Millions of people around the world are planning to walk out of their classrooms, offices and homes this Friday to call for an end to fossil fuels. The Global Climate Strike started with Greta Thunberg and her fellow classmates walking out of their school to demand climate action. Tomorrow, their protest becomes a worldwide event.
But not everyone has the privilege of attending a protest in person, and they aren’t often designed to accommodate people with disabilities. For others, missing work to attend can mean a loss of crucial income. There are dozens of reasons why someone might not be able to go to a march, but that doesn’t mean you can’t advocate from the sidelines
Here are a few ways to support a protest if you can’t (and even if you can) attend.
Encourage Friends To Go
Check on friends and family members who are heading out to the rally. Make sure they make it to and from the event safely and have all the gear they need. You can also provide them with snacks, water, signs or words of encouragement to help them feel empowered at the event.
Be Active on Social Media
If you can’t be there in person, attend an online rally. For this year’s Climate Strike, businesses can join the Digital #ClimateStrike. Companies can show support by disabling their website for the day and putting the world’s focus on climate.
If you don’t have a website, turn to social media. Tweet, Instagram or Facebook about the event and share the causes you care about. Someone on your feed might come across the post, be curious and get involved.
Reach Out to Legislators
These are the people who have the ability to enact permanent change, so let them hear your voice. Contact your local, state and national politicians and urge them to act. It’s a method that has encouraged Senators to cosponsor bills, propose amendments and vote in support of your cause. Hop on the phone and make a call.
If you have the means, donate to a cause you believe in. But before you give any money, make sure to do your research. Sites like Charity Navigator grade organizations based on their transparency and financial health and can help you ensure your donation is really supporting the cause.
If you can’t make it to the protest, find a time afterward to help clean up. The protest is likely in your city, and strong communities spur more action. Studies confirm that clean cities increase our happiness, which means everyone is more equipped to enact change.
If that’s not possible, find another way to volunteer. The causes you champion need help. If you aren’t sure where to start, VolunteerMatch and Idealist use your location and interests to connect you with organizations looking for an extra set of hands.
Attend a Town Hall
If crowds aren’t your thing, attend a town hall or commission meeting. It’s a chance to make your voice heard in a less jam-packed setting. These events give you a chance to ask questions and talk directly with leaders. The Town Hall Project makes it simple; enter your zip code and it provides you with upcoming events. You can also check your city’s website to find meetings open to the public.
Buy From Brands That Back Your Cause
Your voice has power and so does your dollar, so buy from companies and places that also support your cause. If you’re concerned about our climate crisis, consider switching your energy to a green power provider. Check Green-e’s certified resources page to find one in your area. The next time you forget to switch off your lights, you won’t feel as guilty.
Not being able to attend a rally or protest can be frustrating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t support the cause. All of the actions on this list help create change, so start with one and jump in.