How to Act on Climate Change | Earth Day Network

How to Act on Climate Change

A User’s Guide for 2020 and beyond

Take your climate action to the next level.

The scientific evidence is clear and irrefutable — human activity is causing our planet to warm at an alarming rate. International bodies of scientists have warned that we have just over a decade to halve our emissions to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change on our food supply, national security, global health, extreme weather, and more.

There is simply no time to waste, and 2020 is a key turning point for our planet. We need urgent and ambitious action at every level, from heads of state submitting increased national commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change and cities walking the talk, to private sector leaders addressing climate change at every step of the supply chain, finance heads committing to divest from fossil fuels and green their investments and individual citizens using their unique influence to drive change and make an impact.

Everyone has the ability to do something to address our climate challenge, but we can all still do more. What will you do?

What you can do about climate change:

Get informed.
Knowledge is power – learn more about the science behind our climate challenge and the responsibility that all sectors hold in addressing the issue. Add your voice to the issues that are shaping the climate debate as well as emerging, evidence-based data that directly relates to changes in our climate.

Use your power as a citizen scientist — Join the Earth Challenge 2020 and help us reach our goal of one billion data points by Earth Day 2020

Hold yourself accountable.
Take a personal inventory of your own personal impact on the planet – remember, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it! Click here to calculate your carbon footprint – it may surprise you. Consider offsetting carbon emissions by investing in clean and renewable energy projects around the world that support local communities, drive sustainable development, and protect our planet.

Unplug.
Can you use energy more efficiently at home? Unplug items when they aren’t in use, by goods with high energy-efficient standards, and consider making the switch to renewable energy. All of these can help to help reduce your personal impact. Record your Acts of Green here.

Help make an impact – submit your actions and help us to reach a Billion Acts of Green!

Travel smarter.
Transportation is now the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States. No matter where you live, travel by car or airplane contributes heavily to our shared carbon footprint. Take public transit, biking, or walking when possible – it’s good for your health, your wallet, and the planet.

Climate action, one bite at a time.
Your food’s carbon footprint, called its foodprint, is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, harvesting, processing, transporting, cooking, and disposing of the food we eat. Research has revealed the tremendous impact that the mass production of meat, dairy, and eggs has on our planet.

Additionally, food waste is an enormous ‘hidden’ contributor to climate change. In fact, if global food waste were a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the U.S. The carbon footprint of this wasted food is about 3.3 billion tons of CO2. Luckily, there has never been a better time to join efforts to reduce our carbon footprint through food choices. Enjoy more plant-based meals, reduce your food waste altogether, and compost your food scraps. To learn more check out our Foodprints for the Future campaign. Bon appétit!

Shop smarter.
Do you know where your dollar is going? Support companies driven by sustainability and committed to transparency throughout the supply chain. Your power as a consumer can be enormously impactful, so if you’re in the dark or unhappy with a company’s impact on the planet, make your voice known! Shop smarter with thoughtful purchasing to minimize waste, and consider reused and pre-loved items to take part in the circular economy and keep goods out from filling our already overflowing landfills.

Vote Earth
Consider climate issues on local, national and global levels – examine the climate and environmental platforms of your candidates, engage these candidates to understand their ambition, and, ultimately, vote at the ballot box for the candidates with clear, ambitious, and convincing plans to protect our planet.

Get registered, get informed, and Vote Earth 

Organize.
One person can make a difference, but together, we can make a movement. Consider the communities that you are a part of, whether its your neighborhood, your school or PTO, your company or organization, your faith institution or yoga group or football team. Collective action can have a major impact – and major influence – for change. Consider how you can gather support by mobilizing a larger group for action!

Earth Day Network is building Earth’s largest cleanup crew – join us! Join the Great Global Cleanup™

Invest and divest.
If you are lucky enough to have investments or a pension, pledge to separate them from exposure to fossil fuel assets and increase your stake in clean energy companies. Join a movement of millions of individuals from dozens of countries representing trillions in assets who are avoiding the investment risks of climate change and lightening their carbon footprints. And it doesn’t stop at your individual portfolio – ask your university, your company, and your organization how they invest their money. Because when it comes to climate change, money talks.

Show your support.
Show your support for programs and organizations including community and citywide actions that are fighting climate change, and organizations working on the ground to make a difference. Consider EDN’s Reforestation program; our Urban Tree Canopy Project; or our climate change campaign.