INDIVIDUALS

INDIVIDUALS

INDIVIDUALS

Sometimes, like voting, you might wonder how what you do matters. But, like voting, if everyone did what they could, the world’s outcome could be changed. And, curiously it doesn’t even have to be difficult. Turning out lights, eating less meat, conserving water -- all simple and take neither time nor money.

This page is packed with things to do whatever your resources, whether you have five minutes or 5 hours a week, whether you have the ability to reduce plastics in your world, add solar to your home, or organize to create an climate change advisory board in your town.

You might take a peek at the NYT New Year ResolutionsAnd, if you could do with a bit of hope, try this...

19 THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

  • 1 TELL YOUR LAWMAKERS

    The worst impacts can still be avoided if we compel local and national leaders to step up and lead the fight against climate change. Call on your officials today.

    NRDC
  • 2 REDUCE FOOD WASTE

    40 percent of edible food is thrown away by retailers and households in the US. Buy less, reheat and reuse, store properly, compost, donate.

    52 Climate Actions
  • 3 TIME TO BUY AN ELECTRIC CAR

    In addition to lowering your carbon footprint, electric vehicles are more affordable to run, have lower maintenance costs, and tax incentives can reduce the purchase price.

    My EV
  • 4 STOP EATING RED MEAT

    Keeping everything else (chicken, dairy, pork) we could achieve between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet the 2020 greenhouse gas emission goals. Yikes. We can do that!

    Climate Crocks
  • 5 TURN YOUR YARD INTO A CARBON SPONGE

    Give your yard a climate makeover and convert it into a carbon sponge. Get Rid of the Gas Guzzlers, and focus Instead on Native Plants and creating a Bird Friendly Habitat.

    Audobon
  • 6 10 WAYS TO REDUCE WATER USAGE

    From turning off your tap, running your dishwasher to harvesting rainwater from your roof.

    Water Conservation
  • 7 COMPOST

    Enhance the soil, protect the climate, and reduce waste.

    The Institute for Local Self-Reliance
  • 8 NO MORE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES!

    Every day 66 million bottles end up in landfills, or, more likely, as land or ocean litter.

    Rainforest Alliance
  • 9 TURN OFF YOUR ELECTRONICS!

    Many appliances use just as much power when off. Washing machines with digital displays, smart TVs, toasters and computers are all drawing power. A coffee maker can use as much in a day as someone in Niger uses in a year.

    New York Times
  • 10 RIDE A BIKE

    A bicycle doesn’t burn gasoline, creates less fossil fuel pollution, and is more cost efficient.

    Mother Nature Network
  • 11 TURN DOWN THE HEAT

    Every degree reduces your energy use by 3-5%. Add a
    sweater, a blanket or a nice cup of hot chocolate.

    ECOSYSTEMS
  • 12 SAVE BY USING LEDS

    Switch out your light bulbs, and reduce your electricity by more than 80%.

    The New York Times
  • 13 REDUCE THE CLIMATE IMPACT OF YOUR HOME

    From getting an energy audit to setting your water heater at 120 degrees to installing a programmable thermostat, here are simple cost saving solutions.

    Huffington Post
  • 14 WASH IN COLD

    Washing your clothes in cold water uses 15X less energy than
    hot and gets clothes just as clean.

    Climate Change Connection The New York Times
  • 15 INSTALL SOLAR

    A typical two-person household reduces their carbon emissions by three to four tons annually with a solar power system.

    Solar energy world
  • 16 REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE

    What you can do at school, at home, at work, and in the community.

    EPA
  • 17 TURN ON THE FANS

    The average air conditioning unit in American homes releases
    about two tons of carbon dioxide each year.

    The Takeaway New York Public Radio
  • 18 PICK A CAUSE

    Understanding and adapting to climate change is a massive, interdisciplinary undertaking and the sites listed here have lots of information from every possible angle.

    environmentalsciencedegree
  • 19 CANCEL JUNK MAIL

    What you can do at school, at home, at work, and in the community.

    EPA

KEY RESOURCES

TAKE A STEP

01/13/22
Count Us In is building the world’s largest community of people and organizations taking practical action on climate change.

