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Individual Solutions to Climate Change - The YEARS Project

Individual Solutions to Climate Change

17 Climate Change Solutions You Can Do Yourself 

  1. It may sound obvious, but powering your home with solar or wind is still one of the best ways to fight climate change. Depending on where you live, you may be able to switch to a power company that provides energy from renewables. Or you can consider getting solar installed on your home. Learn more about getting renewable energy here.
  2. You can fight climate change simply by changing what you eat. You can significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions by eating less meat, choosing local foods when possible and buying food with less packaging. Learn more about cutting down on animal products here.
  3.  Saving water at home is another way to fight climate change. Why? Because the clean water that’s pumped to most homes in North America has been treated, which uses lots of energy. Get more tips on saving water here.
  4.  You can make a sustainable choice every time you need to go somewhere: choose a fuel efficient vehicle when purchasing, take public transportation if it’s available, carpool to work, ride a bicycle or walk when possible. These are all ways to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere and heating our planet.
  5.  There are carbon emissions embedded in all the things we use day-to-day. When you buy fewer new things, you shrink your carbon footprint. Learn more here.
  6. Recycling. Yes, recycling really can help stop climate change! That’s because re-using materials usually uses less energy, and thus creates less pollution, than extracting raw materials. Learn more.
  7. If you own your own home, consider installing a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats learn your routines and adjust your home’s temperature for peak efficiency, saving money on energy bills while decreasing emissions. Learn more about smart thermostats here.
  8. Can changing a lightbulb really have an impact? If every household in the United State switched just ONE regular bulb to a CFL or LED bulb it would be equivalent to removing 1 million cars from the road!
  9. Look for the ENERGY STAR label, which helps consumers identify products that are 10-to-50% more efficient. Categories include appliances, electronics, office equipment and many more. Smart appliances simply use less energy.
  10. Do something called an “energy audit” to save money and energy in your home. You can hire a company (some even perform the audit remotely), but you can do it yourself too!
  11. Want to save on your energy bills? One of the best ways is to insulate your home. According to the Department of Energy, properly sealing off drafts can reduce your bills by 5-30 percent.
  12. Compost food scraps. According to the EPA, about 18 percent of methane pollution comes from food scraps that ended up in landfills. But if those leftovers, peels, cores and cuttings were composted, they would reduce emissions and help protect healthy soil. Learn more about composting here.
  13. See if you qualify for PACE. Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, is a way to finance climate-smart building upgrades, like lighting improvements, solar panels, efficient heating and cooling, and even insulation. Learn more here.
  14. Calculate your carbon footprint with an online carbon calculator. Knowing what activities are your biggest sources of emissions helps you plan how to reduce your footprint. Check out this calculator from The Nature Conservancy to find out what part of your life contributes the most to climate change.
  15. Eliminate your junk mail! Go here to find out how.
  16. Plant trees, to help suck carbon out of the air and stabilize the climate.
  17. Spread the word about Years of Living Dangerously. Tell your friends, family and coworkers to watch too.