Individuals

INDIVIDUALS

INDIVIDUALS

Sometimes, like voting, you might wonder think about the value of individual actions. How can one person’s vote make a difference. But, if, like voting, everyone voted for the right thing, the sheer weight of those individual votes could change the world. And, curiously, with climate change, it doesn’t even have to be difficult. Turning out lights, eating less meat, conserving water , walking or biking instead of driving-- all simple and take neither time nor money. Not even inconvenient.

This section is packed with valuable 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 a climate change advisory board in your town.

Just a few other places on the website for some deeper dives, after you have made your NYT New Year Resolutions!

  • If it is time to think about purchasing an EV there is a major CARS section
  • If it is time to shift to heat pumps and away from fossil fuels, you might find what you are looking for in the HEATING AND COOLING section.
  • If it is time to replace your gas stove with an induction stove, you might find what you need in the KITCHENSsection.
  • And, If you need to learn about the rebates, incentives  and tax credits available to support a shift away from fossil fuels, run, do not walk, to CCR’s THE INFLATION REDUCTION ACT page. The Biden administration has made a staggering amount of money available to support this shift,

And, if you could do with a bit of hope, try this

And, if you have patience for a quiz, researchers at Columbia University have created a survey to find out which actions you think are most effective: How well do YOU know what is better for the environment? Only 3 minutes! And, no-one will ask you to donate at the end!  Take the quiz here !

20 THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

  • 1 NO MORE PLASTICS

    100 Steps to a plastic-free life. From carrying reusable shopping bags, coffee containers, utensils, water bottles & straws to saying NO to convenience…

    My Plastic-free Life
  • 2 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
  • 3 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
  • 4 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
  • 5 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
  • 6 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
  • 7 100+ WATER-SAVING TIPS

    Saving water is easy. Really easy. Here are more than 100 useful water-saving tips for your home and office. Learn how to save water indoors and outdoors. Incorporate these tips into your everyday habits. Before long, you’ll be a natural at water conservation.

    Water Use It Wisely
  • 8 COMPOST

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

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

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

    Rainforest Alliance
  • 10 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
  • 11 RIDE A BIKE

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

    Mother Nature Network
  • 12 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
  • 13 SAVE BY USING LEDS

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

    The New York Times
  • 14 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
  • 15 WASH IN COLD

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

    Climate Change Connection
  • 16 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
  • 17 REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE

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

    EPA
  • 18 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
  • 19 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.

    Environmental Science Degree
  • 20 CANCEL JUNK MAIL

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

    EPA
  • 21 ELECTRIFY EVERYTHING

    Starting with a heat pump
    To replace your HVAC and your hot water heater

    REWIRING AMERICA

CURRENT NEWS

What’s the best climate action you can take? You tell me.

By Jonathan Foley 05/15/24
It’s a fair and important question. After all, Project Drawdown and RARE, among others, have shown that about one-third of the solutions needed to stop climate change are best implemented at the household or family…

What are the most powerful climate actions you can take? The expert view

By Damian Carrington 05/09/24
Many people, faced with the worsening impacts of the climate emergency, want to know what they can do personally to fight global heating. The Guardian asked hundreds of the world’s top climate scientists for their…

The best eco-friendly home improvements you can do for less than $100

By Michael J. Coren 03/12/24
What if you only had $100 to invest in a cheaper, cleaner home? Or $10? Or even just $1? The conversation about cutting your emissions is often about big-ticket items: stoves, furnaces, cars and other…

Climbing icon and philanthropist Alex Honnold talks energy access and solar power

By Alex Honnold 02/27/24
Legendary climber turned solar energy advocate Alex Honnold speaks with Canary Media’s Maria Virginia Olano about the Honnold Foundation and his passion for environmental advocacy and energy equity. He also explains how his climbing values…

The power of climate-focused investing

By Ellen Dorsey 02/23/24
The Feb. 21 editorial, “Investor climate activism isn’t working,” claimed that the divest-invest movement “has proved irrelevant or even counterproductive.” That’s dismissive of the thousands of students, teachers, doctors, mayors, union workers, faith leaders, pension…

National Archives closes after climate change protesters dump red powder on U.S. Constitution

By Katherine Itoh 02/15/24
The National Archives rotunda and galleries in Washington, D.C., closed to the public early on Wednesday afternoon after two apparent climate change protesters dumped red powder on the case holding the U.S. Constitution.

