Q4 Theme: Small Steps, Big Impact
October: Green Up Laundry Day
November: Get Political
December: Sustainable Wrapping
As individuals, there are many thing we can do to be more Earth-friendly - reducing our plastic usage, composting food scraps, and supporting sustainable small businesses (wink) - but when it comes to large changes like improving renewable energy infrastructure, protecting at-risk species, empowering under-served communities, and reducing industrial pollution, it’s easy to feel powerless.
That’s not true. Voting is a mighty force, and a critical tool to have your voice heard. This month, we’re rewarding you for getting out there and voting for what (and who) you believe in.
If you think that one vote in a sea of millions cannot make a difference, consider some of the closest elections in recent history that had profound impacts on people and planet.
Even at the vast presidential level, every vote carries weight. In 2000, environmentalist Al Gore narrowly lost the Electoral College to George W. Bush, winning contested state Florida by 0.009 percent of the votes cast, or 537 votes.
Just this week, Brazil elected Lula da Silva as president, unseating the current far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro in a tally that showed a whisker thin victory margin. Lula during his previous terms enacted policies that protected the Amazon rainforest, seeing a drop in deforestation of over 50%. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro has presided over the highest Amazon deforestation rates in 15 years. Lula’s victory means the Amazon stands a fighting chance – an important win for the planet as a whole.
Now if one vote in hundreds of millions can carry such influence, consider the importance of votes cast in local and state elections. They’re decided by a much smaller group of people – even smaller than you might think. A Portland State University study found that fewer than 15 percent of eligible voters were turning out to vote for mayors, council members, and other local offices. Low turnout means that important local issues are determined by a limited group of voters, making a single vote even more statistically meaningful.
Your vote matters. Learn about who’s and what’s on the ballot. Understand the issues that are important to you, and to the progress of our future. And get out and vote.
Want to take it a step further? Write to your reps. Follow our guide here.
|+50 Points||Send us a screenshot or photo (with any sensitive info redacted) proof that you registered to vote|
|+50 Points||Send us a screenshot that shows your message to at least one of your local, state, or federal representatives|
Don't forget: You can always earn more points by picking up trash!
We award 40 points per pound of trash cleaned up (with photo evidence) - so get out there, clean up the planet, and earn some free Happy Earth merchandise!