Phase Out Non-Recyclable Plastics

Target: Andrew R. Wheeler, Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Phase out the use of non-recyclable plastic food packaging worldwide.

Recent studies have shown that only a third of the plastic used to package food can be successfully recycled. The major culprits are microwave meals, which use un-sortable black trays and wrappers, and the packaging for pre-prepared single-serve meals. Many companies are aware of this development, but little progress has yet been made.

While plastic is one of the most useful means of keeping food fresh, it is one of the worst offenders as far as pollution goes. Many wild animals get sick or even die from ingesting tiny bits of plastic as they feed, and many humans may also swallow bits in their drinking water. Additionally, the particles harm flora and agriculture as they prevent nutrients from being absorbed through roots.

We must reduce the amount of plastic pollution as much as humanly possible, for the sake of all living creatures. Sign this petition to demand phasing out the use of non-recyclable plastic packaging by the food industry as soon as possible.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator Wheeler,

Only a small portion of plastic food packaging is recyclable, with the rest going into landfills or breaking down to become part of the soil or water. While plastic is one of the best ways to keep food fresh and safe, the majority of packaging does little else but contribute to the world’s pollution problem. Non-recyclable plastics are swallowed by wildlife, causing sickness and death, and hinder the growth of plants.

Single-serve or microwave meals are among the biggest culprits, as are the punnets for fruit and vegetable packaging; these low-grade plastics are essentially useless beyond their initial function and are dangerous to the environment. You must aid the phase-out of the use of these low-grade, non-recyclable materials as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Hans Braxmeier

Punish Pair Accused of Killing Protected Black Bear and Cubs

Target: Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General of Alaska

Goal: Punish father and son charged with killing a black bear and her cubs.

Two men charged with killing a protected black bear and her cubs are finally being taken to court, months after the incident. Video footage reportedly showed father and son Andrew and Owen Renning trespassing on a remote bear den; the pair reportedly claimed not to have known that the sow and her cubs were part of an observation program, or that it is illegal to kill black bears in most of Alaska.

Ignorance is no excuse for such alleged actions. Black bears are one of Alaska’s most threatened species to date, especially as the laws for their protection have been challenged multiple times by greedy hunters or even the government. These men allegedly committed a grave injustice against these poor animals; the cubs were reportedly heard screaming as their mother was gunned down, right before they themselves died, all allegedly so two men could attain some form of glory. The bears were skinned after their death; it is unknown whether they were meant to be trophies, or fur or meat to sell on the market.

We must ensure that these men face justice, to set an example for other hunters planning to trespass on protected animals. Sign this petition to demand these men face justice for their alleged slaughter of innocent animals.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Attorney General Lindemuth,

A family of black bears was reportedly slaughtered by a duo of hunters, who allegedly claimed ignorance when told that it was illegal to hunt black bears in Anchorage, Alaska and that these three particular bears were part of an observation program. The duo has been taken to court months after the incident.

Claiming ignorance does not erase the dirty nature of their alleged deed. Black bears are one of the most threatened species in Alaska, especially with their protection laws being challenged as the government tries to revoke them to satisfy trophy hunters and the paranoid stereotype of bears as dangerous predators. These two men must face justice for their alleged slaughter of these creatures, to set an example for other hunters who may ever consider trespassing on protected grounds. We demand the maximum penalty be sought in this case.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: beingmyself

Protect Chimp Sanctuary From Dam Flooding

Target: Alpha Condé, President of Guinea

Goal: Stop construction of dam on chimp sanctuary in Guinea.

Guinea’s government is planning the construction of a dam in the same area as a chimp sanctuary the same company supported less than a year ago. The Moyen-Bafing National Park is home to 4,000 chimps, almost half of which will be wiped out by the flooding caused by the dam or driven into the surrounding areas, causing deadly territorial conflicts.

It is cruel for construction projects to force their way into a sanctuary, especially a sanctuary for a genus of primates whose numbers have dropped drastically within the past few years. Flooding and territorial conflicts aside, the construction of this dam will interrupt the lifestyle of the chimps residing in the sanctuary, robbing them of food, habitat, and the peace needed to breed and raise their families.

