“In a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket. But with enough drops, we can fill any bucket.”
— David Suzuki
With Covid-19, plastic pollution in our oceans and on our beaches, methane gas from our landfills, and now the raging wildfires that cause the air we breathe to be so polluted we can’t be outside, I feel overwhelmed. It’s a fact that, in one way or another, climate change is real, that it’s man-made, and that it’s affecting all of our lives.
When it comes to climate change, I think many of us tune out simply because we don’t know what we can do. But I’m telling you that it feels good to actually take steps to make a difference, even if they are small. Remember, nobody chooses to become an activist but we can choose to be active. This was how my journey towards living a more sustainable life began.
Here are some actions you can take to help fight climate change:
Vote with your wallet—As a consumer, you have power to help the planet and change the ways businesses operate because they want to please you. So choose to buy only environmentally-friendly products. This will encourage companies to switch to more sustainable production practices and sell more environmentally friendly products.
When you shop, look for the following:
- Items with post-recycled materials—Good examples of this are paper, toilet paper, kitchen towels, shoes and clothes.
- Sustainably produced items like food, wood, tissues, plants, bamboo and palm oil.
- Energy-efficient appliances—Whenever buying a washing machine, dishwasher, oven, stove, fridge, etc., make sure it is energy-efficient. This will save not only money but also the planet. And it will push manufacturers to focus their production on these qualities.
Fight Climate Change with Diet Change—Reduce your carbon footprint with “foodprint” by reducing your meat consumption. Meat production accounts for approximately 14.5 % of the world’s greenhouse gases each year and is a major cause of deforestation of the rainforest.
So, you can fight climate change with your diet by following these methods:
- Eating less meat
- Eating more plant-based food
- Growing your own food
- Eating locally grown and produced food
- Eating organic foods
- Reducing food waste
Reduce your use of cars and planes—Cars and planes are also major contributors of emissions and greenhouse gases, so reducing your use of a car and taking public transportation, or walking or biking can make a huge difference. See if there are an alternatives to traveling by plane if possible.
Start a conversation—No one can fight climate change alone, so we must work together. Why not start a conversation about climate change? I have found that when you do, it’s super important to be a good listener and to hear all arguments against it, and to be open to discussion. By doing this, you are more likely to open people’s minds. Join a climate change group on Facebook and get inspired to have real conversations with family and friends.
Get active—Today there are many groups and organizations you can join to actively fight climate change. My kids have joined surf rider, and have been cleaning beaches and participating in peaceful protests with them. My husband has joined a local global climate change leaders’ group and an eco-focused Rotary group. I have joined sandiego350.org and Moms Clean Air Force.
Vote—Without starting a political discussion here, casting your vote for the right people is the key. Do your research to discover where candidates stand on climate change and environmental issues. Vote for the presidential candidate, local officials, as well as congressional and senate candidates who have a plan and who care about the planet.