Happy Earth Day, all! It’s a great time to reflect on what Earth Day means to us, and on what we can do to protect our beautiful home. Here you’ll find ideas for taking action on climate change that fit your life and make a difference today and every day. Because if you really stop to think about the climate crisis it is tough to take in, and here at Ipsun we find that doing something—anything—helps you feel better. It’s why we do what we do. So read on for seven great ways to be a part of the solution.
Current Situation: The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report
In case you missed it, it’s important to start with the latest report from scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which declares that it’s “now or never” to take action to avoid climate catastrophe.
Our kids—not some future generation we haven’t met—our kids may be facing an unlivable world as adults. By 2040, the IPCC report says things could be so out of hand they will be packing up their families (our grandkids!) to escape wildfires or floods, dealing with climate-related pathogens or severe heat that can make them sick, and possibly lacking food, potable water, and essential supplies.
For real. No hyperbole: “It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F),” said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Jim Skea. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”
Read the summary or the full IPCC Sixth Assessment report.
So what can we do?
It’s super overwhelming if you really take time to focus on it. Which is why most people compartmentalize the knowledge that this is happening and move on, why news outlets don’t spend a lot of space on it, and possibly why our posts about this issue at Ipsun get the least reads. (*Crying emoji*) But as the Lorax says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
We all need to do something. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, and it doesn’t have to be the same for all of us. But we all must do something, if for no other reason than to reduce our anxiety about climate change and help us feel we’re a part of the solution.
That being said, this is not your fault
In the most general terms, the climate crisis is being caused by the actions of about 90 companies globally. And in the even larger picture, it is a product of unchecked capitalism. It’s no one person’s fault (except maybe Joe Manchin lol) and it’s not because people are bad, it’s just how our society evolved.
In the past, we needed fossil fuel combustion-based energy to move past a certain point in our development, and it got us here to this amazing place of innovation, but it also caused the global warming that is now wrecking our climate and threatening our existence. Now we need renewable energy to get us past this point—not just for progress, but for survival.
Back to what we can do
Choose what works for you—there are so many ways to make a difference:
☀️ 1. GO SOLAR! Obviously our number one suggestion is to make your own renewable energy. If your roof doesn’t support it, or if you rent your home, you can always participate in community solar to cover your electricity use with renewable solar energy.
⚡ 2. Electrify your home and/or your transportation. Buying an EV and installing all-electric appliances in your house are obviously great actions to take, but you may wonder whether the electricity used is better for the environment than burning gas.
It is. The energy mix coming from your electric utility company usually comes from a combination of natural gas, nuclear, renewables, and coal. That mix is improving toward more renewable energy all the time. But even right now, it’s better emissions-wise to run your car on electricity instead of gasoline. And better to run your house on electricity than natural gas, which isn’t getting more renewable, and can cause health problems from indoor air pollution.
Worse yet, natural gas emits methane, which is by far the most potent greenhouse gas–80% worse than the CO2 emitted by burning gasoline or heating oil.
So buy that EV, install that heat pump and induction stove, and make sure your home is optimized for energy efficiency. It will reduce your carbon footprint tremendously. Add solar and battery storage, and now you’re cooking with sunlight.
🌻 3. Do any or all of the individual actions that make your life more sustainable. Recycle, compost, reduce your acquisition of stuff (especially plastic stuff), go vegetarian or vegan, change to LED lightbulbs, plant a native garden, plant trees. All of these things make a difference and can bring meaning and joy into your life at the same time.
💬 4. Use Your Voice! Talking about the climate crisis is so important. Normalize it in conversation. Don’t let it be political. It affects us all, no matter who we are. It’s uncomfortable and scary, but also critical that we be brave and make it a topic.
As the great climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe says, “Having a real discussion and connecting over shared values like family, community, and religion prompts people to realize that they already care about a changing climate. We can’t give in to despair. We have to go out and look for the hope we need to inspire us to act — and that hope begins with a conversation, today.”
📞 5. Write and call your legislators. This one is huge. They’re the ones who can really make changes, but they won’t until enough of us say we won’t stand for anything less.
Join science advocates and scientists across the nation and call your senators to demand bold action on climate, jobs, and justice to protect our health and environment.
Click on the link above to take action on climate right now. And as always, you can call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 at any time and tell them your zip code – they’ll connect you with your federal legislators and you can tell them what you think.
📚 6. Learn more and help others understand. Some great books to check out:
- All We Can Save, an anthology edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
- The New Climate War, by Michael Mann
- Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, by Katharine Hayhoe
- Being the Change: Live Well and Start a Climate Revolution by Peter Kalmus
- This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs The Climate by Naomi Klein
📣 7. Get in the streets. Studies show that climate activism is effective in changing policy. So join a protest or rally; glue yourself to a legislator’s office door; stop traffic; do whatever it takes to save our future.
Fight for our Future: There’s a climate protest happening Saturday, April 23rd 2022, in front of the White House, led by the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Let’s make it huge and show our leaders that we need change and we need it now.
“When you take action for climate, it’s for you. It’s for your family, it’s for everything you love.” – Katharine Hayhoe
Questions? Need help finding a climate action that fits your style? Get in touch! We love talking about saving the planet with you.