Advocacy for Earth Day and Environmental Sustainability

Earth Day 2021 is coming on April 22. Are you preparing to join the conversations?

Most of us in the agriculture community realize that working in and caring for our environment is a year-round task. In past years, we’ve made great strides in sharing our stories of environmental stewardship, but we always have room for improvement in how we share our stories to reach consumer audiences.

In recent years, we’ve seen a sharp increase in sustainability conversations focusing on fighting climate change by changing diets and removing meat from the plate. This often leads to criticisms of emissions and damaging impacts of raising livestock, especially beef and dairy cattle.

This year’s Earth Day campaigns will be no different. Climate action efforts are focusing on foodprints – “or measures the environmental impacts associated with the growing, producing, transporting, and storing of our food.”

In order to address these concerns, we can focus on highlighting the continuous improvements made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water quality, and take better care of our environments. However, when we do this by sharing facts and figures, our advocacy efforts often miss the mark.

Instead, think about how you can share your environmental sustainability story using illustrations and stories that highlight specific examples of the work we do on a daily basis to ladder up to being more sustainable and bring those statistics to life.

Remember, your audience is asking “What’s in it for me?” So, check that the examples you’re using through advocacy efforts help to bridge the gap by highlighting subjects your audience cares about as well – clean air or water, wildlife habitat, open spaces, animal welfare, or safe and healthy food options.

For more resources on sustainability for Earth Day, check out the UC Davis CLEAR Center in California, or the BeefResearch.org site funded by the Beef Checkoff.

This entry was originally published in the Beef Runner email update on April 8, 2021. To receive weekly advocacy tips and tools in your inbox, click here to subscribe.