How to be an activist in the era of slacktivists


In order to have any chance at meeting our climate goals, policymakers have to take a stand.

It may feel daunting to try to take action on an issue as broad and challenging as climate change, but your voice makes a difference. If you don't take action, who will? If not now, when?

Here are some of the best ways to take action:

1) Electing local officials who will take action against climate change
Make sure you know you’re electing an official who aligns with your own values. There are many online databases with records of how officials voted. One example is Ballotpedia - a nonpartisan online political encyclopedia covering federal, state, and local politics. You can easily look up your local officials and how they voted on past bills to get a better understanding of whether they support taking action on climate.

2) Donating to organizations dedicated to helping our planet such as:
Environmental advocacy groups are effective at mobilizing activists, scientists, and lawyers. The best organizations use research to push a policy agenda, or file lawsuits against polluters through the court system.

  • EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) “works with other organizations, businesses, government, and communities to create incentives for positive environmental actions; help companies become better environmental stewards; influence policy; and keep tabs on emerging issues.” Donate

  • NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) “combines the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.” Donate

  • The Nature Conservancy protects ecologically important lands and waters around the world with the help of more than 500 staff scientists Donate

3) Organizing groups for protests and engaging in lobbying
One of the best organizations for bringing climate issues to the forefront of conversation within government is the Citizens Climate Lobby which “organizes by establishing local chapters in congressional districts. Working as a team you’ll experience the profound difference people can make by empowering and inspiring their elected representatives, local media, and community.”

4) Calling your local representatives on climate issues
Not sure who that is?
Quickly find your congressional district members here by entering your zip code.
Not sure which issue to call about?
Tools such as 5calls and StandUp (environmental issues coming soon!) help you consistently make calls and give advice on what to say if this is all new to you. These resources are great for scheduling specific time to get involved that might otherwise be forgotten.

To be clear, the problem with slacktivism isn't social media. The problem is the action taken after the fact of engaging in social media or talking about the issues. Spreading awareness is great, but taking action makes a difference.

Real change demands real action.