A climate change solutions list with 38 things you can do that will help save the planet? If you’re concerned about the climate change news but have no idea what to do, this post is for you.
This list is hardly exhaustive. But there’s enough here to keep you busy for a while.
Do you need to implement all 38 items on this climate change solutions list? Well, that would be great! Start by looking over the list and checking off the ones you’ve already done. If you don’t find any, no worries—pick one or two things and do them. And then come back and pick a couple more.
Only a few, toward the top of the list, require major expenditures to implement. The rest you can do with little or no financial investment at all, and still make a big difference.
Can one person really make a big difference? Well, one plus one plus one … Steps you take will inspire others to take green action. That’s what “grassroots” is all about!
In Your Personal Life:
1. Switch your home energy source to renewables. The “EPA recommends shopping for green power to identify and compare options. EPA strongly recommends buying green power that has been third-party certified and verified to nationally-accepted standards for product quality and content.” It’s particularly important to find an alternative to natural gas, which is far more detrimental to the greenhouse layer for the first 20 years than CO2.
2. Install solar panels or a wind turbine on your home if you haven’t already done so.
3. Invest in energy-efficient appliances for your home.
4. Retire your gas guzzler in favor of an electric car. “The US federal electric vehicle tax credit “offers up to $7,500 to people who purchase an EV. In many areas, rebates, subsidies and discounts are available, especially to low-income families and individuals.” And lawmakers are pushing to expand those even further. HINT: There are used EVs for sale now, with batteries designed to last for many years.
5. Once you have an electric vehicle, install a small solar array on your home to power your electric car’s battery. And then use it to generate surplus power you can use to lower your home utility bill.
6. Embrace a minimalist lifestyle. Keeping this climate change solutions list in mind whenever you’re tempted to act like a consumer will motivate you to buy clothing, furniture and decor, cars, exercise equipment, and electronics used instead of new.
7. Recycle whenever possible. Find out what grades of plastic your community recycles, and be sure to clean those containers! And disassemble the cardboard boxes.
8. Compost food waste. It doesn’t take a lot of space, and you can purchase an indoor composting unit to help you start the process. If you need instructions for composting, you can easily find them online.
9. Start a community garden. Stop being a sitting duck for food shortages! If the land is available, get together with your neighbors and get a garden going. If you have a homeowners’ association, help them see how everyone would benefit and that community gardens do not lower property values.
10. Plant trees, especially the common horse-chestnut, black walnut, American sweetgum, ponderosa pine, red pine, white pine, London plane, Hispaniolan pine, Douglas fir, scarlet oak, red oak, Virginia live oak, and bald cypress.
11. Shop your local farmers’ market. The fruits and vegetables are fresher and you avoid the ecological cost of transport.
12. Drive less. Extend this positive behavior from our coronavirus experience into your ongoing life—do your level best not to sink back into old habits. Walk, bike or carpool when you can—good for your body and your spirit! Consider an electric bike if hills are a problem. And use public transportation when available.
13. Speak up at work. Take the initiative NOW to convince company management to continue with an offsite work force—it worked fine during coronavirus pandemic, didn’t it? This will save the company and you money, and fewer cars on the road is a great boon for the environment.
14. Switch to less energy-intensive outdoor activities. Choose hiking or skiing, sailing (not motor cruising), kayaking, dancing, tennis, or other activities that strengthen your body and don’t pollute.
15. Join an organization like Sierra Club, Greenpeace or Daily Kos and take part in the activities on their climate change solutions list: Sign petitions, make calls and/or write short letters to decision makers and influencers, etc.
16. Start a climate change news or awareness blog or vlog and publicize it on social media.
17. Write climate change songs, record them, and publish them over the Internet.
18. Inform yourself and VOTE in the next election (and every election). Being knowledgeable about local, state and national issues can make you a powerful force.
19. Cut down on single-use plastics. Instead of plastic wrap, buy or make beeswax food wraps and/or buy silicone food storage bags online. Take your own canvas bags to the grocery store, and bypass their plastic produce bags—I put my vegetables straight into my canvas bags, then take them out at the register. For small items, like strawberries and mushrooms, carry thin, lightweight cloth bags in the car.
