There has been a lot of talk in the news about our changing climate, from continuous record-breaking warmth to more extreme weather events. This feels pretty overwhelming, and makes it seem unlikely that one person can make a difference. But you can!
Armed with the power of science, you can make informed decisions about how to change some of your behaviors in ways that directly reduce your burden on the environment. You can’t fix the climate on your own, but you can become part of a generation that does.
Lasting and dramatic change comes from countless little shifts throughout society. Mitigating climate change comes from everybody, and that includes you!
Use Fewer Resources
You’ve probably heard this before, either from conservation organizations or your parents lecturing you about the utility bill. But it’s worth repeating: conserving resources is good for everybody, especially the planet.
- Reduce water usage.
- Use less electricity.
- Eat less meat. We’re not saying you have to go vegetarian, but easy changes go a long way over time.
- Avoid plastic. Really, the less you use the better.
- Drive less. Walk, bike, take the bus! Even fuel-efficient cars pollute, so park them when you can. Not to mention, it goes a long way to helping you stay in shape.
If you’re familiar with these concepts – great! If you aren’t, it’s not too late. Thanks to the internet, you have no shortage of information. Educating yourself is the key to making a difference.
It’s great if you change your habits, but to really save the planet, you’ll need to change others’, too. Convince your family, friends, and neighbors to adopt greener lifestyles. Talk to your parents about buying less meat, get your friends to bike to where you need to go, and sweet-talk your neighbors into watering their lawns less.
Get involved with organizations like SCA where you can take part in conservation activities. Volunteer in your local park to make it a green space that people want to use. Support environmental groups. Talk to local lawmakers about focusing community resources on projects that improve the environment, and therefore the city, town, or neighborhood overall.
Most of all, learn! Read about environmental issues, study science in school. Go outside. Visit parks, and talk to the people who take care of them. The more you know about your environment, the better equipped you are to conserve, and to make a difference.
- Insights Into Climate Change
- Collecting Change Data in the Field
- You Can Make a Difference: Solar Power
- The Global Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice Loss
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- U.S. Global Change Research Program
- Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
- Climate Access
About the Author: Andrew Carpenter is an American University graduate who studied international relations, focusing on human rights and environmental justice. His starry-eyed tendencies have led him to bike across Europe and the U.S., last year writing about transportation issues that affect communities across the country from a cyclist’s perspective. Andrew is a freelance writer who looks to promote innovative, sustainable ideas that inspire discovery and bring communities together.