Western chimpanzees are critically endangered, especially in Guinea, where the healthiest population is 16,500. If this sanctuary is threatened, chimpanzees will go extinct in a matter of years. Sign this petition to protect this sanctuary and the chimps within.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Condé,

Your government’s plans to build a dam in Moyen-Bafing National Park will endanger over 1,000 chimps who call the sanctuary their home, either flooding them to death or forcing them into the surrounding areas and causing deadly territorial conflicts. This sanctuary is meant to be a safe haven for many species of chimp, which are critically endangered in Guinea and need a chance to rebuild their numbers safely.

Do not let the government build this dam. World Bank, the company who initially supported the plans, is now calling for a moratorium on the project, but the plans have yet to be cancelled. It is unethical to rob innocent chimps of their home for the sake of construction. You must cancel this project immediately or demand the government find elsewhere to go ahead with it, somewhere that will not harm animals or wildlife.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sergio Morchon

Trump: Do Not Lift Ban on Bee-Killing Pesticides

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Stop the Trump administration from lifting ban on pesticides linked to the declining bee population.

An Obama-era ban on pesticides has been lifted by the Trump administration, endangering the already at-risk bee population even further. Neonicotinoid pesticides, which are banned in the United Kingdom, were once outlawed in the United States as well, but are now being allowed “to ensure adequate forage for migratory birds” such as ducks and geese. The move also aids farming practices via the use of GMOs consistently found in neonicotinoids.

This move could wipe out the bee population for good if not stopped immediately, leading to the breakdown of the ecosystem. Bees are pollinators, responsible for spreading seeds across the land and aiding in the growth of plants and trees worldwide; without them, flora growth will suffer a harsh loss. Worse, the use of these lethal pesticides and crops modified to contain them will negatively effect human consumption of foods such as corn and soybeans, which are among the most genetically modified plants on earth.

We cannot allow the complete destruction of all bee life in the United States. Sign this petition to demand the Trump administration replace the ban on neonicotinoids immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. President,

Your administration’s rollback of the neonicotinoid ban is dangerous and unethical. These pesticides are toxic to all living beings, but especially to the already endangered bee population. Bees are highly important to the ecosystem due to their roles as pollinators; without them, we will suffer a great loss of important trees and flora.

The excuse that hunters and farmers need these toxic chemicals is unacceptable. Not only is excessive hunting of wildfowl illegal in the United States, but the farming industry does not need a boost the way wildlife does. You cannot put the entire planet’s bees at risk to help hunters and farmers make a larger profit. Put the neonicotinoids ban back in place immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Marciej-A Czyzewski

Do Not Allow Nuclear Waste Disposal Under National Parks

Target: The Right Honourable Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Reject plans to allow nuclear waste disposal in national parks.

Nuclear waste may soon be buried beneath national parks in the UK. Members of Parliament apparently see this as “the only permanent solution” to the huge amounts of waste created by power plants and fracking. Previous plans to build an underground waste storage site were rejected in 2013, but new plans have been published and are currently being supported.

Burying such toxic, dangerous materials underground is the worst possible idea, especially burying them under national parks that should be protected from such defilement. These parks are national treasures, not only for the natural beauty found within them, but because they are also home to many species of wildlife who would suffer the negative effects of toxic waste burial. Humans living near these parks would suffer similar negative repercussions, and no matter how deep the waste was buried, it would still contaminate the soil and water alike.

Right now, the effort to protect national parks seems vast due to the many factors threatening them, but preventive measures are a step in the right direction. Sign this petition to stop the burial of nuclear waste beneath UK park sites.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Your Excellency Prime Minister May,

Parliament members have published new plans to bury nuclear waste under national park sites. These plans have gained support, being seen as “the only permanent solution” to the problem of waste created by fracking and power plants. These underground burial sites would not only defile the natural beauty of these parks, but would harm all living beings located in or near them due to contamination of the soil and water.

You must reject these plans immediately and prevent any new ones from being formed. National parks are too important to any country for a multitude of reasons, and we cannot risk them for a quick solution to a problem that should not even exist. Right now, the first step towards ending this problem is preventive measures against worsening them. Do not allow these plans for the defilement of the United Kingdom’s national parks to follow through.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mark Gallagher

Send Aid to Wildfire-Ravaged Greece

Target: Mike Pompeo, United States Secretary of State

Goal: Send aid and assistance to Greek citizens and homes damaged by deadly wildfires.