These States Are Basically Begging You to Get a Heat Pump

By Matt Simon 02/07/24
Death is coming for the old-school gas furnace—and its killer is the humble heat pump. They’re already outselling gas furnaces in the US, and now a coalition of states has signed an agreement to supercharge…

These Are the Climate Grannies. They’ll Do Whatever It Takes to Protect Their Grandchildren

By Jessica Kutz 02/03/24
Hazel Chandler was at home taking care of her son when she began flipping through a document that detailed how burning fossil fuels would soon jeopardize the planet.

Should climate change keep you from having kids?

By Daisy Simmons 02/02/24
“Aparticular sort of demographic thing was going on for us both — you know, the finger-wagging around children,” says Meghan Elizabeth Kallman, remembering the period of her life when she met Josephine Ferorelli at a…

How to convert your home into a small power plant, and make your money back doing it

By Alexa Coultoff 01/30/24
Mathew Tuttelman decided he was never going to pay a utility bill again — no gas, oil, or outside electricity to heat, cool, or power his 3,500-square-foot home. He was going to build a net-zero…

Jane Goodall only wants one thing

By David Gelles 01/23/24
When I caught up with Jane Goodall in 2019, she was calling on consumers and businesses to make responsible choices and protect the natural world.

Hertz selloff could be a good time to buy a cheap used EV

By Joann Muller 01/11/24
Hertz is offloading some 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) from its rental fleet, which means now could be a great time to buy a used EV at a good price.

KEY RESOURCES

We identify inactive environmentalists and transform them into consistent voters to build the power of the environmental movement.

04/25/24
Using every election as an opportunity to change voting behavior, we track our voters’ long-term voting habits to maximize the cumulative impact of our work.

Fighting Climate Change At Home

09/08/23
With fall almost here, it’s a great time to fight climate change at home with energy efficient changes and upgrades.

Carbon Calculating: Understanding Your Airline Travel Impact

02/27/23
Reducing travel for business and family visits is one of the most impactful choices we can make to reduce our climate impact. When we travel, we should make it count, but we can’t do that…

Carbon Calculating: Understanding Your Airline Travel Impact

02/27/23
Reducing travel for business and family visits is one of the most impactful choices we can make to reduce our climate impact. When we travel, we should make it count, but we can’t do that…

NASA, FEMA Release Comprehensive Climate Action Guide

07/09/22
NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have released a guide that provides resources for adapting to and mitigating impacts of climate change. The guide, Building Alliances for Climate Action, includes various perspectives, stories,…

Federal Solar Tax Credit Guide (2022)

05/03/22
Since 2005, the federal government has incentivized homeowners to switch to solar through the solar investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit. Currently, this tax credit lets you claim 26%…

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…

MORE WAYS TO TAKE ACTION

Green Tips for Spring Cleaning

05/10/24
The term spring cleaning should take on new meaning as we all strive to make our homes and communities more environmentally sustainable. Websites from Planet Aid to Eartheasy to One Tree Planted to Bob Vila’s…

Sign up for community solar

02/12/24
Community solar programs let you tap into the benefits of clean energy without the hassle and cost of rooftop panels. With just one simple click, you can cut as much as 15% off your power…

Earth Day: 5 Steps to a Greener Lifestyle

02/09/24
Earth Day is held every year on April 22nd to highlight the importance of protecting our environment. You can celebrate by making an effort to live more sustainably. Here are five steps you can take…

How to prepare your home for extreme cold, and stay warm in a power outage

01/10/24
Winter storms have been battering much of the United States — with blizzard conditions, heavy snow bands and cold temperatures predicted for various parts of the country. During potentially deadly weather, being well-prepared can make…

12 New Year’s Resolutions for Sustainable Living

12/29/23
Climate change often feels like an insurmountable challenge: The whole planet must move away from fossil fuels and rethink how we live, eat and get around. But the path to net zero is not unlike…

The easy way to save up to 20 percent on your heating bill this winter

11/24/23
With temperatures dipping in many parts of the country, people are probably bracing for their utility bills to climb as they crank up the heat in their homes.

