27 ways to stop climate change
Meaghan Weeden | September 1, 2022 | 5 min read
Here are 27 Ways You Can Help Fight Climate Change
From increased extreme weather events to rising sea levels, extended wildfire seasons, and prolonged droughts that put pressure on food crops and agricultural systems, our climate is changing right before our eyes. And many wonder: will we be able to change quickly enough with it?
The good news is that although there any many challenges to overcome, we’re not alone! As demonstrated by Fridays for the Future and other global movements, millions of people are concerned enough to take direct action by protesting, organizing, and speaking truth to power.
So what can you do today to stop climate change in its tracks and help the climate crisis? Most of us cannot simply go permanently off the grid or become zero-waste ninjas, but there’s still plenty that anyone can do right now to make a difference. And who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire a movement of your own!
Ready to Get Started? Here are the Best Ways you can help Stop Climate Change
1. LEARN HOW TO RECYCLE PROPERLY
We get it: you’ve heard this a million times before, and it’s hard to know what even is recyclable these days. But recycling remains an effective and important way to reduce your carbon footprint. Looking for ways to improve your recycling efforts? Check out our How to Recycle Guide to learn more!
2. Support Women & Educate Girls
Empowered women empower women, and when they have have a voice in things like family size and livelihood, women can play a key role in addressing climate change. Support mentoring programs and participate in initiatives (like microeconomics) that help women start small, sustainable businesses!
3. USE Renewable Energy Sources
It’s no secret that extracting fossil fuels is wrecking our planet, which is why we need to shift to renewable energy sources. But even if you can’t afford to buy a Tesla, there are plenty of ways you can reduce your energy consumption, including signing up for solar panels, finding a green energy provider, and replacing your burned-out florescent lightbulbs with LEDs.
4. Green up Your Commute
Gas-powered vehicles guzzle up fossil fuels, clog highways, and spew out toxic greenhouse gases. That adds up to a TON of pollution (and road rage). So whenever possible, grab your bike, hop on a bus or train, or lace up your walking shoes. The planet — and your waistline — will thank you!
5. Eat Less Meat
There’s no getting around it: eating animals that were factory farmed thousands of miles away is just plain bad — for our health, the planet, our consciences, and our wallets. So try to incorporate more local, plant-based meals into your diet. You might be pleasantly surprised by how delicious vegetables can be!
6. Keep Calm and Plant Trees
Because when it comes to protecting the climate, trees are the real OGs, and planting them has consistently ranked as the #1 climate change solution. That’s because trees help clean the air, stabilize the soil, protect biodiversity, offset carbon, and so much more. When you support a One Tree Planted project, you can rest assured that your trees are being planted the right way.
7. Become a veritable Mr(s). Fix-it
Our wasteful ways are trashing our planet and costing us a lot of money to boot. So the next time you find a hole in your sock or your washer is on the fritz, consider repairing before replacing. Don’t have the skills? Hop on YouTube or ask an elder in your life!
8. Use Less Plastic
But you can recycle it, right? Wrong. Greenpeace recently discovered that most plastic gets baled and shipped to countries with lax environmental protection laws. Until we have a better recycling system in place, it’s best to avoid plastic entirely.
9. Vote Like Your Planet Depends on it
Vote for climate-conscious representatives in every election up and down the ballot. And urge your representatives to commit to setting science-based targets to reduce emissions, implement clear-eyed plans for addressing climate change, and shift to a clean-energy economy.
10. Compost Your Food
We waste a LOT of food for a world that's plagued by food insecurity. Thankfully, anyone can compost their waste at home. It’s simple, effective, and packs a powerful nutritional punch for our plants. Get our free compost guide or learn how to reduce waste at home!
11. Shop More Sustainably
Within the last decade, we’ve seen an upsurge in high-quality and increasingly affordable sustainable goods. These companies are passionate about planting trees and sourcing sustainable materials. Small companies can have a big impact on the environment and you can support them!
12. Encourage Your Elected Officials to Support a Green Recovery
To restart our economy and fight climate change will require bold action — and what better action than to rebuild our infrastructure with green technology? Read our recent article about the need for a modern day Civilian Conservation Corps to see what that could look like!