The citizens of Greece are suffering from the devastation left in the wake of the nation’s worst wildfire in a century. Large portions of Greece have been ravaged by wildfires over the past several weeks, with the death count rising to 91. Hundreds of other citizens have lost their homes and businesses, and just as many acres of forests have been burnt to the ground. Reports have stated that the most recent fire near the coast of Athens is considered “the deadliest wildfire in Europe since 1900.”

To make matters worse, the government is blaming an alleged arsonist, despite there being no hard evidence of such in the area of the latest fire. The population, including the firefighters, are outraged by the government’s complacency in their ill-preparedness for such a disaster. Currently, there seem to be no plans as to how to stop the fires or aid those affected by them. The death toll is already beyond too high, and will only climb higher if nothing is done.

While we cannot bring back those who have died in the blazes, there is still ample time to send aid and support to the survivors whose lives have been damaged, as well as time to help slow the spread of these fires. Sign this petition to demand the United States send their aid in Greece’s time of crisis.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Pompeo,

Greece is currently being ravaged by the worst wildfires Europe has seen since 1900, with 91 people dead and countless others suffering the losses of loved ones, homes, and even businesses. The Greek government has yet to offer any solutions to this problem, most notably safer escape routes or even an apology for allowing the situation to reach this level.

The United States must send aid to Greece in such a dangerous time. Foreign relations and aid are critical during such a turbulent political era in general, and we have always prided ourselves on being willing to help other countries when they need it most. Greece does not deserve to suffer any more losses. The people need all the assistance and support they can get. Send aid to them as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Carl Osbourn

Stop Algae Bloom From Killing Endangered Turtles

Target: Jonathan P. Steverson, Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Goal: Investigate and end the cause of hundreds of sea turtles’ deaths in Florida.

Hundreds of sea turtles have washed up on Florida’s shores, most likely due to an abnormally long algae bloom in the waters. According to a report from turtle researcher Kelly Sloan, the deaths of these turtles coincides with the start of this year’s algae bloom, which she calls “[the] longest continued bloom since 2006.” The loss of this many turtles impedes their ability to recover their numbers after years of endangerment.

Reports state that it us unknown if red tide poisoning is indeed responsible for the deaths of these turtles, but that it is the most likely cause. Algae blooms are one of the most highly toxic naturally occurring events, and while animals usually know to avoid the reddened waters, the toxins can remain in the water supply for months after the end of a bloom. These toxins affect the nerves and the gills of sea creatures, leading to instant or inevitable death.

We cannot let the deaths of these turtles go unsolved, nor can we allow another mass mortality event like this one in the future. Sign this petition to ensure that no more turtles or other aquatic wildlife die under such circumstances.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Steverson,

Hundreds of sea turtles mysteriously died, their bodies washing up on Florida’s shores. While the exact cause has yet to be determined, the prime suspect is the yearly algae bloom that has lasted longer than average. Algae blooms and red tide poisoning are directly responsible for the deaths of many sea creatures each year, due to the toxins remaining in the water long after the end of a bloom, and a prolonged bloom just may have ended the lives of these turtles.

You must fully investigate the matter and take measures towards putting an end to it so that another mass mortality event does not occur. The deaths of this many turtles impedes their chance of survival as a species, and their ability to repopulate their numbers. The lives of many turtles are in the balance, and you must ensure their survival.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bocken Inaglory

Praise San Francisco for Eco-Friendly Restaurant Changes

Target: Malia Cohen, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Goal: Praise San Francisco for making their restaurants more ecologically friendly.

San Francisco has approved a ban on the use of plastic straws in all restaurants and has mandated that plastic utensils only be provided upon request. These changes have been needed for a long time, particularly the ban on plastic straws due to the increasing amounts of plastic pollution over the years.

Plastic is one of the least biodegradable materials in the world, with its chemicals making their way into the water and soil for animals to ingest. Plastic particles choke the soil, preventing the roots of plants and trees from absorbing nutrients. For years, restaurants have handed out millions of unnecessary plastic straws and utensils, which go unused and end up in landfills.

