane populations are slowly recovering.
There is something out there that can benefit from your action even if it is a small action. Have you taken action this week about something important in the world to you? Can you in the next week coming?
I’m writing a book about taking action—small or big. I want people to know that their actions can help to make a difference in their world. More and more people are beginning to do something and that’s creating momentum. Can you add to that?
What have you done recently or what are you thinking of doing? What may be holding you back? Please comment below.
Miscellaneous news sources and other interesting things: Mother Earth News, Permaculture Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, Grist.org, The Huffington Post Canada, The Tyee, Environmental Working Group, 350.org, The Story of Stuff, as well, all sorts of journals and blogs (O Ecotextiles, 222 million tons) which can either be accessed through Facebook or your Inbox. You can even “like” on Facebook if you like their products. I really think 4-wheeled bikes are cool and have liked Rhoades. I don’t know when I’ll ever own one but they make me smile. Pick any topic and you’ll find they’re on Facebook and/or have a website.
(Don’t forget to leave a comment.)