What is an environmental action plan?

An environmental action plan pertains to an official document which is essentially an outline of the planning of activities to be done in order to contribute to environmental wellness. There is a sense of urgency for people on the ground to accomplish the goal of alleviating the harmful effects of climate change, which is why such a well execution done through careful organization is direly needed. This can be done through utilizing an action plan, whose main purpose is to have a framework of tasks to be done in certain days by specific people. Action plans are used to make things a lot simpler and more digestible for people, as well as to serve as a guideline for people to follow. Successful events usually achieve success in the first place because of what happens in the background during the formulation of sequences, but often only ever get praised on surface level. Action plans ought to be acknowledged because they provide the most basic unit of guidance, one that is often the most important and catalytic.

Ideas for Environmental Action Plan Activities

Before we dive in to the technicalities of an environmental action plan, it is also important that we have different options of ideas to materialize in the latter parts of the process. There are different causes of environmental degradation, which ultimately means that we are also able to target these problems in different angles. There is no single solution, and there is no one-size-fits-all policy, which is why it is important for us to have many activities or tasks which we can accomplish in order to fix existing problems. With that being said, our solutions and actions cannot be repetitive; those that already have been done before but have had no tangible outcomes to accrue. Simple tasks are still important tasks, but it is also important for us to be creative with our solutions in order to make sure that we are likely to push through change. Here are ideas for activities that you may use for your environmental action plan.

Waste Management Systems : It has probably been a very long time since the first time we have heard of the words “Reduce, reuse, and recycle”. This has been the leading slogan for environmental causes, however, it is important for us to dig deeper than that, and truly know how to utilize such a mechanism. One thing we can focus on is the improvement of waste management systems. Waste is classified into four parts, which are municipal solid waste, industrial solid waste, agricultural waste and residues, and hazardous waste. Municipal solid waste pertains to those generated from households, offices, schools, and the like, and this usually looks like paper, plastic, metal, and glass. These materials are the most recyclable, and this is how industries can make the most out of the overused slogan. You may use this as part of your action plan through collecting municipal solid waste, for instance, from people around in order for you to donate them to manufacturing companies that focus on recycling them for use. We can see this initiative through Nike selling plastic shoes, which are essentially footwear that is made through spinning shredded plastic. You may work with these manufacturers. Paper is also now recycled, as well as metal and glass. Improving waste management through teaching the value of segregation also makes this activity easier for you.Fundraising for Environmental Organizations : There has been a rise of environmental organizations, or non-government organizations that take initiative for the environment. There are a lot of examples of big ones such as Greenpeace, Conservation International, Rainforest Action Network, and a lot more, but it is a lot better for you to focus on local organizations which is the most in need of your help. You can help them through monetary supplement, which you can do through fundraising. This is one of the most common tasks for causes, since finance can do a lot for organizations. You may choose your own methods of fundraising, perhaps through a concert, selling baked goods, or perhaps through having a local pageant.Environmental Research : Aside from making everyday small efforts through putting your trash in your pocket, which is a very good action to make, there are also other things you can do for the environment. If you are a student, or if you have people who go to universities in your organization, you may include conducting an environmental research in your action plan. Whether you choose qualitative or quantitative research, this surely helps the environment by a great deal because it is through studies where we are able to have new data that can further support our initiatives, or ones that we can use to develop new solutions in order to tailor-fit them. You may use your findings in your own organizations, and you can also decide to submit such a research to institutions in order for you to be able to find investors in the long run.The Use of Eco-Friendly Products : This is something that majority of people have been opting into. The use of eco-friendly products is a preventive measure that allows us to have less harmful waste, wherein regardless if we put them into waste, they will not necessarily have adverse effects to the environment. This looks like people using eco bags during shopping to avoid the use of plastic, as well as using paper straws since they decompose faster, hence, causing less detriments to the environment. Environmental organizations can have the use of eco-friendly products as a task for their constituents, and for their constituents to convince more people into opting for greener options as well to accomplish a more collective action. When majority of the population uses eco-friendly products over plastic ones, it is likely that manufacturers are going to opt to using greener alternatives in manufacturing goods, and in development as well because of market demand.

