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Set your resolutions to going green in January

When: Jan. 1

What: Global warming has been a controversial issue for the past decade. Scientists are still working to understand the many causes of climate change, but largely agree that human impact on the environment is at least partly responsible for recent climate change. This has caused the government to create policies to protect the environment in an attempt to control global warming. On Jan. 1, 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) into law, establishing a national policy regarding environmental protection in the United States.

Background: NEPA was the first in a series of major pieces of environmental legislation implemented in 1970. The act requires federal agencies to review the impact of their policies and actions on the environment and to consider reasonable alternatives when making decisions regarding those policies. Each federal agency must submit an Environmental Impact Statement for each proposed agency action.

Story Pitch: There are a number of groups and organizations that can pitch around the anniversary of NEPA. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may use this time to educate leaders in other federal agencies about how to better meet NEPA requirements and show why the protection of the environment is important for them. Federal agencies may use this time to promote their efforts to make the environment a priority and encourage their counterparts at the state level to emulate them. This is a good time for any organization to start a “going green” initiative and educate their members on issues relating to the environment. Nonprofit foundations focused on environmental issues can create educational campaigns on climate change and the environment to increase awareness and try to incite change.

Story Hook: According to the EPA, Earth’s average temperature has risen over the past hundred years by 1.4°F and is estimated to continue to increase by up to 11.5°F over the next century. Although NEPA requirements only apply to federal agencies, protecting the environment is an issue that affects everyone. Keep the following in mind when making your pitch.

  • How do changes in the climate affect your organization?
  • What are the leading causes of environmental damage?
  • What is being done to improve consideration for the environment?
  • What areas in your organization are in need of reform to be more environmentally friendly?

Tips: An environmentalist can provide a number of tips on how to be more environmentally conscientious. In addition, there are multiple nonprofit foundations and funds that focus on environmental policy and can offer suggestions and information for being green-friendly. Meanwhile, a family that is environmentally conscientious can talk about how they make being green an everyday part of their life.

Resources:

Environmental Protection Agency
(202) 564-4355
www.epa.gov

Greenpeace International
(202) 462-1177
www.greenpeace.org/usa

The Nature Conservancy
(703) 841-5300
www.nature.org

World Wide Fund for Nature
(202) 293-4800
www.panda.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Stephen Stathem
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