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Bringing Eco-Wisdom into Our Politics, Government, and Voting

For your convenience, I've gathered my Ask EcoGirl print columns into themes, often with additional information.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ECOGIRL, including how she can appear in your publication,
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Skillful Aim For Your Eco-Message (March 2013)
Eco-writing doesn't have to be depressing. In fact, it's more effective when it's not! In this column, EcoGirl lists what she sees as the top harmful eco-communication approaches -- and the key principles we can use instead to encourage cheerful, constructive, and effective eco-action.
Reclaiming Our Shared Power (April 2012)
We all certainly at times can feel hopeless about all the horrible things happening in the world, and wonder if we really can do anything to make a difference. But EcoGirl believes that we have much more power to impact our world and our future than we realize -- as consumers, workers, citizens, and community members. In this column, she gives four key steps for reclaiming that power, in joyful and constructive ways. How exhilarating!
Love Your Local Activist/Change Agent (May 2011)
No matter how bad you think the world is now, imagine how much worse it would be without the change agents (by whatever label or title) who stepped back from their individual lives to imagine and create something better for their communities and our shared future. And yet those of us working for a better world today can often be considered odd ducks in this culture that's so often focused on immediate personal rewards. In this column, EcoGirl speaks up for her team of innovating pioneers, and suggests that a smart culture welcomes and nurtures its change agents, valuing their essential role in steering wisely and avoiding collective disaster. She hopes that you'll be empowered by this perspective -- and share it with others!
Vote Yes on Prop. 37 for Labeling of GMO Foods (October 2012)
As expected, the GMO manufacturers have been spending millions of advertising dollars to try to talk voters out of our right to know if GMOs are in our foods. Don't be distracted by their deceptions! The truth is that California Proposition 37 is not complicated or expensive. It will just offer consumers the same right to choose that's enjoyed by people in nearly 50 countries around the world -- 40% of the world's population. People have worked for years to finally give us this opportunity in the U.S. Let's make sure it succeeds. Read this column for the key information to know -- and share it with your friends!
Stand Up for GMO Labeling (September 2012)
Coming soon, Californians will have a unique and precious opportunity to stand up for our right to know when our foods contain experimental and hazardous GMOs (aka Genetically Modified Organisms). These hidden materials are shown to harm our health, environment, farms, and communities. Over 40 other countries have GMO labeling. So why don't we? Plus labeling in California will likely open the door to better protections across the U.S. But standing in the way of labeling is expected to be a serious GMO manufacturer propaganda onslaught. To keep this from working, we all need to educate/innoculate ourselves and others on this essential topic! To learn what you can do, read this handy summary and share it with others -- especially in California. This is a key moment on a vital issue!
Greening Medicine (April 2010)
With illness and health care costs weighing on us all, EcoGirl offers additional specific ways that we can use environmental knowledge to help heal both people and the planet, as both patients and health care providers.
Eco-Remedies for Our Health Care Crisis (March 2010)
The health care crisis is such a timely topic right now. Yet, amidst all the passionate debates, the environmental dimension is still largely being ignored, even with the clear evidence linking our high illness rates and exposure to environmental pollutants and everyday toxics. However, by turning and seeing how our actions in the world are harming our own health, we can find true solutions that significantly reduce both illness and costs, lightening the load on us all.
Standing Up for the EPA (January 2012)
Some presidential candidates have said that they'd abolish the EPA, citing supposed benefits to voters. EcoGirl looks deeper and confirms that the facts just don't support these arguments, making this proposal indeed harmful to our health and shared well-being. This article can help you know the facts for yourself and to inform others, so that we can together stand up for the value of an even stronger EPA.
Remaking the EPA (May 2009)
For many years, it has seemed that the EPA has put corporate interests over its mission to protect the environment. Will President Obama's EPA really be any better?, asks a skeptical reader. EcoGirl says that real improvement is possible, if we help. And this is a key action for us to take. Because, by encouraging current efforts to restore the EPA's vital functions, we'll help improve our prospects on a wide variety of environmental and health issues.
Building the Electric Highway (July 2012)
As we consider how to better align our activities with the planet's ways and our true shared best interests, a vital but challenging question is how to avoid the harm caused by our petroleum-powered vehicles. One key solution is electric vehicles (EVs), including plug-in hybrids, which can avoid emissions and access eco-friendly energy as it's increasingly put into the electric grid. EVs are finally becoming more available. Learn more about how Sonoma County and California folks are supporting this vision by investing in public charging stations, and thus helping build our electric highway! (Plus EcoGirl is celebrating her 5th anniversary. Woo hoo!)
Voting Green (October 2010)
A reader wonders if it's worth the effort to vote, and if EcoGirl has any voting recommendations for the coming election. EcoGirl says that she understands why some people are skeptical about "the system", but that the best remedy isn't to toss away our hard-earned vote (and hand over our power to those who do show up), but to use it instead to help improve the governmental systems that so deeply impacts everyone's lives. After giving her responses to the top four anti-voting arguments, EcoGirl gives links to some groups to ally with in making real change and some eco-voting advice for the upcoming Nov. 2 election.
Preventing Future Oil Disasters (The Gulf, part 2 of 2) (July 2010)
EcoGirl describes how we can channel our anger and frustration about the Gulf's devastation into constructive action that creates a better future. She describes ways that we can reduce our individual petroleum use, join with others to encourage wiser governmental policies, and encourage the recognition of the vital truth that our health and financial well-being depends on a healthy earth. (Note: The website version of this article includes lots of great links for more information and action.)
Honoring Change and Tradition ( November 2011)
Like many folks, EcoGirl has been fascinated and thrilled to see people come out onto the streets to call for major changes in our system's structures. These movements offer us a chance for the scale of change that we need to steer ourselves away from so many crises, including eco-collapse. EcoGirl offers her thoughts about how we all can respond constructively to the opportunity of this powerful moment, wherever we are; what she feels is vital for the movement's success; and how the earth's ways can (and must) be included in the new solutions. She also honors the tradition of our winter celebrations by offering organized and helpful lists full of ways that you can honor the earth in all your holiday activities.
Constructively Channeling Your Inner Eco-Rebel (October 2009)
Are you feeling guilty for not doing more for the earth? EcoGirl makes it easy for you to convert guilt into personal passion with her handy checklist for understanding what's holding you back. As you then use her simple steps for resolving these, in ways that fit with your life and style, you'll find that indeed acting for the earth can be fun and empowering. Really!
Creating Sane Group Dynamics (October 2011)
A key way that we can work on eco-issues is through community groups, which allow us to join together in creating a better world. However, these groups are often so fraught with unproductive conflict and covertly harmful personal dynamics that people can shy away from them. Does it have to be that way? Or can we create productive and enjoyable experiences? In this piece, EcoGirl shares her thoughts about how we can constructively take on these groups' inherent challenges in order to build effective teams, move community issues forward, and support our own personal growth!


