Bringing Eco-Wisdom into Our Politics, Government,
For your convenience, I've gathered
my Ask EcoGirl print columns into themes, often with additional
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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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.)
Change and Tradition ( November
- 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
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!
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
- ALSO SEE
* My EcoGirl Theme: Taking
Effective Action (on Ecological & Community
- * Your specific issue of interest in EcoGirl's
Theme Page Index
Return to EcoGirl's
Theme Page Index.
OTHER PRINT ARTICLES I'VE
WRITTEN ON THIS THEME
- * "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.)
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!)
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
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!)
MORE OF MY PRINT ARTICLES
- * 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
- * North Bay Bohemian. I also wrote several articles on
these topics for the Bohemian's Green
* 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.
Sign up for my low-volume writing announcement list (1-3
emails a month), to get emails when my new print articles are
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Explore and sign up for my blog at www.patriciadines.info/LTEblog.
- I hope that you find this information useful. I welcome
your throughts and feedback! (You can email me at 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.
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Patricia Dines, 1998-2013. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 10/8/13