Believe it or not, there's a way to make a difference when you're relaxing at the end of the day and just browsing the web (with Ecosia): sign an environmental petition! Think of petitions as online rallies; they offer an opportunity to get people around the world together in support of a particular issue in order to mobilize support and create momentum for change.
One explanation about the power of online petitions that we really liked was given by Jason Del Gandio, a professor of communications and social movements, in an article for the New York Times.
“The biggest benefit from a petition is raised awareness… No president is going to do an about-face on a major policy because of 20,000 signatures. But coupling that petition with other tactics like protests, rallies, phone calls, face-to-face lobbying, a well-organized media plan and community outreach creates an environment in which the goals of the signatories can become reality.”
We loved that perspective because, although these online petition websites will tell you their campaigns result in changed laws and governmental perspectives, we think online petitions are more of a long game. Like protests or rallies, you can't be sure about the immediate results of an online petition, but you never know how much support it will spark and what the legislative or public results could be.
Where to sign online petitions
There are two petition websites that we've used and like. They both have environmental categories with meaningful and up to date petitions. They also both work in a very similar way: you create a profile, find a petition that you agree with and are passionate about, and sign it. You can track the progress of your signed petitions as well as start your own if you'd like.
Change.org is the more popular option of the two and the one that most people are familiar with. In 2018 they grew to 265,786,771* users, and received 603,903,062 signatures from all over the world. They have several petition categories related to the environment such as climate change, plastic ban, climate strike, animals, etc. The last time we logged in, they even had two environmental petitions listed at the top of their "Featured" page (Go #AllinforClimateAction NOW - #Climate Emergency and Stop the burning of the Amazon rainforest!)
Care2 Petitions is another great site with some very interesting petitions. They focus on Animal Welfare, LGBT Rights, Children’s Health & Welfare, Education, Immigration & Dreamers, etc. and they also have a great Environment category.
If you know of another website that you like for signing environmental petitions, let us know! We're always looking for other great options. Regardless of which platform you choose to use, get signing and have your environmental voice heard!