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Care About the Earth? Four Simple Ways to Take Action

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It's officially Climate Week, so in the spirit of being environmentally proactive, we're providing tips about how to take Earth matters into your own hands. In case you feel discouraged that you can't do enough, remember Gandhi's words: "Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."

1. Band Together: There's power in numbers, so lead the charge by organizing a neighborhood or community group that can come together to create positive planetary change. Pick an earth-changing activity such as beach-cleaning, tree-planting (make sure you know the proper methods), or letter-writing (see No. 4). Promote your activity with a phone tree or email forwards.

2. Get Online: If the above tip doesn't ring true for you because you can't find a group of interested enough people proximal enough to you, you've got another option: Get active online. There are plenty of green petitions to sign and forward, environmental organizations to check out, and social networks to join. At the Sierra Club's Climate Crossroads, for example, you can post your actions and follow others', or join or create an activist group.

3. Throw a Party: Who says that doing good work can't be fun? In fact, activist work is meant to be social. There are many ways to bring buds together in the name of positive progress. One idea is to pick a worthy environmental nonprofit, as well as an eco-aware bar or restaurant, and host a fundraiser there, with proceeds going to your chosen charity.

4. Put Pen to Paper: Writing a letter has always been a powerful act: Leaders pay attention when enough constituents contact them with the same concern. Write a well-crafted letter to elected representatives, and to editors of influential publications, to louden the collective change-fueling voice. Address any environmental issue you feel strongly about; anecdotal evidence shows that it only takes 10 to 20 letters to get a congressperson to perk up.

Weigh in: What actions do you take to help preserve the planet?

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