As the new year begins, many of us are searching for resolutions that will help us make a bigger impact on the world. At EcoAction Arlington, this means finding new ways to combat climate change. Perhaps you’ve already switched to reusable bags, shop local, and have cut down on energy usage — so what’s next?
Bring your efforts to the next level through community engagement. Check out five ways to expand your impact this year below.
- Get involved.
Local nonprofits rely on help from residents just like you! Whether you’re a student or a skilled professional, there are opportunities to volunteer. Considering taking your family to an upcoming park cleanup, attend an event online or in-person to support social and environmental sustainability, or join a local committee.
Not sure where to start? Check out these organizations: Sierra Club, 350 Fairfax, Potomac Riverkeeper Network, Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), and — of course — EcoAction Arlington.
- Support green policies.
Help Arlington make the switch to sustainability by supporting the styrofoam ban for food service containers (H.B. 533) legislation in Virginia or the Arlington plastic bag tax. Express your opinions to local and state legislators through letter or email, take group action through a petition, or speak up at a local government meeting such as C2E2. You can also join lobbying efforts through local chapters of the Sierra Club or Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Want to learn more about sustainable legislation? Reach out to EcoAction Arlington’s Advocacy Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Educate your loved ones.
An eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t stop with you! Educate your friends and family about climate change and sustainable solutions so that they can take action in their own lives. Having a movie night soon? Documentaries are a great place to start.
Our recommendations: Check out your favorite streaming platform for titles like The Story of Plastic, Kiss the Ground, The True Cost, and A Plastic Ocean. You can also share social media posts by environmental activists, start an environmental book club, or subscribe to a newsletters to get the latest on sustainability (Try: The New York Time’s Climate Fwd and EcoAction Arlington’s monthly newsletter).
- Promote local, eco-friendly businesses.
In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting local businesses has never been more important. Shop small and sustainable at local farmer’s markets and Mom-and-Pop shops, instead of big-box retailers. Share your favorite sustainable brands with friends, family, and co-workers as well as through social media.
Looking for something to eat? Consider ordering from a restaurant that maintains eco-friendly practices. Check out this list of sustainable dining options from Straw Free Arlington, a project of EcoAction Arlington.
- Spread the word.
Today, it’s easier than ever to share your thoughts and ideas on how to make your community more sustainable. Promote an upcoming river cleanup on social media, start a blog on green living, or submit an op-ed on plastic usage to a local newspaper. Consider joining a local protest or march for sustainability.
Make your voice heard and inspire others to join you.