How to Vote for the EnvironmentSeptember 24, 2020 · Aaron Burr
Whether we are talking about the impacts of zero waste, how to make our diet more eco friendly, or how to feel more fulfilled from acting in line with our values, we are largely talking about things we do as individuals. Or maybe too, what we do as individuals collectively.
There are many things that we can do in order to create a better planet and society, and some of those things carry more weight than others. And some have underlying impacts that we may not realize.🌏
🗳Voting is one of those things that has both a lot of weight and impact that sends unmeasurable effects through society. Voting has enough weight to negate all of the work we’ve done as individuals to create a better world. It also has the potential to enhance all of our actions, as long as we vote green.
But how do we “vote green”?
Voting for the planet involves doing the research and understanding where to look when it comes to how leaders will address environmental degradation. So where do we look?
Follow the money
While it would be great if leaders made all of their decisions based 100% on their values and beliefs, this isn’t the case. 💰Everyone’s gotta get paid, and this means those in politics and government can be motivated based on who is paying them.
If someone in government is making money from, say...an oil company, we can probably assume they will be making policies in favor of, that oil company. Maybe not...but probably, right?
Their plan and dedication to the environment
Many of us can say whatever we want, especially when the right words and promises are what gets people elected. Anyone can say the environment is a top priority, but unless there is a solid plan in place, or a history of this being the case, an environmental priority is simply hearsay.
Usually, the depth of an environmental plan can be a good indicator of how serious environmental issues are being taken. A good environmental plan should at least include plans for:
This can look like funding infrastructure for trains, buses, bike commuting, and walking. And most importantly, making this infrastructure accessible to all.
Another big part of sustainable transit is funding research and development for electrifying the world, whether that be trains, buses, and especially planes!
Food is so important when it comes to our survival of course, but also to create a more eco friendly society.
Some things to look for could be a push for more sustainable forms of growing food by implementing more small scale, permaculture based farming.
Certain policy makers have discussed creating a reward system for those who choose to not use certain chemicals or choose to grow food in sustainable ways. That’s the “carrot” idea.
The “stick” idea would be to ban certain chemicals and not allow for unsustainable ways of farming.
Of course, prioritizing more plants and less animals will be a necessary path to a greener world as well.
Moving away from fossil fuels is essential to creating a greener and more eco friendly world. Since most of our fossil fuel use goes towards energy, it’s so important that renewables like solar, wind, and geothermal are included extensively in a leader’s plan.⚡️
Energy, transit, and agriculture all require money, but countries are no strangers to paying for these things, whether that be in the form of subsidies or development funding.
If we are to create competitive markets in these industries then money will have to move from industries in the past, to industries in the present and future.
Fossil fuels will need to be unsubsidized, and instead moved to renewables. Same for transportation. And the same goes for things like animal products moving to more plant based options.
We are pumping a lot of trash into the environment, which is piling up on the billions of pieces already there. It’s time for a change.
🚮Not only does zero waste have a physical impact on the natural world, it also has a symbolic one that is important to take care of...if we are to take the health of the earth seriously.
It’s important that society shifts away from a throw-away-out-of-convenience mindset and instead to a mindset that considers the environment with everything we do. Don’t forget we can already start this shift by going zero waste personally on top of voting! It could even start with a tissue, cotton swab, or cotton round!
The ideas for these plans could be endless, but it’s all about how in depth our leaders are going, which means they’ve invested a lot of time in thinking these things through. And typically when time is invested, people are committed.
No one is perfect, and being a leader for a country means catering to a lot of different priorities. But to put it simply, the issues with the biggest priorities will always shine through, and the issues without priority...will not.
Written by Aaron Burr
A writer dedicated to working solely with companies on a mission to help the earth and people on it.