Though many agree that there are environmental problems, few agree on how to fix them.

Environmental issues have become contentious in the U.S. Solutions and suggestions for how to live and operate in the world are as abundant as the people who offer them. Presenting a viable solution for environmental problems requires a thoughtful and detailed proposal. Your environmental plan should specify the problem you wish to address, as well as the cost and time line of your solution.

Identify the specific environmental problem you wish to address in the proposal. For example, you could propose something as small as a neighborhood recycling program to combat increasing waste in your area or as large as the construction of photovoltaic parking lots and roadways on your campus to cut down on the amount of energy consumption at your university. This will be your introduction section.

Describe the history, present situation and future implications of the problem. Detail previous attempts to combat this problem, where those attempts stand in the present day and how the future will shake out if the problem and solutions aren't addressed. For example, you might say that Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, inspired global citizens to cut down on their carbon emissions by using CFL bulbs and purchasing carbon credits. You could then explain that these attempts to combat the problem are not enough, however, and in upcoming years more significant increases in ocean temperature will occur unless people and companies adopt your proposal to put a cap on the amount of how much people can drive per day. This will be your history/background section.

Explain your proposed solution to the problem you identified in the introduction. This will be an expansion of the future component of your history/background. This will be the body section.

List all the costs of your proposal. Include costs for any equipment that might need to be purchased or any staff that might need to be hired, as well as your anticipated yearly budget, including money for research and development, salaries and so on. This will be your cost section.

Detail the implementation time line. Indicate your intended start date, as well as a monthly and yearly schedule of how you believe the solution in your proposal will occur over time. This will be your schedule section.

Offer and compare alternative solutions to your proposed solution. Include an analysis of cost, timeliness and feasibility. This will be your alternatives section.


  • Try to frame your comparison of alternative solutions in a way that reveals your solution to be the best option.