The Best and Worst Toilet Paper, Paper Towel, and Facial Tissue Brands

09/19/23
Few people give much thought to how their toilet paper or other tissue products are made. So most of us probably don’t realize that the average American uses more than 50 pounds of tissue paper…

The Climate Action Button

09/05/23
The climate crisis ain’t over. Across the globe, millions of people like you are working for stronger climate action, and we need your help. Click the button above for dozens of easy climate change actions…

What I learned when I tried installing a wind turbine on my house

07/11/23
I want my own wind turbine. I know how much power hides in a light breeze. I’ve seen modest winds send a 350-ton ship across miles of ocean. Small turbines mounted on the boat’s rail,…

How to convert your driveway to a permeable surface

07/07/23
Permeable paving lets water flow through. It not only prevents puddles, it also offers great environmental benefits. In a rainstorm, water instantly washes off regular paving and flows untreated into storm drains. In many communities,…

Civic Engagement for the Environment

04/19/23
“The vast majority of Americans want a greater government response to climate change, but most folks do not speak up as advocates and thus go unheard,” said Evan Raskin, National Campaign Manager & Global Climate…

United States Supermarket Scorecard 2022

04/06/23
EIA scored the biggest U.S. supermarket chains on their actions to reduce emissions of climate super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Each company is scored on actions in three categories of technology adoption, refrigerant management, and policy…

How to turn climate anxiety into action

03/27/23
It's normal to feel anxious or overwhelmed by climate change, says psychologist Renée Lertzman. Can we turn those feelings into something productive? In an affirming talk, Lertzman discusses the emotional effects of climate change and…

Feeling anxious about climate change? Here are 5 tips to manage those feelings

03/20/23
Tens of thousands of Americans are already experiencing the climate crisis. They've lost their homes, their pets and their loved ones.

This Guide Can Help You Save Money and Fight Climate Change

02/01/23
Looking to make your home more energy-efficient, install solar panels or buy an electric car? You may be able to save thousands of dollars on climate-friendly purchases through federal tax credits and rebates.

15 Things You Can Do at Home to Help Solve Climate Change

01/20/23
Although it can feel like an impossibly difficult problem, there are a lot of things you can do in and around your home to help solve the climate crisis. According to a report from the…

Checklist: How to take advantage of brand-new clean energy tax credits

01/06/23
Whether you need windows, a furnace, a car, or a rooftop solar system, new tax breaks are available through the Inflation Reduction Act to help you save money and go green. The post Checklist: How…

How to save on winter home heating costs

12/20/22
Winter’s snow and cold temperatures often arrive alongside skyrocketing energy bills. Whether you rent or own your home, there are many ways to save money this winter — from increasing energy efficiency to applying for…

Grow Food Eco-logically

12/20/22
Growing food eco-logically, we repair the ecosystems in our veggie gardens, orchards and fields, reducing the costs of growing food for us and our environment.

Here’s how many times you need to reuse your reusable grocery bags

12/14/22
The battle against the single-use plastic bag may not be won but it’s definitely under way. Restrictions on their use are in place in almost a dozen US states and in many other countries around…

Why you should almost always wash your clothes on cold

11/29/22
In Elena Karpova’s household, the rumbling sound of a clothes dryer has become an unfamiliar noise. “I use the dryer maybe twice, three times a year, just when it’s an emergency,” says Karpova, a professor…

The Future of Climate Activism Is Intergenerational—and on TikTok

09/29/22
When it comes to changing minds, nothing beats an experience. That’s how Sylvia Earle sees it. The scientist has spent years trying to get people to understand the impacts of climate change, and has found…

You — yes, you! — can help the planet. Start in your backyard.

09/06/22
This column will give you some tools to help mitigate the damage we’re causing to the planet. But, first, let’s look at why you — yes, you — should pay attention to this.

Why I’m Changing My Consumption—Even Though Climate Policy Is More Important Than Personal Choice

08/01/22
I’ve been making some lifestyle changes this past year. First I went vegan. I’d been vegetarian for a decade and a half, but I’ve always loved cheese so much that taking that next step seemed…

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

06/15/22
Are you looking to reduce your energy bills? While decreasing the amount of electricity you use each month is an excellent way to save money, it doesn’t address the bigger issue. Believe it or not,…

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.…

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…

How You Can Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Home

09/16/21
Take advantage of the free home energy audits offered by many utilities. Then put the recommendations into practice. Simple measures, such as installing a programmable thermostat to replace your old dial unit or sealing and…

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.

The plastic problem isn’t your fault, but you can be part of the solution

07/13/21
One of the most overwhelming aspects of modern life, in my (Rebecca) opinion, is knowing about major global-impact issues like climate change and plastic waste pollution and feeling like there isn't much that I can…

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.