Five Ways to Connect with Environmental Organizations
Deep in our inner psyche we are attracted to people who think or act like ourselves. We crave being around people who are similar and have similar interests. It makes us feel accepted, understood, and liked. Science says there is actually a part of our brain ignited when people agree with us. Since you're here, we suspect you're looking to connect with environmental organizations where you can find your eco-community.
Being an ecoparent can be lonesome and sometimes it's an uphill battle to go against the mainstream, especially in smaller communities. Never fear! Your green community is out there, and sometimes that is all it takes to give you the courage to keep doing what you feel is right. Chances are there are other ecoparents in your community feeling the same way and searching for you too. You just have to get out there and find them — trust us, they're out there.
Online social media groups
A great and easy place to start if you're already spending time here. There may be a green parent group in your area that you didn’t even know of! No worries about making a commitment when you can do the initial search online. These can also be a great spot to ask for natural parenting advice and local green product sourcing. Can't find one? The beauty of social media is that you can start your own group — if you build it, they will come! On Facebook, visit the Discover Groups page and filter by such features as suggested, location, or interests.
Your local or regional conservation authority
Check out their website and social media pages or sign up for their newsletter to hear about upcoming stewardship events, workshops, and volunteer opportunities. A great place to start to connect with others that value the watershed, local environment, and hanging out in the forest. Try finding chapters for Ducks Unlimited, National Parks, or Greenpeace. There are a wealth of new ways to be green!
Your local environmental advisory committee
Most cities and municipalities have an EAC: a community member based committee chock-full of professional and passionate people on all things green, working on local environmental issues, initiatives, events, and policy. They could even be looking for members! Google "environmental advisory committee" and include your area to connect with environmental organizations that impact your area specifically.
Your local horticultural society
Gardening, healthy eating, and the environment go hand-in-hand. A horticultural society works closely with their local communities on everything from community gardens, to naturalization projects, and often host educational workshops on vegetable/flower/herb gardening and canning. You can be sure to meet some greenies if you connect with these folks. Try starting with the American Horticultural Society or find a Canadian one here.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
Are you lucky enough to live in a city with an outstanding green organization that proactively promotes stewardship and the environment? A good example is Peterborough, Ontario's Green Up. Check out this directory to connect with environmental organizations in Canada or this one for the US. These organizations often work with local utility companies and governments on all things green. Check them out online for upcoming events, to volunteer, or even apply for a job. Imagine working with people that care as much about the environment as you do!
By spending a few hours a month participating in events held by these similar interest groups, you are bound to make some connections! Just being around like-minded people for the afternoon will lift your spirits and give you new purpose.
Happy green friend finding! We are out there!
*Originally published September 25, 2016