54 Great Sources for Climate Change News

01/06/21
Individuals can empower themselves with information about what is happening, what is being done by key stakeholders and how they can contribute to climate change mitigation at the individual level.

The Opportunity In Climate Science Education: Jobs And More Jobs

08/27/20
As we continue to move away from fossil fuels toward 100 percent renewable energy, we’ve seen some trends emerge, particularly regarding the jobs that will support the new clean economy.

50 Ways to Help the Planet – Save Our Environment and Planet Earth

07/03/20
Saving the planet sounds huge doesn’t it? And in essence, it is. But there are many simple ways you can do your bit to help. Check out this list of fifty easy ways to go…

Your Personal Action Guide for the Environment

04/22/20
Solving our biggest environmental problems will require huge changes in policy and business practice. But it turns out that our personal actions can help too, if we focus on the right things. Here are some…

50 simple ways to make your life greener

03/10/20
Expert tips on how to be kinder to the planet – from cooking and cleaning to fashion and finance.

Calculate your solar panel savings

02/22/20
Use this solar panel calculator to quickly estimate your solar potential and savings by address. Estimates are based on your roof, electricity bill, and actual offers in your area.

Consumer Resources to Support Sustainable Seafood from the Seafood Watch Program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

02/13/20
What You Can Do: The easiest and most important thing you can do is ask the question: "Do you serve sustainable seafood?" Let your favorite businesses know that ocean-friendly seafood's on your shopping list.

45 Sustainability Resources You Need to Know

08/22/19
There is hardly any aspect of modern life that isn’t affected by the current problems facing the environment. As we learn more about how human behavior is harming the planet, we’re creating new ways to…
UN

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

05/23/19
Every human on earth—even the most indifferent, laziest person among us—is part of the solution. Fortunately, there are some super easy things we can adopt into our routines that, if we all do it, will…

8 Things You Can Do to Care for the Planet

02/24/19
2/24/19 It's simpler than you think.

Find a local group to join or start one

02/20/19
Local and national citizen-led climate activist groups have sprung up in communities around the world to organize for 350 days of action. Find out about campaigns, projects, and local groups here.

16 ways to reduce plastic waste

02/20/19
7/29/15 It can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to degrade. Here are 16 great ways to dramatically decrease the amount of plastic trash you make.

Write your politicians here

02/20/19
The EDF provides a list of forms on a range of climate issues and will get your message where it needs to go.

MORE WAYS TO TAKE ACTION

Protect the Planet: Stop Streaming Songs

04/22/22
Before you hit play on a new song, think about how many times you might listen to it. Believe it or not, this decision can have a small, but real impact on climate change —…

6 Tips To Get Your Kids to Recycle

02/24/22
We’ve recycled in my household for years, so it was only natural that my daughter, Sofie, was exposed to the concept early on. With early exposure, recycling becomes as habitual as putting garbage in the…

10 steps you can take to lower your carbon footprint

02/22/22
Here’s the thing: Small changes alone won’t save our planet. To keep the Earth from warming above the critical 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) limit, climate action needs to happen at an institutional level.…

Veganuary is a tough sell

01/09/22
Veganuary, a campaign that started in the U.K. to get people to give up meat and dairy for the month, is in its third year in the U.S., where it's catching on slowly.

How to Save the World: Everything You Need to Know About Climate Activism

11/22/21
Climate activism is what happens when people from all over the world come together to put pressure on national and business leaders to take action to safeguard a liveable future. Solving the climate crisis requires…

Lower your energy consumption

10/27/21
A couple of months ago, the International Panel on Climate Change published their last report. It was awful. Carbon and methane emissions are killing everything. Not only us humans, literally, with all those fumes from…

BBC Climate Change Quiz Asks: How Can You Cut Your Carbon Emissions?

