Becoming involved with your community is one of the best things you can do for the world. Not only does it strengthen the bond between you and your neighbor, but it also strengthens the bond between you and your fellow human being.
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It’s symbolic, it’s practical, and it’s productive. Here are 10 great ideas to get more engaged; they’ll help the environment and the community, making them a great to-do list.
1.Support Organic Growers
While this may seem disconnected from the community (it’s more of a conscious choice at the grocery store), this has direct impact on your community and the community of farmers all over the United States. Every day, these farmers are forced to choose either GMO seeds and chemical farming or organic farming. Often, they’re convinced that chemical farming is easier and more profitable. Similarly, these are often the farmers who are stuck with massive debt, depleted soil, and at the mercy of multinational agricultural companies and banks.
Sending them a clear message is one of the best things you can do: support organic farms and their growers. It’s better for the land, it’s better for the people, and it’s better for the growers themselves.
2.Help Organize A Community Garden
It may seem difficult or unrealistic to start your own garden, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pool resources and start a community garden. Consider getting a petition circulated around your neighborhood for a community garden nearby. If that doesn’t work, maybe you and a few other neighbors would be interested in turning your lawns into gardens. Neighbors can contribute funds or supplies, and each harvest you can give away free veggies!
3.Coordinate An Event To Raise Awareness
Another great way to get involved is to coordinate an event to help educate your community. Get in touch with a local school or college and see if you can get the support of the student body. It’s remarkably easy to get the wheels turning, and once you do, others can help the process move along. You can have booths with information on conventional farming vs. organic farming, some of the struggles farmers face, and even some petitions people can sign to pressure government to help out transitional farms.
Volunteering is a business that always can use another employee. Find yourself a great organization and offer to volunteer a few hours or so out of the week. Whether if it’s at a farmers market, a seed bombing company, or an event like the ones above, your helping hand will be much appreciated and welcomed.
5.Make A Donation To Environmental Organizations
This, like the supporting organic farms and growers, is an activity that may be consider at “arms length”, but it still helps bond the community. Giving to various organizations is a sure-fire way to promote the continued advocacy of your ideals. It’s hard to combat corporate lobbyist dollars, that’s for sure, but with enough community support in this, we can begin to get our representatives back!
6.Clean A Beach
If you live in a beach area, you’ve seen how littered the beaches can become. With 5-10 of your friends, you can comb a few miles of a beach in an afternoon. The wildlife will appreciate it, the people around you will be inspired, and you’ll be satisfied knowing you’re doing a good thing for the world and your community.
7.Donate Organic Food To A Homeless Shelter
Homelessness is a pervasive problem in much of urban America. It’s hard to understand why the United States, a country that touts itself as one of the best nations on earth, is still having problems feeding its own citizens. You can help remedy this awful situation. Every week, buy a couple extra bags of organic produce or other foods, take them down to a homeless shelter, and help feed the poor. Most of the time, the homeless at shelters are people who have had their chances taken away because of poor circumstances growing up. With a fully belly, though, people can be given that confidence to take the world on.
8.Write A Letter To The Editor
See something in your community that is destroying the environment or hurting public health? Write to the Editor of your local newspaper. In many ways, journalism is the fourth branch of the government – a private entity, yes, but a public one by nature. Any professional journalist will tell you it’s their ethical obligation to report the unadulterated truth. Sometimes, though, journalists can’t be everywhere at the same time. Help them out, report a story.
9.Rally Against GMOs, Pesticides, And Artificial Fertilizers
If you’ve coordinated it, great. If not, you can still participate. Rallying against the spread of untested science is one of the best things you can do for your community. The fact of the matter i
s, genetically modified foods were unleashed onto the population without government testing and at the disregard of scientists around the world. That’s why they’re banned in the European Union. The same goes for many synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilizers. They deplete the soil, poison our water supplies, and all around fail to do the jobs they are marketed at doing.
10.Write To Your Representative
Like your editor, you elected official has an obligation to hear your concerns. Compose a short letter that stresses your concern with real sincerity. Maybe even compose a group letter for your community (after you’ve discussed it with them) and send it off. Personally, I’m a fan of personal delivery, but both will drive home the message. Remember, they’re in a public office – not a private one. They have the obligation to listen, and you have the right to express your concerns.