Welcome to Five-Minute Feedback, a guide to help busy environmental advocates quickly write feedback to companies and politicians so they can stop wasting time and start fighting back!
Included are three email/letter templates you can use to craft your own feedback. Stop feeling paralyzed by not knowing what to write and reach out with your concerns ASAP!
Letter to company re: packaging
I absolutely love your (product) and have been a customer for many years. I really appreciate your commitment to (write something nice!).
I’m also exploring zero waste which means refusing all single-use products and diverting all trash from the landfill. Our dependence on single-use items is driving many of our environmental problems. Isn’t it strange that we use plastic packaging for a few minutes and then it ends up floating in our oceans, polluting our lands, or just sitting around in landfills for far longer than it was ever used?
Unfortunately, this means (product) can no longer be part of my routine because (explain the problem).
I would love to continue supporting you. Might I suggest (2-3 options for alternative packaging)?
I really appreciate your consideration on this issue and hope to hear back from you.
Way to contact
Letter to representative re: taking climate action
Hello, my name is (name) and I’m a resident of (your city/town). I urge you to create a climate action plan in order to reduce our carbon emissions and fight the impending climate crisis.
Last year (personal story about how climate change is affecting you). As the climate here gets more and more variable, this trend will continue. Not only for me personally, but in the whole community I live in and love.
Studies are grim: (cite location-specific data about how the temperatures are increasing, weather is becoming more unstable, along with general stats on the climate crisis).
As I’m sure you already know, (name local or comparable cities) have already adopted climate resolutions amid widespread support from all residents – in particular the youth who will have to face the devastating effects of the climate crisis. That fact is not only an exciting path to follow, but an urge to catch up so that our city doesn’t fall behind and lose its reputation for innovation.
We call for the implementation of a climate action plan by (timeline) and (other demand, ex. the creation of a new sustainability advisory board).
Thanks so much for taking the time to listen. Robust economic development and community prosperity hinges on a planet that can support human life. I’m excited to hear what positive changes we can see in our sustainability policy moving forward.
Location, phone and/or email
Letter to the editor
In case you don’t know, a letter to the editor is something that appears in a local/national newspaper. It’s an opinion – in this case, we’re focusing on a policy or action you want your representatives to take (or not take!). These are old-school but effective because while your representatives probably aren’t reading your IG stories, they’re definitely reading the local paper.
Because what you write about in a letter to the editor depends so much on your specific situation, a few tips before we look at a sample:
- Start with a personal appeal. Why does this matter to you; and by extension, why should it matter to the reader?
- Make a logical argument. Why is the current policy the wrong choice? Alternatively, why is this a good policy to enact?
- Demand a response. What do you want your representative and/or community to actually do? Always leave them with an action item!
- Follow the instructions! Most letters to the editor have a strict word count and other must-haves regarding formatting. Pay attention!
Sample letter I wrote:
As a co-founder of Lafayette Climate, a group of citizens ready and excited for climate action, I first want to extend a thank you to Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski for preparing the report on a climate resolution at the most recent city council meeting.
But we urge the mayor and city council to address the climate resolution as it must be addressed — as an emergency. A recent Purdue Exponent piece suggests the hope is to adopt “a goal of carbon neutrality by 2040.” Unfortunately, that goal is not in line with the very clear messages from climate scientists across the globe as well as close to home here at Purdue.
Per a UN report released this week, we require a global emission reduction of 7.6% per year. Such drastic reductions are not impossible, but become more and more so if we move forward with a climate resolution process that the Mayor proposed “with no timeline”.
From Purdue scientists to city workers, to concerned parents, to local business owners, to city and county council members, we have been fortunate to connect with passionate, highly-intelligent people at Lafayette Climate events. These people recognize the complexities of tackling an existential crisis cannot paralyze us into inaction.
Action — not just words — must exist to create a resilient city and a leader of the Midwest and beyond. Lafayette Climate looks forward to seeing action — not just words — from the city and its citizens as we face this existential crisis together.