Taking action for the planet shouldn’t be limited to one day in April. So this year, Earth911 is honoring the 52 years of Earth Day with 52 Actions for the Earth. Each week until Earth Day 2023, we will share an action you can take to invest in the Earth and make your own life more sustainable. For this week’s action, we suggest that you editorialize to help people keep thinking about climate solutions.
Action: Write a Letter to the Editor
Climate change is a global crisis. But it’s taking place in slow motion – at least in comparison to the frantic pace of the breaking news cycle. Climate activists have to work to keep climate change in the news so that it doesn’t get pushed to the back of the collective consciousness.
This week, you can invest in the Earth by writing a letter to the editor.
While the bulk of the newspaper is dedicated to reporting the facts, the editorial section gives editors’ opinions on topical issues. Letters to the editor give readers the same opportunity to editorialize. Letters to the editor can help shape public opinion, inform the public about facts that are not getting covered in the news, or simply raise awareness and draw attention to an issue. Even if a publication chooses not to publish your letter, you will have informed the editors that they have readers who care about the topic. This knowledge can influence them to give more coverage to the subject in the future.
What to Write
If you have personal thoughts about climate change or specific knowledge of local climate change impacts that you want to share, feel free to write about those. You can also use a news article about the environment as a starting point, and frame your letter as a response to it. If you are struggling for a specific topic, climate literacy is one of EarthDay.org’s primary campaigns this year. The United Nations Climate Conference COP27 will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in November. The agenda for the conference has not been set yet. You can write a letter suggesting that this opportunity for global leaders to take action should include climate literacy as a building block for the green economy.
How to Write
Choose a publication that you read regularly that publishes letters to the editor. Keep in mind that a smaller publication is more likely to publish your letter than a national one. Study your chosen publication (or its website) to find the correct contact information and submission instructions.
The ACLU provides tips on writing letters to the editor:
- Keep it short
- Make a connection between your topic and articles they have published
- Include your contact information
EarthDay.org provides a template for letters to the editor in their communications toolkit. They wrote their example for COP26, but you can update it with information about COP27. Or just use it as a guideline to inspire your own climate-related letter.
If your letter to the editor is published, be sure to share it on social media. And don’t forget to tag @Earth911 so that we can share it as well.