13. Be Water-Wise
It can be easy to waste water when it flows freely from the tap, but those that live in water stressed areas — and have to walk miles to get it — know its true worth. You can reduce your water usage by taking shorter showers, not watering your lawn, fixing leaky pipes, and even eating less meat.
14. Divest From Fossil Fuels
Just 100 fossil fuel companies are responsible for 71% of global greenhouse gas emissions, leading many schools and faith groups to divest from fossil fuels. Make sure that your workplace, pension fund, university, or bank doesn’t invest in them — and if they do, start a divestment campaign!
15. Support Youth-Led Movements
When it comes to climate change, young people have the most at stake. Although climate change and the future of our planet is a big and scary problem for young minds, you can reframe the issue and support them in many ways, including: joining in, listening, and offering inspiration!
16. Manage Your Refrigerants
Say what? Traditional air conditioners and refrigerators depend on HFC coolants to operate — and unfortunately, these coolants are 1,000-9,000X more warming to our climate than carbon. So work with your local recycling or waste facility to properly dispose of your old appliances.
17. Clean Up Your Digital Footprint
Every time you use the internet, you release CO2. We aren’t saying you need to go off the grid, but try to bring more mindfulness to your use by cleaning up your email inbox, downloading any videos that you stream frequently, and signing up for a green browser extension like WeHero.
18. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
We’ve already talked about divesting from fossil fuels, but let’s take that one step further and invest in sustainable alternatives. If you can’t get your bank to green up its portfolio, take your money elsewhere: find an ethical bank by searching in this helpful database.
19. GET YOUR HANDS IN THE DIRT
Whether you’re getting your hands dirty and planting trees at one of our community planting events or participating in a different local environmental initiative, volunteering for an environmental organization is a great way to support biodiversity in your area. Bonus: giving back is guaranteed to improve your mood!
20. Get back to your roots
In our busy modern world, it's all too easy to rely on convenience foods like takeaway meals, coffee to go, and frozen dinners. And by all means, keep treating yourself for kicking butt and slaying your goals. But keep in mind that every convenience product comes with a hidden climate cost. Try bringing your own to-go mug to the coffee shop, meal prepping, and more to reduce your impact.
21. WASTE LESS FOOD
The soggy to-go container, the wilting lettuce at the back of the fridge; we're all guilty of it from time to time. And we don't mean to add to your crushing climate guilt, but food waste is a biggie. A few ways to reduce yours include planning out your meals each week, doing an honest assessment of what you'll really eat and purchasing only that, and sharing or freezing leftovers that you can't bring yourself to eat again.
22. BECOME A TREE AMBASSADOR
Making an impact isn't about one person taking one big action, it's about a community of like-minded people coming together and taking small actions every day. If you aren't afraid to get your hands in the dirt to make an impact at work, at home, or at school, consider becoming a One Tree Planted Tree Ambassador!
23. Unplug anything that doesn't need to be plugged in
Personal electronic devices like laptop chargers, speakers, game consoles and printers can unnecessarily suck up energy when they’re plugged in but not in use. To minimize this, simply unplug your electronics or use a smart power strip to easily turn off multiple electronics at once when you're finished using them.
24. Support Urban Forestry Projects
When planted thoughtfully, urban trees can help reduce the urban heat island effect in cities large and small. In addition to improving lives, urban trees can significantly reduce the intensive resources that are required to cool cities on hot days. One Tree Planted conducts quality urban forestry projects in cities around the world.
25. Support Environmental Education
Kids are our future and it's important for them to learn about nature and the environment. If you have a school-aged kid or are an educator, check out our School T.R.E.E.S. Program! It's a robust and totally free program that offers fun and engaging lessons, modules, videos and activities.
26. Make Your Yard (Or Balcony!) a Pollinator Oasis
Support your local environment by planting native, pollinator-friendly flowers and herbs — either in containers on your balcony or directly in the ground in your backyard. Want to take it a step further? Make your own seed balls and distribute them around your local environment!
27. Let Your Voice Be Heard
As an eco-conscious person, you know why climate change matters, but not everyone is as environmentally aware. And we bet there’s someone in your family or social circle that falls into the latter category. So if they’re open to it, let them know why you’re so passionate and invite them to try some of these tips for themselves.