Date: 06 August
Cost of taking action: £/$/€ A STAMP
From our guest writer Jasmin Harrison in Australia
Wondering how to influence change on environmental issues?
Today’s action is to write a letter to a politician, or your local Member of Parliament (MP). Within democratic governments, politicians are there to listen to the public perspective and represent these views to the government and to policy makers.
A letter is one of the simplest and most effective ways to let the government know what you care about and solutions you would like to see put into place.
Who to write to?
A quick Google search should give you details for contacting your local MP, or you could also contact the State Minister in your country who sits across the environmental portfolio (someone like an Environment Minister or Energy Minister).
How to write your letter?
Top tips are:
- Keep it brief (1-2 pages is best)
- Be polite
- Use your opening paragraph to introduce your main concern then back this up
- Use the final paragraph to make a clear request for action
- Sign the letter and print your name
(Jas is a professional writer so she knows her stuff … Ed 😀)
Structuring your letter
Head your letter with your own name, address and contact details.
Address your letter properly using the appropriate title and contact details. For example:
Ms B. Smith MP / The Honourable (full name)
Member for [area]
Use the date
Begin your letter with ‘Dear Sir/Madam or if you’re confident of their name, Dear Ms Smith.
Introduce yourself and your concern – who you are (a member of their community, a voter, a concerned citizen, etc.) and why you’re writing to them
Deliver your information with quick and accurate facts about your environmental concern.
Support your point with well-researched statistics and information from reputable environmental websites and other resources.
Acknowledge your politician if they have made efforts to address the concern you are raising.
Be clear – on the problem, the actions you would like to see, and the facts that support you.
Be human – it’s important to share why this issue is important to you. Share a personal experience or story that highlights your point.
Ask for change – clearly state the change or action you want your politician to take. For example, you might want them to attend a local event, or prioritise an issue in parliament or with the media.
Sign off – state that you look forward to receiving their reply.
Sign your letter with your signature.
Taking action 218 and writing to your politicians gives you a pathway to expound your values and encourage positive environmental changes directly from the government.
Politicians have to act for their constituents, and communicating with them well CAN result in change!
Grab a pen, piece of paper and a cuppa and pop down your ideas today.