Welcome to Effectivism!

Hi there!  I’m Lauren.  I’m a lazy activist.  That means that there are a lot of things I want to change about the world, but I often don’t want to spend a whole lot of time working on fixing things.  Even more than that, I often don’t know where to begin — I feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of organizations asking for my time and money, and the number of actions they ask me to take.  Plus, I often feel doubtful about how much of a difference some of these actions could actually make.  Starting this blog is my way of starting to address all these issues.

The name of this blog comes from my looking for ways to be an effective activist.  I want to find out how I can most effectively spend time and money on causes I care about, and how I can measure the effects of things like calling my representatives, writing letters to the editor, signing petitions, or contributing money to various organizations.  I figure other people might want to know, too, so I might as well share what I find out.  I’ll also share any reference and research tools I find that provide information about how to take political action (like contacting representatives), how to see where your money goes when you donate to charities, and so on.

Beyond political and social activism, I’m also interested in how I can make a difference in the every day choices I can make in my day to day life — the transportation I take, the types of foods I eat, the way that I consume resources like water and electricity, and so forth.  Again, though, I find that I’m sometimes overwhelmed by the amount of information out there about various choices — like eating organic/local/non-hothouse/vegetarian/etc. — and trying to quantify the effects of those choices.  This blog is about all of that as well, and whatever else comes up that seems to fit.

A lot of the answers are probably going to be variations on “We’re not sure,” and “It depends.”  But I and my coauthors will share what we do find out, and this blog will also be an ongoing process of finding out more.  We welcome your questions and ideas as well, as we go along.  Welcome!

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