The good news: We are not alone. People, communities, cities, businesses, schools, faith groups and other organizations are taking action. We’re fighting like our lives depend on it — because they do.
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.
Here are 10 ways you can help fight climate change:
1. Push for reduced methane emissions from fracked gas
Methane is 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame. Leading scientists estimate this gas alone is responsible for one-quarter of the observed changes to Earth’s climate. Recent research suggests that methane emissions from the oil and gas sector (mainly fracked gas) is a much greater problem than reported.
Cutting methane emissions is one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective things that governments can do right now to tackle climate change.
If we take action, reducing methane emissions can be a big part of the solution.
2. Get charged up with renewables
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The global push for cleaner, healthier energy is on. With costs dropping every day, renewable energy is the best choice for the environment and the economy.
People throughout Canada are leading on renewables, making a difference in towns, cities and rural areas. You can, too!
No matter what your experience is or how much time you have, we’ll show you opportunities to get charged up with renewables.
3. Green your commute
In Canada, transportation accounts for 24 per cent of climate-polluting emissions, a close second to the oil and gas industry.
The many ways to reduce your transportation emissions will also make you healthier, happier and save you a few bucks. Whenever and wherever you can:
- Take public transit.
- Ride a bike.
- Switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle.
- Fly less (if you do fly, make sure you offset your emissions).
4. Use energy wisely — save money, too!
On a per capita basis, Canada is one of the top energy consumers in the world! By getting more energy efficient, you’ll pollute less and save money.
The small changes you make add up:
- Change to energy-efficient light bulbs.
- Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics when you’re not using them.
- Wash clothes in cold or warm (not hot) water.
- Dryers are energy hogs, so hang dry when you can and use dryer balls when you can’t.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Look for the Energy Star label when buying new appliances.
- Winterize your home to prevent heat from escaping.
- Get a home or workplace energy audit to identify where you can make the most energy-saving gains.
5. Help put a price on pollution
Putting a price on carbon is one of the most important pillars of any strong climate policy. Carbon pricing sounds boring, but it helps makes polluting activities more expensive and green solutions relatively more affordable, allowing your energy-efficient business and/or household to save money!
Most market economists agree that pricing carbon is an efficient and business-friendly way to reduce emissions. The federal government is working with the provinces and territories to put a national price on carbon, but they need your support.
6. Consume less, waste less, enjoy life more
“We use too much, too much of it is toxic and we don’t share it very well. But that’s not the way things have to be. Together, we can build a society based on better not more, sharing not selfishness, community not division.” ~ The Story of Stuff
Focusing on life’s simple pleasures — spending time in nature, being with loved ones and/or making a difference to others — provides more purpose, belonging and happiness than buying and consuming. Sharing, making, fixing, upcycling, repurposing and composting are all good places to start.
7. Divest from fossil fuels
Let industry know you care about climate change by making sure any investments you and your university, workplace or pension fund make do not include fossil fuels. Meet with your bank or investment adviser and/or join a divestment campaign at your university.
Fossil fuels are a sunset industry. They’re a risk for investors and the planet. As Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “I don’t want to be the last investor in Blockbuster as Netflix emerged.”
8. Invest in renewables
Even if you can’t install solar panels or a wind turbine, you can still be a part of the clean-energy economy. Search online for local renewable energy co-ops to join. By becoming a co-op member you will own a slice of its renewable energy projects and can get a return on your investment.
You can also speak to your financial adviser about clean energy/technology investments.
9. Eat for a climate-stable planet
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” ~ Michael Pollan
Here are four simple changes you can make to your diet to reduce its climate impact.
- Eat meat-free meals.
- Buy organic and local whenever possible.
- Don’t waste food.
- Grow your own.
P.S. You can also help save the planet by eating insects!
10. Tell your story, listen to others
A healthy planet and stable climate aren’t political issues. It’s all about families, communities, energy systems and humanity’s future. It’s important to get everyone on board, working toward climate solutions.
People are more often influenced by friends than by experts, so make sure to talk about climate change with friends and family. Tell your stories — about changes you’ve seen where you live, how climate change has affected you, and the changes you’re making to lessen your impact. Encourage friends and family to explore the top 10 things they can do about climate change.