Write a Letter about an Ocean Conservation Issue

Description

For this challenge, you will write a letter to lobby the government on an important environmental issue.

This challenge involves civic engagement. By voting, taking a stance on ocean issues or supporting organizations lobbying for watershed protection, you are an engaged citizen

Letter writing is effective as a conservation tool. By writing a letter, you can effectively engage with newspapers, politicians and the greater public. But think outside the box! This doesn’t have to be the usual suspects, consider how different businesses impact the environment.  

Example #1: Do you see a lot of packaging where you work? How could that be reduced? Contact your main supplier and see if there are ways they can reduce packaging. If you produce a lot of plastic waste in your work setting, how could that be reduced?

Example #2: Do you really love your favourite pizza/ramen/seafood/etc restaurant but want to see them go the extra mile in supporting healthy oceans and waterways? How could these businesses be more sustainable? Do they recycle and compost? Do they offer bottled water when tap water is a better option? What do their takeaway containers look like and does your food come with excess packaging even when you’re eating it at the restaurant?

Example #3: Do you wish you had more sustainable product alternatives available at your grocery store or pharmacy? Is it hard to find those products even when they are available?


Task

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Choose a topic that you would like to write letters about. For example:
    1. Write a letter to a business that you frequent that uses excess plastic packaging, that could offer a wider array of sustainable products, or that you otherwise believe could improve their environmental business practices.
    2. Write to the federal government asking them to meet their conservation targets
    3. Write to your provincial and federal government about the importance of marine protected areas 
    4. Write to your municipal and provincial government about a local conservation issue you are passionate about
    5. Write to a local, provincial or national newspaper sharing your point of view. Here are some tips on writing a letter to the editor.
  2. Gather your materials: You will need paper (preferably lined), a pen, an envelope, a stamp (if necessary) and the correct address.
  3. Write your letter! Short is better (less than 150 words). Look at these helpful letter writing tips. You can write a letter to:
    1. A Politician (Municipal, Provincial and Federal). NOTE: Letters to the federal government do not require postage
    2. A Newspaper
    3. A Businesses (Stores, restaurants etc.)
  4. Send the letter! Useful addresses can be found here.
  5. Share your experience! Tag your service on our Ocean Service Activities map. Take photos and share them on our community space gallery, write a blog or post about your experience on the discussion board.

Ready to take it to the next level?

Challenge yourself to write one letter a month or host a letter-writing workshop with your friends, co-workers and classmates!


Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the impact of consumer opinion in business practices large and small.
  2. Become comfortable with writing, reaching out and engaging in on-going discussions.
  3. Gain understanding of how to manage an on-going project.


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