What is the Civic Industry/Sector?

The civic sector is the realm of social activity undertaken by organizations that are non-governmental and nonprofit. Civic sector organizations exist to channel the collective action of citizens who share common values and interests that are distinct from those of the state, family, or the market.

Major Civic Examples:

Civic’s Environmental Impact

The policy-making process emphasizes that the impact of voters’ environmental attitudes on governmental action is felt largely, though not entirely, through the politicians they elect. In fact, public opinion on the environment can shape environmental policy in at least three distinct ways: 

  1. Citizens’ environmental attitudes may influence their votes in elections when candidates are perceived to favor different approaches to environmental policies, sweeping into office those legislators who hold the preferences of the majority of their constituents. 
  2. Officeholders may choose to vote on pieces of environmental legislation in ways that anticipate the likely electoral consequences of voters’ environmental attitudes.
  3. Voters may choose to support or not support statewide ballot propositions focusing on environmental policies.

Therefore, civic sector organizations that promote voting are actively playing a big role in impacting the environment. Moreover, another way that the civic sector impacts the environment is by creating opportunities for civic engagement. These opportunities include activities that promote volunteering, national service, electoral participation, etc. More specifically, these opportunities could look like participating in beach cleanups, supporting local legislation that will improve/protect the environment, etc.

How Does Civics Affect Environmental Justice?

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is an agency independent of the federal government in charge of environmental protection matters. They define environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people.” For them, fair treatment means no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental, and commercial operations or policies. When they talk about meaningful involvement, they refer to people’s opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health. The public’s contribution (civic sector’s efforts) can influence the regulatory agency’s decision to consider community concerns in the decision-making process. Then, the decision-makers will seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected.

What are Solutions to the Negative Environmental Impacts of the Civic Sector?

Encourage organizations within the civic sector to advertise digitally! Marketing is essential for civic organizations to increase their funds, spread awareness about their cause, and continue delivering impact.  Hence, it is important to find ways to advertise digitally in order to minimize the use of traditional marketing techniques such as print magazine ads, direct mail, billboards, newspaper ads, and other forms of non-digital media.

Some civic sectors that are trying to become more eco-friendly include:

What Can You Do to Support the Environment?

Volunteers within the civic sector are working to improve many aspects of society. In order to ensure that the civic sector becomes more sustainable, here are a few things you can do: 

  • Vote! Fulfill your civic duty and vote toward environmental justice.
  • Sign petitions that favor environmental justice. 
  • Participate in environmental justice civic engagement opportunities
    • Examples: volunteer for environmental justice campaigns, participate in protests and marches, participate in beach clean-ups, community gardening, city clean-ups, etc. 
  • Support local, state, and federal politicians who are advocating for both the protection of public lands and conservation as well as combating environmental injustice. 
  • Make sure candidates recognize the inequality at the heart of climate change and recognize those who will be most urgently impacted. Volunteer for civic organizations that are working towards making our communities greener. 
  • Continue to challenge violations of environmental policies happening in vulnerable communities!
  • Share what you know! Amplify the voices of environmental justice activists by sharing the information provided on their social media on your personal social media to support environmental campaigns. 

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