10/27/21
BBC News recently ran a post titled, "Climate change quiz: How can you cut your carbon emissions?" In it, the quizmasters ask "how can you play your part at home, and what changes would have…

A climate disaster will likely affect you one day. Here’s how to prepare

10/13/21
People who never considered themselves at risk from climate change are waking up to floods and fires. From June 2021 to August 2021, 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster. Preparing for the next…

The Impact of Eating Habits on Sustainability: Going Green in the Kitchen and Beyond

10/11/21
As our planet faces the challenges of climate change, population growth, and dwindling natural resources, many people are looking for ways to take small steps to make a big difference. This can mean familiar measures…

The 5 roles you may have to affect climate change

09/30/21
We are often encouraged as individuals to reduce our personal impact on the climate, but the truth is some people’s actions have greater effect than others. The super-rich “polluter elite” immediately come to mind. But…

DONATE YOUR VEHICLE TODAY

09/08/21
We make it easy for you to donate your vehicle. Whether it's running or not, your car, truck, boat, RV, or motorcycle will support the Sierra Club Foundation. Give Today.

Meat Free Monday The easiest way to help save the world

08/16/21
Having at least one plant-based day a week is a fun and easy way to do something good for the planet and our future.

10 Ways to Help the Environment in Everyday Life

08/11/21
In case you missed it – our planet isn’t really doing great. And, finding effective ways to help the environment should top our priorities. That is if we must save ourselves, and generations to come.

Volts podcast: Saul Griffith and Arch Rao on electrifying your house

06/28/21
Those of you who have been reading or listening to Volts for a while know that I am fairly obsessed with clean electrification, which involves shifting all the things we do now with fossil fuels…

We’re helping you go solar with confidence!

06/17/21
Environment America and Energy Sage are partnering to help you shift to renewable energy and lower your electric bill. Environment America advocates for policies that protect the places we love and the environmental values we…

Home appliance manufacturers can help address the climate crisis

06/14/21
How one company is taking responsibility for energy expenditures over the entire life cycle of its products

Getting Started With Carbon Offsets

06/14/21
You do your best to live lightly on the planet, but some greenhouse gas emissions are inevitable. When you have already become as energy-efficient as you can, and the energy you use is as sustainable…

Tips: How to weatherize your home

06/02/21
A few simple yet effective weatherization strategies will boost your home’s comfort and efficiency, as well as help you save on energy bills. Here’s how to safeguard your home and your wallet from the weather,…

How to Decarbonize the American Household

05/06/21
Rewiring America is an organization dedicated to decarbonizing the economy by electrifying everything.  They have recently published a report “No Place Like Home: Fighting Climate Change (and Saving Money) by Electrifying America’s Households” by Saul…

This is a Test: What Matters More, Personal Responsibility or Collective Action?

05/05/21
It is a question we have been debating on Treehugger forever: does personal responsibility matter in the fight against climate change? Or is it all a ruse, a plot by Big Oil, to divert us…

52 Climate Actions That Can Change Behavior

05/05/21
The question of whether personal lifestyle changes make a difference, when 100 companies are emitting 71% of carbon emissions, has long been a subject of debate on Treehugger and elsewhere. My colleague Sami Grover writes…

How to prepare your coastal property for sea-level rise and weather extremes

04/22/21
People who live along the Atlantic seaboard are accustomed to dealing with environmental extremes: salt spray that can kill just about anything green; relentless wind that whips vegetation into Leaning Tower of Pisa shapes; sand,…

30 Ways to Live More Sustainably—and Fight Climate Change in the Process

04/22/21
In 2019, youth-led protests calling attention to the worsening climate crisis spread across much of the United States and several parts of the world from the Philippines to Uganda. That same year, the United Nations…

5 Effortless Ways to Save Energy at Home

04/19/21
In this edition of Small Acts, Big Impact, learn smart tips to reduce your energy usage around the house.

The Climate Diet: 50 Simple Ways to Trim Your Carbon Footprint (2021)

04/13/21
We all understand just how dire the circumstances facing our planet are and that we all need to do our part to stem the tide of climate change. When we look in the mirror, we…

One billion machines

02/26/21
Greetings! We’ve gone dark for a few weeks here at RA because, as with the rest of the world, our attention has been fixated on Washington. Since the New Year, we’ve been busy presenting our…

How to stop your house’s expensive drafts — and save the planet

01/28/21
As a reporter covering climate solutions, I receive one query more than any other: “What’s the best thing for me to do to protect the planet?” The annoyingly squishy answer is: It depends. Politicians can…

Turning $500 into $5000 — ethically

12/15/20
Ethical investing is not boring. Conversely, it’s fast becoming a popular way to achieve market-beating returns as new and innovative companies launch products and services that make the world a better place.