* My EcoGirl Theme: Taking Effective Action (on Ecological & Community Issues)

* Your specific issue of interest in EcoGirl's Theme Page Index

Return to EcoGirl's Theme Page Index.

* "Effective Political Action: Recovering Democracy's True Gift," Sonoma County Peace Press, Dec./Jan. 1995/6, p. 3. (Lead article in the "Participatory Government" issue.)

* Safer by Design: Greening chemistry for healthier living, North Bay Bohemian, Jan 7, 2009 (My web page here also includes bonus links.)

* "Earth-friendly Economics: Remodeling our economic system to better harmonize with the planet," North Bay Bohemian, Nov. 19, 2008. The current economic crisis has brought to our collective awareness the need to modify our economic system. However, instead of just returning to the old unsustainable game, why not take advantage of the current disruption to make the deeper changes so vitally-needed for the survival of ourselves and the planet? Here's some thoughts about how we might approach this and what we might request. This column features a discussion with long-time local professor of ecological economics Bruce Macpherson. (My web page also includes web bonus info!)

* "Climate Healing: Making sense of the current proposed climate change solutions," North Bay Bohemian, Nov. 5, 2008. With information about the local Climate Protection Campaign.(My web page here also includes web bonus info!)

* "Adventures in Eco-Voting: Discerning between green fact and fiction," North Bay Bohemian, Oct 29, 2008. Includes information about local races. (My web page here also includes web bonus info!)


* My Next STEP newsletter, which has lots of information on toxics and alternatives, plus government and community-level actions. "It's your handy guide to less-toxic living." Look up topics of interest in the The Next STEP index of articles.
* North Bay Bohemian. I also wrote several articles on these topics for the Bohemian's Green Zone column. 

* I also cover these topics on my Facebook page and blog.

Ask EcoGirl is written by Patricia Dines, Author of The Organic Guides, and Editor and Lead Writer for The Next STEP newsletter, which gently educates readers about toxics and alternatives. For more information about my work for the planet, see www.patriciadines.info

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I hope that you find this information useful. I welcome your throughts and feedback! (You can email me at info [at] askecogirl.info.)
Editors: Please contact me if you'd like to publish any of these articles in your periodical, or discuss an article that I might write for you.

This entire website is (c) Patricia Dines, 1998-2013. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 10/8/13