Climate Education

Four ways to make 2021 more restorative, just and sustainable

From a global pandemic to the hottest September on record to unrest sparked by discriminatory police brutality, 2020 has been rough for the planet and its people. With just a few months left of this whirlwind of a year, we can hope the next one will be better. But beyond just hope, we can make it better by taking personal actions to aid the world’s restoration.

With six months left until Earth Day 2021, here are a few simple steps to make 2021 something to truly look forward to:


Showing up at the polls is probably the most sweeping way you can contribute to restoring the earth. Voice your concern at the ballot box by electing leaders who will heed the science, strengthen environmental regulations, secure equitable access to resources and competently guide us through the ecological, economic and public health challenges we face. Inform yourself about what’s at stake, register to vote and convince everyone around you to vote for a just, sustainable future. Check out our Vote Earth campaign to learn more!

2. Eat plants, waste nothing

Choosing plant-based foods and keeping calories out of the trash could be the easiest habits to adopt to revive the planet. Our food system generates over 25 percent of total greenhouse emissions. And we throw away over one-third of all food produced, according to the United Nations.

Animal agriculture and food waste are often-ignored drivers of climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss and pollution. Cut out meat, dairy and eggs as much as possible — your body will thank you, too! Avoid grabbing food you might not fully use, and compost your scraps to return nutrients to the soil and divert atmospheric carbon to the ground. Visit our Foodprints for the Future campaign for some tasty tips!

3. Slash plastic use

Given its negative effects on ecosystem and human health, plastic pollution is one of civilization’s thorniest problems. Apart from participating in cleanups and pressuring governments and industries to implement policies that shrink the plastics market, reducing your individual reliance on this material can have a big impact. Opt for reusable or biodegradable containers, utensils and personal care products. Head to our End Plastic Pollution campaign for further details.

4. Repair wildlife habitat

Humanity is accelerating the fastest extinction rates seen in tens of millions of years. The good news is that it’s not too late to prevent hundreds of thousands of species from disappearing forever. Bringing back well-functioning habitats, from forests to grasslands to reefs, is crucial. If you have access to a greenspace, learn about or plant a pollinator garden and native trees. Push for lawmakers and corporations to halt activities damaging critical ecosystems. Explore our Conservation and Biodiversity campaign for additional information and donate to the Canopy Project to revitalize wild spaces.

These are just several of many strategies to navigate the next six months to Earth Day with purpose and optimism for the earth’s revival. What’s important is doing whatever’s in your power, no matter how small it may seem, to foster systemic change and brighter days ahead. 

In the meantime, stay politically active for our environment and fellow citizens, and show your real-world and online connections how to pitch in. Here’s to a more equitable and sustainable 2021!