The most important thing you can do to combat climate change is to get involved. Personal lifestyle choices are important and deeply meaningful — you really can help by switching up a few small things in your day-to-day routine — but climate change is fundamentally a problem of broken systems. An electric grid that’s run on fossil fuels. An economy built around driving gas guzzling cars. Companies that don’t worry about how much they pollute.
This means it can only be solved by changing the system. (Moving our electric grid to renewables, getting more electric cars on the road, implementing fines for polluters and incentives for those who build green.)
So do the following to increase your impact:
Vote for local, state, and national candidates who support clean energy and are steering us away from fossil fuels like oil and natural gas. (The League of Conservation voters scorecard will tell you how your legislators vote on the issues that are important to you.)
Call your elected officials and show up to town halls. Politics doesn’t end at the ballot box, and showing your representatives that climate change is an issue you care about is the best way to convince them to fight for it. Here’s how to look up your local politician’s phone number.
Join other motivated people who are working to create a clean and sustainable future. There are many groups, like the Conservation Law Foundation, who work on the front lines to fight climate change.
Spread the word to your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Talk to them on the phone, in person, by email, via text, or over social media. It doesn’t matter how you reach out, it’s just about getting everyone on the same page for change! Here you can learn more about how to talk to your friends and family about climate change.
Talk to your employer about implementing green policies where your work. For example, some companies offer matching policies for charitable donations, and businesses that operate fleets of cars could save money — and the environment — in the long run by switching to electric cars and trucks. As well, talk to your boss or building manager about building-related ways to save energy.
Talk to your school about green policies. If you’re still a student — or have children who are students, or are still involved with your old high school, college, or university — advocate for environmentally friendly policies at your school like recycling programs, waste reduction programs, electric transportation, etc. Here are a few ways schools and educational institutions can go green.
Organize your neighborhood (or apartment complex) to install community solar power.
Donate money, if you can, to organizations like CLF who are working on this problem locally, regionally, and nationally – day in and day out.