What's climate action without social media?
Creating an engaging social media profile can be challenging, with constantly changing trends and algorithms making it hard to keep up and make an impact. Instagram pages are a popular solution by many to ‘increase awareness’ of climate change. However, Instagram is designed to promote single-use content that is sensational, no matter how thoughtfully your content is curated. Thankfully, many alternatives exist for you to contribute to climate action without creating or trying to grow a social media account.
(Also Read: Instagram: The Most Polluting Social Media Platform)
Here are 7 ways you can contribute to the climate movement if you don’t have an Instagram following in the thousands.
Edit Wikipedia pages
Wikipedia pages can sometimes serve as breeding grounds for misinformation and disinformation. Although the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act of 2000 classify spreading incorrect facts as a punishable offense, these problems persist. Actively engaging with Wikipedia is one of the most effective ways to contribute to climate action and promote environmental awareness. Editing Wikipedia pages on climate change and allied issues can correct false information and ensure accurate, reliable, and up-to-date knowledge is accessible to all. You can also volunteer to translate pages into your own language and make reliable information available to a wider audience.
Remote internships and volunteer work
You can make a significant impact on climate action by volunteering your time and skills to established organizations that share your values. These organizations could benefit from your assistance in a variety of ways, including creating fundraising initiatives to gather resources for climate-focused projects, organizing charity events or online crowdfunding campaigns to contribute to initiatives like reforestation and the adoption of renewable energy, or helping with data entry, management and documentation to ensure the accuracy and usefulness of crucial climate data. Additionally, your professional expertise in finance, strategy, communications, and marketing can be precious to these organizations, assisting them in operating more efficiently and communicating their mission more effectively. Volunteering can also help you build a sense of community with like-minded individuals, which can help combat eco-anxiety and learn from a diverse set of collaborators.
Turning climate issues into dinner table conversations is one of the first steps to making climate information accessible to everyone. Start by educating yourself about critical climate topics like renewable energy, deforestation, and sustainable agriculture. Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest research and policy developments on these matters. Once well-informed, initiate conversations with friends, family, and acquaintances and customize your discussions according to your audience’s level of knowledge and interest. Share compelling facts, statistics, and real-life examples that illustrate the urgency and relevance of these issues. Encourage questions and different viewpoints to foster constructive dialogue. You can also consider joining local events, workshops, or community groups on climate action. These platforms provide opportunities to meet people with similar interests, exchange ideas, and work together on projects that can make a real impact.
Volunteer at farms
If you're looking for a fulfilling way to experience rural India, consider volunteering on a farm. Not only will you get to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the country, but you also have the opportunity to learn about and participate in sustainable farming practices. Workaway and WWOOF are great websites to check out if you're interested in farming, eco-tourism, and rural experiences. You can also reach out to local NGOs on sustainable farming and environmental conservation. These organizations often collaborate with farms and may have information about volunteer programs. Social media groups and forums related to sustainable agriculture and volunteering can also provide helpful resources.
Volunteering on a farm in India is a unique experience that combines traditional and modern farming techniques. You'll have the chance to learn about organic farming, rainwater harvesting, and sustainable agriculture while becoming part of a close-knit community. As a volunteer, you'll engage in various farming activities, from planting and harvesting to composting. This may be especially helpful to farmers who are women, especially those who have been bereaved by suicides related to debt and climate change. Typically, volunteers work four to six hours a day, five days a week, with tasks that vary by season and can include assisting with farm operations and maintenance.
Some volunteering farms in India are Auroville Farms in Auroville, Maya Vadi in Chikkabalpur, Chiguru Farm near Bangalore, and Varanashi Farms near Mangalore.
(Also Read: India needs feminist agriculture)
Study climate outside of your curriculum
Expanding your knowledge of climate change beyond what you learn in your academic program can be eye-opening and impactful. Several universities provide additional courses that cover various climate-related subjects, including climate science, policies, and sustainability. Participating in these classes can give you a thorough comprehension of this significant matter. You can also read articles published by science communication platforms such as Talk Dharti To Me and Down To Earth, to enhance your understanding of climate issues.
Moreover, you can incorporate climate-related themes into your regular course assignments. For example, in an economics class, you can analyze the economic implications of climate policies or the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy projects. In sociology or anthropology courses, you can explore the social consequences of climate-induced migration or cultural responses to environmental challenges.
By integrating climate perspectives into your coursework, you can enhance your knowledge and foster a multidisciplinary approach to climate change. This holistic understanding is essential for addressing the complex and interconnected nature of climate issues. Remember to engage with professors and campus organizations that focus on climate to discover additional resources and opportunities for involvement.
Make your workplace more carbon-neutral
One effective but often overlooked approach to supporting the climate movement is taking steps to achieve carbon neutrality at your workplace. Begin by assessing your organization's current environmental policies, or urge for their development if none exist. If you discover that these policies are inadequate, collaborate with concerned parties to introduce more comprehensive climate policies. You can place emphasis on sustainability being an important driver for ethical and profitable business practices. Additionally, you can monitor policy implementation, hold those accountable who are responsible, and encourage your coworkers to have conversations about climate change.
Support local farmers
Choosing to source your groceries locally and promoting farm-to-table practices can positively impact the environment. It can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide an alternative to other environmentally harmful food production methods. By supporting local farmers, you not only reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance food transportation but also encourage sustainable, eco-friendly agricultural practices. Adopting this grassroots approach can create a sense of community and inspire others to make more climate-conscious choices.
Goldberg, M. H., Maibach, E., & Leiserowitz, A. (2019). Discussing global warming leads to greater acceptance of climate science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(30), 14804-14805.