Every Day Is Earth Day: Ways You Can Take Action
On one hand, this seems like survival, not an Earth Day event. And for those receiving the food, it is. From a company perspective, it’s an ethos put to action: Using hard work, practicality, and our own resources to help solve a pressing problem. We’ll get through this crisis. To do that, people need to eat.
Far from distracting, this work informs one of our key missions at Aspen Skiing Company—our campaign to protect the climate. That, too, is going to require a workmanlike, realistic approach. But far from moving to the background in this pandemic, it has moved even closer to the fore. Here’s why: the national shutdown did to our business today what climate scientists say will happen by mid-century—and that is to cut off the last two weeks in March, which are absolutely vital to the ski industry. Without those two weeks, our business will fail.
And, really, that’s the least of it. On its current trajectory, climate change will displace millions of people by dramatically reducing the livable areas of the Earth. COVID-19 flipped a profoundly disruptive switch, effectively turning off the world’s economy over night. But at some point in the nearish future, the world will be able to flip that switch back to ON. Not so with climate change. It’ll melt the wiring. It is melting the wiring right now. COVID-19’s suddenness grabbed everyone’s attention. Climate change’s slow burn remains an abstraction to far too many people. That has to change.
So today, as we collect and then pass out food to our neighbors in need, we’re asking you to continue to take on the climate problem in the same practical way. Below, we’ve assembled an answer to the one question we hear more than any other: “What can I do on climate that’s meaningful? What really matters?” Below is the answer. It’s a list of substantial actions on climate that we’re taking, and we ask you to take, over the next six months. Each is difficult. Each will drive real change.
As with all hard but important things, you have to attack it in pieces. A little bit today. A little bit tomorrow. With practicality. With doggedness. With sanity. And importantly, with hope, because there’s nothing better than action to get you through hard times.
10 Climate Actions for Individuals
1. Pressure Businesses
Find the addresses of the CEOs of your favorite five businesses. Then write a personal letter explaining how much you like the company, and asking them to do more, at the advocacy level, using the CEO’s voice and power, to address climate change. In the same vein, spend your money wisely, support businesses that are already doing their part to reduce emissions and raising awareness around climate issues.
2. Make Your Voice Heard
Write a letter to your local paper asking elected officials to do more on climate. Be sober, fact based, and firm. Send the same letter to your senator and congressperson.
3. Influence Local Policies
Attend a town council meeting virtually, or later in person, in your community and during public comment, express your desire to see more aggressive climate action. It’s nerve-wracking—but deal with the pain.
4. Learn About The Issues
Listen to the Podcast “Drilled,” and watch the film “Merchants of Doubt.”
5. Donate To The Cause
When and if you are able, give money to a climate action group involved in movement buildings. POW, 350.org, or pick your favorite. Do it regularly.
6. Meet Your Elected Officials
When your elected official is doing a local town hall, go, and ask them to do more on climate.
7. Educate Yourself
Read a difficult but fascinating book about climate science. Consider Bill McKibben’s “Falter,” Elizabeth’s Kolbert’s “Field Notes from a Castastrophe,” or “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace Wells.
Get ten people to vote with you for a progressive climate candidate in the next election. Campaign for that person.
9. Take A Stand
March in a climate protest. Make a sign. Bring your friends. Enjoy it—this is what it means to be citizen. Since it may be some time before we can gather in person, in the meantime tweet up a storm.
10. Reach Out To Your Leaders
Take a pilgrimage to visit your congressperson to tell them that you are concerned about the climate problem, and that as a voter you expect them to act. When they demur, repeat yourself. Then send your friends to do the same thing. When you get home, send a follow-up letter of thanks, and demanding action. While we can’t visit in person right now, send them a letter now, and be there in person once you’re able.
Covid-19 Community Relief Fund
The world is facing a sudden and unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The virus has spread to nearly all corners of the globe, including here in the Roaring Fork Valley — forcing the closure of mountain operations on all four mountains, shutting hotels and restaurants, and disrupting life in nearly every way. But one thing this virus cannot disrupt is our desire to look after each other.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to donate to the Aspen Snowmass and Roaring Fork Valley community, Caring For Community Fund is collecting donations to support local nonprofits that need your help. Any donations made today through May 31, 2020 will be distributed to Roaring Fork Valley organizations providing access to food, education, safe housing, and more.