Source: Greenpeace New Zealand
In a moment when the way to show we care is by keeping our distance as much as possible, fighting effectively for a safe and just society and planet can feel impossible.
2019 was a big year. You went to the strikes, you made them historic. You wrote your representative, change was made. You gathered and protested and made your voice heard.
Now we’re in the middle of another historic global moment, one whose magnitude we’re still processing.
But the fight against the climate crisis still isn’t going anywhere and staying home right now, if you’re able, and helping slow the spread of COVID-19 is all of our priority right now. To protect our family, our friends and do our best to relieve a strained medical system and to support communities that are most affected by the pandemic and most at risk, such as Indigenous communities.
However, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to stay home and are ready to add climate action back into your routine, read more for some of our favorite ways to stay connected to the movement wherever you find yourself:
Dinner Table Discussions: Use this moment of social distancing to really engage your close ones in a conversation on the climate crisis (whether it is online, or at the actual dinner table). Spend time understanding what people are thinking, what issues matter to them in their neighborhood, community or city, and what are the potential remedies. These conversations will look a lot different than they do with climate activists, and that’s okay! Remember, spend 70% of your time listening and 30% speaking. Document these conversations, if you want and share them to encourage others to do the same.
(Here’s a tip: Open with “what are three things you would change about your city if you were mayor for a week?” or “as a member of this community, what do you think we should be asking of our city council to mitigate this crisis?”)
Build Bridges: Put your research skills to work! Find out which local advocacy groups in your city or state are active in the fight for the climate, including water rights, land use, climate justice or any other topic that’s important to you. Learn more about their campaigns, their causes, and see how you start sharing the word now to start building bridges now for future collaboration!
Get informed: If you have the time, or are looking for an activity the whole family can participate in, make that reading list of climate books you’ve always meant to. Or catch up on some environmental documentaries. Get inspired by these stories and discuss.
Participate in online forums about the climate crisis: Engage in conversations around the climate emergency and reshaping the recovery. There are many free webinars where you can listen to the experts’ opinions. Share these webinars with your friends or, even better, open a discussion about what you have learned.
There are many ways to be an activist digitally in times of quarantine too
- Create unique Instagram filters or a template for your story, which help to make your campaign visible (Here is an example from an oceans campaign) and others can share on their own accounts.
- Start a Twitter storm: make people aware of the environmental problem that is occurring, the more tweets there are, the better it will be! If you know users with a large number of followers, you can ask them to spread the word about your campaign.
- Use Tik Tok and new digital trends to approach a serious and technical problem in a friendlier language (be creative!).
- Use these channels to share news, videos and your ideas about the climate crisis and its impact. If you find news that you feel passionate about, for example, deforestation, endangered species, air pollution, you can share them on your social networks. Make sure you always check that the information is accurate and post from trusted organisations and news outlets. Get your friends and followers involved in the discussion.
Use these ideas as a starting point for creative thinking to move forward.
In a world of quarantines and disruption of offline life, let’s continue to make our demands impactful and innovative as possible.
And don’t forget, solidarity is a powerful thing. Together we can overcome anything.