Positive change is always possible. But it’s up to us to make it happen.
According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we have until 2030 to reduce global carbon emissions by 50% to have any chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. If we go any higher, some really bad shit starts to happen.
The entire fate of the world lies in the hands of our generation.
At 2 degrees of global warming, several hundred million more people are susceptible to climate-related risks and poverty. They’ll need somewhere to go when their countries are too hot to live in.
A million people leaving Syria caused a massive refugee situation in Europe. What will happen when 100 million people are displaced by climate change?
Global warming can feel like an overwhelming problem
It’s fair to ask, will personal changes really help? Aren’t we screwed unless governments choose to act? What difference can one person make?
The key point to remember is that governments are reactive, not proactive. They will make policy changes if the population demands them loudly enough.
Every day you make choices with your wallet, your actions and your conversations. If enough of us commit to meaningful personal changes, then change as a society and as a country is inevitable.
There are always bad things happening around the world. Why is this any different?
Climate change is actually something you can help. You can’t do much to stop mass shootings in America but you can fight global warming.
You can help. Right now. Today.
27 ways you can help reverse global warming today (17 of them are free)
How many can you tick off already? How many more can you achieve today?
You may not agree with all of these suggestions and that’s totally ok. The goal is to focus on what you can do, not what you object to.
While you’re here, be sure to follow the podcast on Spotify.
Let’s start with the easy ones…
2. Sign a climate petition.
3. Use the ‘Ecosia’ search engine. Get this free browser extension and plant trees with every search. Make it your default search engine and make sure you get the app on your phone too. According to Ecosia, approximately 45 searches results in a new tree being planted.
4. Start a compost bin at home. Note: The easiest way to make this a regular family habit is to have a small compost bin in your kitchen and then empty it into your bigger outdoor bin once every few days. This way you aren’t running outside every 5 minutes with a banana peel.
5. Follow 350.org on Facebook.
6. Make a personal commitment to vote for candidates at your next local or national election who care about global warming and are willing to stand up against large fossil fuel companies to bring about serious change.
7. Plant a tree or gift one to a friend.
8. Buy locally grown food – take notice of where fruit comes from – check stickers/labels. If your oranges were made in the USA, a big fossil-fueled ship needed to carry them here.
9. Visit a beach and ponder how sad it would be for it to disappear.
Adjust your diet
10. Have a red meat-free day.
11. Have a dairy-free day.
12. Encourage others to eat less red meat and dairy. Buy someone an almond or coconut milk flat white.
13. Visit a plant-based restaurant next time you go out for dinner.
14. Commit to doing meat-free Mondays.
15. Watch Cowspiracy (a documentary available on Netflix).
16. Read an article about climate change. Understand the issue.
18. Watch Before the Flood.
Bring about change with your wallet
19. Switch to a 100% renewable electricity company.
20. Commit to making the next car you buy an electric one (or at least a hybrid). Click here to search for electric cars on trademe.
21. Start the process of switching to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels.
22. Donate to Cool Earth.
24. Donate a tree via an organisation like trees that count.
25. Ride public transport to work or an event when you normally would have driven.
26. Walk or bike somewhere local when you normally would have driven (like school, or a local shop).
Last but not least…
27. Share this post!
The Rubbish Trip – An incredible online resource for anyone looking for advice on how to reduce their waste. Also provides no-waste shopping guides for New Zealand.
What you can do about climate change (Ministry for the Environment)