How to reduce waste at home and repair household items

10/28/20
It all started when her toaster broke. And her desk lamp. And her vacuum. Sandra Goldmark, a theatre set designer and university professor in New York, was on maternity leave in 2013 and found the…

Register Yourself and Others to Vote

04/24/20
More people participating in democracy makes for a stronger country and builds greater accountability with our elected officials.

Fertilizing a garden entirely for free

02/25/20
At our house we have a goal to produce 80% of our fruit, veggies, meat and dairy within five years of moving onto our land. We only eat a little meat and dairy, but we…

Why Planting a Bee Garden Is Good for Pollinators, Good for the Planet, and Good for You!

01/18/20
As the climate of the Earth changes, bees and pollinators are under increasing threats from urbanization and development, heavy chemical and neonicotinoid pesticide use, and shifting weather patterns that create increased temperatures, droughts, fires, floods…

Eat Ugly Fruit

10/24/19
Most ugly, misshapen produce doesn’t sell and is thrown away. If food waste were a country, it’d be the world’s third largest carbon polluter!

Build a zero energy home & power a zero energy car

10/22/19
My wife and I built a zero energy home in 2015. The energy model we conducted as part of that process said that we would need to generate about 6200 kWhs per year to provide…

How to Fight the Climate Crisis at Home: Small Tips for Making Big Change

08/01/19
This article is not just about finding little ways to reduce your impact — rather, it’s about ways to stop climate change from your home.

Plant a tree

07/24/19
Restoring forests could help put a brake on global warming. Get recommendations from the Tree Wizards and figure out which tree to plant.

ETSY

05/15/19
Wear your support! Find here a large collection of buttons, tees, and totes supporting earth and sustainability by local designers and artists.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND

05/14/19
Write your politicians here The EDF provides a list of forms on a range of climate issues and will get your message where it needs to go.

Eat less beef or ruminants, don’t overeat and don’t waste food

04/30/19
4/30/19 ...is what Diego Rose, a professor of nutrition at Tulane University, advises. 1/5 of Americans eat too much beef and diary. Americans throw out 1/5 of all the food that they buy.

Reject fast fashion and buy secondhand

04/29/19
1/2/18 Textile production is one of the most polluting industries, producing 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per year, which is more emissions than international flights and maritime shipping.

Shop at Your Local Farmers’ Market

04/29/19
8/4/18 Buying and eating locally lowers food miles, and supports the environment and farmers. Don't forget to bring your own bag! 

America’s Light Bulb Revolution

03/08/19
Solar panels and wind turbines get a lot of attention, but a more inconspicuous instrument is helping to reshape America’s energy economy right now: The humble light bulb. Over the past decade, traditional incandescent bulbs,…

Buy Boxed Water

02/26/19
And, if you give them your email address, they will plant two trees in your name!

Fly less, but if you must, buy carbon offsets

02/20/19
Take one round-trip flight between New York and California, and you’ve generated about 20 percent of the greenhouse gases that your car emits over an entire year. If you do fly, you can buy offsets…

Send a letter to your public officials urging them to take bold climate action

02/20/19
Call on your members of Congress, governor, and state lawmakers to take bold and urgent climate action in response to the IPCC report

Help save vital methane regulations that protect our health and climate

02/20/19
Submit an official comment urging the EPA to stop Trump from gutting the landmark Clean Power Plan, which would reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent if left in place.

Speak out in defense of the landmark Clean Power Plan

02/20/19
Submit an official comment urging the EPA to stop Trump from gutting the landmark Clean Power Plan, which would reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent if left in place.

Take a stand for lifesaving clean car standards

02/20/19
Send an official comment to the EPA, urging the agency to reject Trump’s proposal to roll back lifesaving clean car standards, critical safeguards which would reduce billions of tons of carbon pollution from the atmosphere…

Protect our ocean coral reefs

02/20/19
Here’s a few things we can do to improve the condition of our ocean reefs: reduce the use of lawn and garden chemicals (and do not dump any chemicals in storm drains), choose sustainable seafood,…

Fix your thermostat habits

02/20/19
Look over these helpful do’s and don’ts to make sure you’re not wasting money and energy on heating and cooling.