During a recent cleaning, I found a forgotten shoebox of browning letters from my childhood best friend. They were notes we passed between each other in our middle school halls or hand-delivered to our respective mailboxes.
Having reached a point in quarantine where I cannot bear the thought of another Zoom call or more screen time of any kind, I’ve resolved to pick up this childhood hobby once again — but with a twist. The act of spending time on this sort of memento can be deeply meaningful. It is also the newest addition to our arsenal of small daily acts of resistance.
For newcomers to the One Million for 100% campaign, it’s a vibrant, active community working together to move the needle toward 100 percent renewable energy commitments nationwide. The goal is to reach one million signatures on our petition in support of a transition to 100 percent renewable energy. Seven states have already made legislative commitments to 100 percent renewable energy. Together, we have accomplished so much, but we still have a ways to go.
Join us by signing our petition, learning about our movement, and carrying the torch in your community with the action items outlined within this blog. Through this series, we’ve covered the importance of using your voice, signing petitions and calling your representatives to further the 100 percent renewable energy movement. This installment will focus on our latest action — letter writing, which is an opportunity to get creative with your advocacy.
Letter writing is a tried-and-true grassroots tactic used to increase awareness and visibility around an issue. Similar to phone banking, which was the last action we discussed, letter writing is a way to communicate with your elected officials. Unlike phone banking, however, this strategy involves a visual component and a more personal touch.
For the same reason that we find ourselves holding onto correspondences from long ago, letters to our legislators can have a targeted and lasting impact. There’s a power in the handwritten, physical quality of letter writing. Whereas emails and phone calls to your representative’s office might be filtered or diluted, letters are a tangible expression of the sender’s voice and hopes.
All you need to get started is information on your elected officials’ office addresses, paper or a postcard, a writing utensil and a stamp. We have a template including the important main points to hit in your message. You can include personal testimonials or pictures of the natural environments you are fighting to protect. You can also get creative! In past campaigns against tropical forest destruction, for example, Environment America supporters folded origami elephants and included them in letters to their legislators urging support for rainforest conservation. You can invite your friends, family or children to participate in crafting an image of your community and the future that you envision for it.
After presenting to a local high school environmental club, one of our organizers shared that “all the students took time to write a letter to their congresswoman … asking her to take action on climate change and support federal 100 percent renewable energy legislation. I delivered the hand written letters to her at a press conference we hosted with her and she was so excited. She told me she is always so inspired by young students taking action on climate change, and her staffer told me that one of the congresswoman’s favorite parts of her job was reading letters from students.”
We would love to hear about your experiences with letter writing and other actions through this submissions link.
Although this is the last installment of our One Million for 100% blog series, the small daily acts of resistance don’t stop here. I encourage you to keep up with our 100% Renewable Campaign and keep brainstorming creative ways to involve a dose of activism in your life and community spirit while enjoying your morning caffeine or your afternoon break.