How to Write an Environmental Action Plan

Now that we have a lot of ideas for the activities we are to have for our environmental cause, it is high time for us to be familiarized with how to write an environmental action plan. The environmental action plan is the backbone of the tasks and even the cause that the organization plans to accomplish, which is why the formulation stage is very crucial. In planning and writing an environmental action plan, you are to think about specific problems that you wish to target within a certain time frame. You also ought to take one problem at a time since attempting to solve everything can lead to messy outcomes. Perhaps you can start by settling on one general task, as suggested in the former part of the article, and your action plan can focus on the breaking down of your chosen idea, wherein you assign dates for certain deadlines to be met, for instance, the simplification of tasks, as well as the assigning of people to do specific tasks. These are things that you get to ponder on when planning for such a document. This is how you can write an environmental action plan.

Step 1: Prepare a Template

Templates are very important because they allow you to properly segregate ideas and concepts in a manner that is understandable and pleasing to the eye. As opposed to having an essay-type of planning which can tire readers, and even makes it hard for them to spot specific information, templates enable readers to properly read the content in a much simplified way. You first have to prepare a template which you may download above, or you may create your own manually for a much more specific format. You can utilize Canva, for instance, so you can customize your template regarding the structure, format, and colors.

Step 2: Brainstorm Tasks

As mentioned, it is important for you to employ one solution at a time. You may choose one activity idea from the earlier parts of the article, and use that as the main activity for a period of time, let’s say for one month. After choosing or brainstorming, you may begin breaking down the tasks into smaller pieces with respective deadlines. For example, if you choose to have fundraising as your activity, you may break it down into different parts. First, you may search for musicians, if you choose to have a concert, in order for them to perform in your event. Second, you may find a venue for the concert to take place, and then create a publication material for your concert in order for people to be informed of it. After the venue and musician fees have been finalized, you can now create a price for the tickets. These step-by-step tasks are to be reflected in the first column of the template.

Step 3: Assign Responsibilities

Because this is a collective action, everyone in the group should have a responsibility that they are assigned to accomplish. The leader of the organization can assign responsibilities to the members in order for tasks to be evenly distributed. This also makes the process a lot faster because you allow a lot of people to participate and take part in making contributions that ultimately lets you arrive at your goal.

Step 4: Set Deadlines

Like they say, there is no better motivator than a deadline. Setting deadlines is an important part in formulating your action plan because it determines when the specific tasks have to be completed. This is how you are also able to move on to the next task in order for the group to have better focus since their attention will not be divided by a plethora of responsibilities. When setting deadlines, make sure that you are giving an ample amount of time for people to accomplish the task, one that is not unreasonable. Also, try to work with the overall time frame that you have in mind, and try to divide them into the number of tasks that you have to accomplish in order for delays to be avoided.

What are the benefits of having an environmental action plan?

If you write an environmental action plan all before executing, you are able to have a bird’s eye view of the whole thing, which makes you a lot more preemptive in terms of potential problems. This also lets you prepare for any legal requirements that you need to have before executing your plan. Moreover, you are better able to conduct cost control, because of the precautionary nature of having an action plan, as well as to have better monitoring for your tasks. Overall, it truly allows you to have a more structured event, and one that is well-prepared, hence, it is less likely for liabilities to accrue in the long run.

What are the contents of an environmental management plan?

In terms of an environmental management plan, which is relatively different than an action plan which is only part of the bigger scope of the management plan itself, you need to include a commitment and policy section, the action plan itself, the implementation of the event itself, and the evaluation which happens retroactively.

How do you identify the best option for an environmental action plan activity?

First, you need to think about the size of your organization population, since activities or initiatives usually require manpower, and you do not want to end up having a shortage in staff. Next, think about the abilities and skills of your members in order to identify the best option you can utilize in which you already have expertise of, or at least an extent of familiarization. You may also think about the target problem that you are focusing on solving, because that usually determines what kind of activity you should have.

Given the urgency of climate change, it truly is important for everyone to participate in initiatives that aim to alleviate the harms that humans have inflicted on the environment. One way to do this is to have an environmental action plan which allows organizations to properly and carefully plan out the tasks that they aim to carry out. Having an action plan gives organizations, or action leaders the avenue to be preemptive of future glitches that may negatively affect the task or activity itself, and the ability to execute a smoother output because of the well-prepared nature of environmental action plans.