You’re fighting the good fight for sustainability. But do you sometimes feel like you’re a lone soldier on the battlefield? Whether you’re new to the world of environmentalism or you’ve been involved for a long time, having a community can make all the difference.
So how can you find others who are also passionate about the planet? In this post, you’ll learn simple ways to find and join local sustainability-focused groups or events. Plus, we’re including five tips to help you start your own.
That way, you can feel more engaged with sustainability in your community. And with fellow earth enthusiasts at your side, you can have even more of an impact.
Find a Friend to Join You
Just about everything in life is easier when you have someone on your team. Sustainability is no exception. If you know even one person at work, school, or in your community who is interested in environmentalism, try reaching out.
Try inviting them to join you at one of the events or groups you find using the methods we’ll discuss below. And once you find your groove, you might even ask if they want to help you start something new.
And if you don’t have any sustainably-minded friends in your area yet, don’t lose heart. As you start engaging with and exploring what’s happening in your area, you’ll make new connections before you know it.
So now, let’s dive into how you can get started with finding your people.
Look for Existing Groups You Can Work With
Some communities already have established groups, clubs, or other organizations focused on all things eco-friendly. Here are a few ways you can search for opportunities in your area.
Websites Like Meetup
Meetup is a free-to-use website designed to help people with similar interests connect. You can search an area and a keyword and any relevant groups or events will show up.
Here are a few examples of what you might search for:
- “Sustainability” in [your city]
- “Environmentalism” in [your ZIP code]
- “Nature events” in [your area]
Even if nothing pops up on your first search, keep playing around with different keywords until you see something that interests you.
Meetup isn’t just for in-person gatherings, either. You can also find virtual coffee chats, seminars, and more. So if your schedule is packed, try dipping your toes in with an online event.
Your Library or City Building
Libraries are often a hub for community activity. Some groups may meet at the library, while others use it as a place to spread awareness about what they’re doing.
This means that your librarians are a fantastic resource in your search for a sustainable community.
Try visiting your local library and chatting with one of the librarians. Ask if they know of any local groups or clubs related to sustainability. They may be able to check the library’s event schedule or point you in the right direction.
You can also check with your city hall to see if there are city-sponsored groups or events focused on caring for the environment.
Another way to find sustainability groups in your area is through social media such as Facebook or Instagram. Some communities have a dedicated social media page where you can find information on local events.
If your community has a page, scroll through the feed to see what’s going on. Or make a post and ask if there are any other sustainability-focused members lurking around.
In some cases, you may even be able to find an established Zero Waste or Sustainability page based in your city.
Try searching for terms like:
- [Your City or Area] Zero Waste
- Sustainability [Your City or Area]
- [Your City or Area] Community
- [Your City or Area] Happenings
These methods can help you find groups or clubs that meet regularly. Now, we’ll talk more about how to find dedicated events you can get involved with. You can use the same methods outlined above — and add in these next three tips, too.
Watch for One-Time Sustainability Events
Even if your community doesn’t have any existing sustainability-related groups, there may still be special events from time to time. A good time to find events is around holidays like:
- Earth Day
- Arbor Day
- National Recycling Day
- National Cleanup Day
- National Park Week
And more. One-time events can be a great way to test the waters of in-person meetups with fellow sustainability advocates. And you may meet people you can keep in touch with for future adventures. Here are three places you can often find information about community events.
Bulletin boards can be a treasure trove of information about what’s happening in your area. You can often find bulletin boards in places like your library, city hall, or some cafes or restaurants. Some businesses may even post event fliers in their windows.
Get in the habit of peeking at fliers whenever you walk by and snapping a picture on your phone. You may find just the event you’re looking for!
Searching the internet can be another great way to find local sustainability events. You can use the tips we shared under the “Meetup” or “social media” sections above. Or you can use a search engine with terms like:
- “Earth Day Events near me”
- “Sustainability events near me”
- “Group nature events in [your area]”
After some searching, you’ll get a feel for where your community tends to announce things.
Your local news is also an easy way to stay informed about community events. If you get a print copy of your local paper, check out headlines or “current events” sections to see if anything related to sustainability catches your interest.
Most print news publications also have an online version you can search. That way, you can look out for events even if you don’t subscribe to a printed copy.
So far, we’ve talked about ways to join in with existing groups or events. Now, we’ll go over helpful tips for starting your own.
Organize Your Own Groups or Events
Maybe you can’t find anything sustainability-related in your area. Or maybe you see a gap that you know you can fill. Either way, organizing your own sustainability events can be exciting — but it may also feel a bit overwhelming. Here are five ideas to help you succeed.
Start With Something Small and Simple
Even if your long-term vision is big, it’s a good idea to start with something small and simple. This helps you gauge interest, work out kinks, and make sure you don’t overcommit yourself too soon.
A few events that are easy to organize include:
- Neighborhood trash cleanups
- Clothing swap meets
- Nature hikes & litter pickups
Whatever you decide to start with, give yourself plenty of time to plan and prepare. And use the following two tips to help set a good foundation.
Invite People You Know
For your first event, try inviting some people you know and getting at least one or two confirmed “yes”es. Even if the person isn’t especially interested in sustainability, you can still invite them. You might say something like, “I’m organizing my first community trash cleanup and I was wondering if you’d be able to come. Your support would mean a lot to me.”
Be Willing to Try More Than Once
Not everything works how we’d like on the first try. So if your first event or meeting doesn’t go quite as planned, don’t give up. You’ll learn a lot and meet new people as you go. And the more you experiment, the easier it will get.
Create an Online Group or Community
With so many online resources available, it’s never been easier to form communities online. You might use social media or create your own event on Meetup. Set up a simple page and invite some of your friends, then start a conversation. Then when someone like you comes along looking for a community, they’ll have a great place to start.
Play to Your Strengths
Your unique approach to sustainability matters. And your strengths can help you build something impactful. Think about what you’re interested in and what comes easily to you. For example, if you love discussing concepts and coming up with ideas, you might start a sustainability book club. If you like working with your hands and being outside, you might work with the city to start or maintain a community garden.
Whatever your strengths and vision, there’s no one else who can bring exactly the same things to the table as you can. So dream big and keep trying!
A Community of People Who Care
We’re rooting for you as you work to engage with sustainability in your community. And we hope these ideas give you a springboard to get started. If you have questions or want to brainstorm solutions for your area, please reach out so we can chat.
One thing we’re passionate about at Lochtree is creating a sustainable community that’s accessible to everyone. You can stay connected, get regular tips and inspiration, and hear about special events by joining our email list. To sign up, simply fill out the form below in our footer.