20. Do what you can to reduce landfill. Reuse whenever you can, or give away things you don’t use anymore instead of tossing them. Repair what’s broken, or check to see if your community has a free fixit clinic.
21. Go green online. Believe it or not, the Internet is a huge source of CO2 emissions, with huge increases every year. Unsubscribing from all those emails you get that you never read will help a lot.
Minimize the time you spend playing games on your computer—if you must play them, switch to playing them on your phone. And start reading more and streaming video less.
And if you have a website, check its carbon footprint. If it’s high, download a website optimization plugin to optimize it. (I did this and it made a huge difference.)
Finally, look for green hosting for your website. Very common in other countries; here in the good ol’ USA, we’re just beginning to have green hosting available. Do check, as progress can occur in the blink of an eye.
22. Switch to LED lightbulbs and turn off lights when not using them.
23. Unplug electronics when not using them to minimize consumption of standby power.
24. Insulate your home.
25. Close curtains in summer to keep the heat out and in winter to help keep it in.
26. Install a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature just right—and see if you can’t adjust your “just right” to be just a speck more conservationist!
27. Wash your clothes in cold water and line-dry them! You’ll be amazed at how good they look and smell—I certainly was. If you’ve no room for a line, dry your clothes in the dryer for just a few minutes, long enough to get the wrinkles out, and then hang them indoors on a rack. (I started doing this years ago to save wear and tear on my clothes, and yes, it makes them last a lot longer. I use a rack originally designed for CDs!)
28. Stop eating beef, or at least cut down on it. Raising other animals doesn’t take nearly the resources of raising cattle, and cattle contribute enormously to methane production. A simple online search will show you the many benefits of a vegetarian diet.
29. Switch to a green bank—this is one of the most important items on this climate change solutions list. Because whether we like it or not, money talks. Almost anything is greener at this point than Chase or Bank of America. Local credit unions may be a good choice. Check out their investment portfolio!
30. Become a green investor. This is another HUGE one! Many green investments are returning handsome dividends now, and this will be even truer in the future.
In Community Politics:
31. Keep up to date on political action in your community. Attend and speak up at City Council or other meetings where serious issues are being decided, such as community energy coalitions, new housing or commercial development proposals, and questions pertaining to water and air quality, sewer, etc.
In my town, we just conducted a successful petition drive to force our aberrant City Council to let the people vote on a proposed new development they had approved. Yay!
32. Take part in organized marches and other activities designed to raise awareness of the climate crisis. Many of these are organized by groups such as Sierra Club and Greenpeace.
33. Join a neighborhood website and use it partially to inform readers about community awareness activities.
34. Get to know your neighbors by going door to door to engage them in discussions as to how they’d like to see the neighborhood develop, what they think about climate change, their views on a city ordinance or other new development, and so on. And encourage them to register to vote and then to VOTE.
35. When you travel, go by train or bus instead of flying. If you must fly, choose an airline committed to maintaining a low carbon footprint: Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Japan Airlines, Air Europa Express and some others are top choices (see more) (and more) as of this writing.
36. Eliminate cruising! Cruise ships not only have a high carbon footprint, they are also detrimental to ocean life and contribute only minimally to the local ports of call that are left to deal with the waste the ships leave behind.
True, the problem of dumping sewage—perhaps in the face of an oncoming whale!—has lessened since the major lines were hit with huge fines for polluting US waters a few years ago. But it hasn’t disappeared.
Also, the number of whales and dolphins has declined in areas prone to ship noise and pollution. “In all about 55 marine species have been noted to have suffered due to exposure to sound of varying frequencies. These include sperm whale, grey whale, mink whale, pygmy sperm whale, killer whale, sea bass, pink snapper, goldfish, cod, haddock, bluefin tuna, squid, lobster, brown shrimp etc.”
37. Buy carbon offsets to balance any non-green things you do. Many air and cruise lines offer them (Whoa! Buying them doesn’t make it okay to use a line with a high carbon footprint). You can find your own carbon offsets online.
38. Enlist your kids in everything you do to green the planet, and help them design their own climate change solutions list. After all, it’s theirs too—and let’s hope they’re going to be living here a lot longer than you. Besides, it will give them the confidence of knowing that you, your family, and they personally are taking action to make a difference.
What other steps can you think of to help move us toward a sustainable future? Let me know in a comment!