Taking Personal Action on Climate Change
After learning about climate change, most people’s next thought is “What can I do to turn this situation around?” Engaging with others as a group to create change at the local, state and federal government level is one path. That’s where MN350 comes in.
But taking personal action to minimize climate change is also essential. While it’s true that one person’s actions don’t add up to much – hundreds and thousands and millions of people’s personal actions may turn the tide. When you take personal action, and you model that in front of family, and talk about it with friends, you get the ball rolling that changes community norms.
Taking personal action is also energizing. Your everyday actions create the positive future you’d like to see for yourself and your children.
Where to Begin?
Fossil fuels are intertwined with almost every activity of modern life. Pick an area of interest to you, or an action that you think will be easy, and start there. Work on creating new habits. And don’t beat yourself up if or when you fail! A negative attitude ensures you won’t make a lasting change. PROGRESS not PERFECTION should be your goal.
- Transportation: Do you drive a car to work everyday? Consider taking the bus one or two days a week. Call your company HR department and see if they facilitate employee carpooling? Or sign up for a ridesharing match through Metro Transit.
- Food: It may surprise you to learn that one of the most impactful changes you can make is your diet. The production of meat – particularly beef and pork – is especially hard on the environment, resulting in massive deforestation and pollution. Consider going meatless one or two days a week. Check out Angie Wyatt’s tips on the MN350 blog [add link to mn350 blog] about how you can successfully switch to a plant-based diet. If you will still be eating meat, buy direct from a farmer who grazes cattle in a pasture or a smaller hog operation.
- Household: Natural gas for heating, electricity for lighting, appliances and cooling – your house is one of the easiest places to start making lifestyle changes. Begin with a home energy audit, often provided at a fairly low cost by your power company. The audit will give you a list of actions you can take to weatherize your house and reduce your energy use. Start small, with low-cost tasks like caulking around windows and weatherstripping doors. Switch your lights to LEDs, a few at a time. Move on to insulating attics and crawl spaces.
Take a look at the Action Resources page for organizations in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota that can help you take action.