As election week is just around the corner, many of us have probably received our ballots in the mail, but did you ever stop to consider voting because of sustainability? Most of us vote on social issues, or related to how a candidate thinks economically, but the truth is that we can exercise our love for sustainability just by voting at all. Thinking critically about the future and the candidates we choose to make decisions for our future, is being socially sustainable. We can participate in social equality by voting and encouraging others to vote as well.
Our neglect of the incredible opportunity we have to vote is often due to it being in the shadow of the power we feel as consumers. I know I personally pay more attention to how to recycle or compost the packaging from my groceries than how a candidate on the ballot is going to improve our watershed or manage deforestation.
The truth is these are both equally important. It may seem that because voting only comes around so often that we don’t incorporate our everyday thoughts and practices into our check boxes on the ballot. We have more than just the ability to vote though; we have the ability to organize and rally together for more sustainable practices, and also let our government representatives know what issues matter to each of us.
Some easy ways that I think can exercise that citizen muscle are:
- Vote! If you haven’t already vote for a candidate that cares about the things you do, and take the time to research who that is!
- If you’ve already filled out your ballot, do some research about how the candidates you voted for supports sustainable practices and what they plan to do to improve our planet.
- Consider searching for a committee of people in your area dedicated to sustainability and raising awareness about things happening in your community.