Get Involved with HEAL

Environmental nonprofits play a crucial role in advocating for, protecting, and preserving the Earth’s natural resources. These organizations, driven by passion and dedication, work tirelessly to address pressing environmental issues and promote sustainability. Their efforts yield numerous benefits, not only for the environment but also for individuals and communities who are affected by their natural surroundings. Salt Lake City, though a hub for outdoor recreation and access to the outdoors, has a multitude of pressing issues that demand problem solving. 

HEAL UTAH, the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah, is at the forefront of advocating change and justice throughout the Wasatch area and Utah in its entirety. As individual community members, we may feel powerless amidst governmental/political discourse relating to the environment. It is easy to feel like a minor witness to major changes and decisions that directly impact us, our neighbors, and our surrounding environment; however, HEAL provides ample (and easily accessible) opportunity to become active community members who have influence over the policies and practices that govern Utah’s environment.

HEAL creates a straightforward plan of attack for individuals as we try to be more conscious of our role in affecting air quality. In collaboration with regulatory agencies and leaders within Utah’s legislation, HEAL encourages us to keep this in mind:

C: Carpool whenever possible

L: Limit cold starts and combine trips

E: Engage in clean air advocacy

A: Access public transportation

N: Navigate smog ratings and engine types

A: Avoid unnecessary commutes

I: Idle less or not at all

R: Ride a bike or walk

Though these steps seem simple, they are so powerful in keeping our air clean. With over 3 million Utah residents, over 2.5 of which live along the Wasatch front, committing to these 8 uncomplicated steps would foster monumental change to our air quality. 

HEAL plays a prominent role in Utah’s relationship with nuclear waste and the progression towards renewable energy. Utah is often on the list of places in which business leaders propose dumping nuclear waste: despite not using nor producing nuclear power, the desert landscape ideologically makes sense. Fighting against massive, multi-million-dollar waste removal corporations and working alongside policymakers, HEAL has our best interests in mind as the organization protects us and the environment from the dangerous and long-lasting effects that radioactive material being dumped in our backyard would elicit. 

Reducing carbon emissions is arguably the most important change that must be established both throughout Utah and the rest of the world in order to combat climate change. In a similar manner as HEAL’s relationship to nuclear waste policy, HEAL actively supports the community’s best interests: by working alongside legal consultants and independent analysts, the organization creates logical action plans that would put an end to coal mining/producing in Utah. This transition is both necessary and beneficial for all: green energy in and of itself brings about a newfound economy that would thrive. Getting rid of coal and moving towards renewable energy will be a significant change, but will provide opportunity for economic growth as well. HEAL sees the big picture revolving around sustainable energy, and is constantly influencing its growth. 

This organization and its successes are deeply tied to the support of the community: with over 14,000 supporters, Utahns are active members of HEAL. It’s easy to be a bystander throughout the climate crisis, but HEAL makes it easier to be active in the process of finding solutions. While fiscal donations are welcome, countless more options are available. Sign up for community lobbyist training, where you can take a role in providing legislators with firsthand community member feedback as it relates to creation/passing of legislation. Events take place multiple times a week: from rallies to community workshops, you can become regularly active in supporting HEAL and its goals. Volunteers are always needed, and all are welcome. 

It is a misconception that you need ample knowledge before getting involved. By getting involved, you will gain the knowledge and the tools necessary to stop being a bystander, and start becoming a catalyst of change. Head over to HealUtah.Org, follow @healutah on Instagram, and get informed!

Photo taken from (HEAL Utah)

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