USMA member Jim Elwell, assisted by a number of USMA Listserver contributors as well as others, has compiled some very useful suggestions for individuals to help advance the cause of U.S. metrication:
- When engaging in trade, state that you prefer your product or service in the metric system because it is the legally preferred system of measurement for trade in the U.S., according to the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 (as amended 1988)
- Write to elected officials supporting metric legislation and opposing anti-metric legislation. See How to contact your legislators
- Write to media supporting metrication and explaining its benefits
- Write to manufacturers praising them when they use hard metric products and use metric notation properly
- Write to manufacturers educating them when they do not use metric appropriately
- When you see misuse of metric notation, write to the responsible organization
- Metricate your own life (tape measures, thermometers, thermostats, cooking, etc.)
- Discuss the benefits of “going metric” with others
- Write editorials promoting metrication and send them to trade journals in your profession
- Promote metric in any volunteer activities you do
- Volunteer to help USMA in some capacity
- Promote metric among your co-workers
- Ask your employer to join USMA as a corporate member
- Buy metric products, even if they cost a bit more
- Volunteer to coach or tutor metric at local science fairs or high schools
- Describe metric units visually instead of converting to non-metric on request (example: the length of a meter. The question “What’s that in inches?” deserves the answer “About an arm’s length.”)
- Earn a Certified Metrication Specialist (CMS) or Certified Advanced Metrication Specialist (CAMS) certification from USMA to give weight to your opinions
- Join the U.S. Metric Association.
Mr. Elwell cautions letter writers to be “polite and to the point.” He warns that abusive or lengthy missives may result in the opposite of the intended effect. Helpful information is available on Why use the metric system. Anyone seeking further guidance in composing letters or trade-journal opinion pieces is welcome to contact the USMA Public Relations Director at email@example.com.
Reprinted and revised from Metric Today, 2004 November/December issue.
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