This is a much-needed step in the fight to end plastic pollution. If even one city can make one ban, no matter how small, we are on our way to a cleaner future. Sign this petition to thank San Francisco’s board of supervisors for making these changes to the city’s restaurants.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Cohen,

Your approval of a ban on plastic straws, in addition to other changes in San Francisco’s restaurants, is much appreciated, and one we have been needing for quite some time. Millions of unused plastic straws end up in landfills to contaminate the soil and the water, leading to the ingestion of plastic particles by wildlife. The same goes for plastic utensils, which in the past has been given out automatically with takeout orders.

The fight to end plastic pollution is an ongoing one, especially as we realize the extent of the damage done by even the smallest plastic particles. San Francisco may be only one city, but every step is an important one. Thank you for banning both the use of plastic straws and the automatic handout of plastic eating utensils.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Horia Varlan

Stop Construction of Open-Cast Coal Mine in Unspoiled Valley

Target: The Right Honourable Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Goal: Halt construction of coal mine in Northern England valley.

Energy firm Banks Group is building a coal mine in the previously untouched Derwent Valley in County Durham, ending 40 years of peace and protection. Despite endless protests and efforts to keep the valley unspoiled, as well as the government’s constant promises to phase out coal by the year 2525, the firm has been granted permission to disrupt the peaceful and quiet life led by the residents.

England has one of the worst air pollution problems across the globe in general. The coal industry as a whole is responsible for half the world’s air pollution; hundreds of people suffer from health problems due to the condition of the air, with several even dying each year, and many species of wildlife and plants cannot thrive without cleaner air. “The government says it wants to be a world leader but is not putting its money where its mouth is,” says June Davison, a longtime protester and resident of Derwent Valley.

We cannot allow this formerly unspoiled, peaceful area to be marred by an unnecessary coal mine. Sign this petition to stop the construction of the mine as soon as possible, and to halt plans for any future mines.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Gove,

The Banks Group energy firm is constructing a coal mine in the preciously unspoiled Derwent valley, despite the residents’ protests and the government’s promise to be a world leader in the phasing out of coal altogether. This area has been clean and safe for 40 years, and all of that has been taken away by an inconsistent government and a company seeking a profit.

Coal is one of the leading causes of air pollution, and England has one of the worst pollution problems across the globe. Many people die of pollution-related health issues each year, and the air is not conducive to the survival of wildlife or plant life. Furthermore, the government’s inconsistency regarding its stance on coal is dishonest and problematic. You must stop this mine from being built as soon as possible, and ensure that no future mines will be planned. Derwent valley deserves more than 40 years of peace and protection.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe

Save Dolphins and Seabirds From Drowning in Nets

Target: His Excellency Donald Tusk, President of the European Council

Goal: Do not let protection for Europe’s dolphins and seabirds falter due to Brexit.

The advent of Brexit will weaken protection of Europe’s seabird and dolphin populations. The United Kingdom was said to be the strongest voice in fishery reform, which ensured that fewer dolphins or seabirds would get caught in fishing nets. Unfortunately, even with these reforms in place, a total of 600,000 marine mammals and birds still die each year from being caught in the nets, and this number could skyrocket once the UK officially separates from the European Union.

Dolphins are already one of the most vulnerable animals on this planet due to negative changes in the waters such as plastic and oil pollution, as well as being captured and hunted as trophies. Many species of dolphins are nearly extinct, as are many seabirds. Without the influence of the UK on fishery reforms, these species could disappear forever, causing great strain on the ecology of the sea.

We cannot allow Brexit to weaken existing protection of dolphins and seabirds. Sign this petition to demand the European Union strengthen its voice towards fishery reform and the protection of marine mammals and seabirds.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Your Excellency,

Europe’s dolphin and seabird population is in danger of extinction due to Brexit, as the United Kingdom was the strongest voice for fishery reform. Hundreds of thousands of marine mammals and seabirds die of capture in fishing nets every year, even with reforms in place, and the weakening of those reforms could lead to mass extinctions.

You must strengthen the European Union’s voice towards fishery reform. Dolphins are already one of the most vulnerable animals on the planet due to being captured in nets as well as other dangers they face. The loss of even a single species of dolphin or seabird will wreck havoc on the ocean’s delicate ecosystem. Do not allow protection of dolphins and seabirds to weaken with the advent of Brexit.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pete Markham