Three Petitions You Can Sign Today to Really Make a Difference.
Words by Georgia Brisco
Don’t hate us, but we’ve got some not-so-fun news. Not so fun but also empowering. And as you probably know, we’re sort of all about empowering each other and changing the world with tiny actions. So, scrap the not-so-fun thing. We’ve decided empowering = fun. Just the nitty-gritty kind.
So, change. Let’s talk about that word for a second. Now more than ever, we’re slowly waking up to what us humans have managed to do to our planet. “Change” is on most every eco-conscious first worlder’s to-do list. Recycling is hot stuff, beach clean-ups are in, and glass mason jars have never been cooler. We’ve finally figured it out – our earth is amazing and we need to do some serious damage control if we’re going to save its amazingness, especially in terms of our worst p-word: plastic. Micro-plastic, ghost-gear, plastic waste – it’s all a Serious Problem.
And here’s the thing: it’s only getting bigger. We know, we know: doom and gloom. Bear with us. It’s not that the change we’re all striving to make isn’t helping. It’s that, as much as we want our good deeds and eco-friendly product choices to change the world, they’re only part of it. To make a real difference, we’ve got to get our hands a little dirty in a different way, too – legislatively.
Because as hard a pill as it is to swallow, change doesn’t happen solely through our mindful consumerism; it happens when the Big Political People hear us. And we need to be loud. We’re talking numbers-loud. We’re talking thousands of people coming together to help change the laws surrounding issues like plastic pollution and waste.
Which sounds like a protest, right? A march with signs and shouts and stuff. Not necessarily (although we’re all for those, too). The cool thing about the Internet is that we can find community and create spaces for our voices to be heard without going anywhere. As almost too-easy as it sounds, you’re probably already well aware – and likely even involved – in our favourite p-word:
Yup. It turns out that when thousands of people come together to sign an online petition – imploring the Powers That Be to stop their crap hear our concerns and do something about them – it actually sometimes works.
And we know, we know – online petitions have somewhat of a bad rap at times. They’re seen as slacktivism – hashtag activism for the email-inclined. But we’re inclined to disagree. Certain online petitions can make a difference – and they have. It just might not be as straightforward as we think.
Take the petition that urged Environment Canada to ban microbeads – the tiny exfoliant particles added to beauty products. Even though online petitions aren’t formally valid in Canada, the petition, with over 50 000 signatures, helped shine a brighter light on the microbead issue – and show Environment Canada just how many people were behind the cause. Because ultimately, it meant more than just names on paper – it meant people coming together, united in one voice, putting pressure on decision-makers to listen – even if it was informal.
And that’s what we want to help you do today. So we’ve found three current, building-momentum petitions focused on what we believe to be the most important issues to help change legislation around plastic.
Stop Plastic Microfiber Pollution:
Our personal favourite nemesis – microfibre is the dirty secret hiding in most all of our synthetic clothes. When these clothes are washed, microfibres are released that flow into our water systems and out into our oceans by the trillions. There, they’re creating a microplastic smog that is polluting our oceans. They’re even showing up in bottled water.
It’s time clothing companies took responsibility for this. That’s why The Story of Stuff has introduced a first-in-the-nation legislation in California to address microfibre pollution that requires clothing companies to attach labels in their garments informing consumers that washing synthetic clothing causes microfibres to shed.
Let’s help get that bill passed:
Ghost Gear: Tell Supermarkets To Stop The Animal Suffering
Our biggest supermarkets continue to ignore the heartbreaking crisis that’s killing turtles, dolphins, whales, and seals – to name a few.
Ghost gear is fishing nets, pots, and lines that have been lost, or simply dumped, by fishing boats. This gear ends up trapping and killing hundreds of ocean animals every day.
Supermarkets can help stop this by demanding their fish suppliers change their fishing practices.
Let’s put pressure on them to do so:
Ban Disposable Cutlery and Promote Biodegradable Alternatives Instead:
We’re using twenty times more plastic than we were just fifty years ago – and almost all of it, we throw away after a single use. Front in line for this is disposable cutlery and crockery – plastic cups, plates, cutlery, etc. Environmentally, this is – unsurprisingly – devastating.
Let’s put pressure on the UK government to ban single-use plastic cutlery and crockery and to introduce biodegradable alternatives instead:
Done? Great job, seriously. Thank you for showing our planet some much needed TLC — she’s super grateful. Sign up to our newsletter for more simple, five-second ways to fit good deeds into your days (that wasn’t meant to rhyme, but as usual, we’re going with it).