What you can do at home about the climate crisis, even now

https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/five-ways-take-climate-action-while-stuck-home?utm_source

March 30, 2020 | 6:00 AM

Five Ways to Take Climate Action While Stuck at Home

While we’re all staying in to do our part to fight the spread of the coronavirus, there’s still plenty you can do to advocate for a better, healthier, more sustainable tomorrow.

Here at Climate Reality, we face the same question as everyone else right now: How can you continue with business as usual with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world?

The truth is, we can’t. And we’re not.

But one thing we can do is put this time of necessary isolation to good use. Our challenge now is to carry the gravity of the pandemic with us while continuing our work to solve the climate crisis and create a truly just and healthy future for all.

And that’s what we’re doing.

So if you’re ready to learn more about what’s next for the climate movement – and how you can keep up the good fight at this difficult time – we’re here to help you understand the challenge we face and how together we can still make a difference.

While we’re all staying in to do our part to fight the spread of this virus, there’s still plenty you can do to advocate for better, healthier, more sustainable tomorrow. Below, check out five ways you can be part of the movement for solutions while socially distancing.

The Movement Continues Online

Taking online action, whether through signing a petition, supporting an action, participating in a digital event, or amplifying an organization you trust on social media, can be a powerful way to raise your voice and create change under even normal circumstances. Right now, it’s also the safest way to speak up for our planet.

With that in mind, Earth Day is on the horizon. But this year, to protect the wellness of everyone who wants to celebrate our planet and fight for its future, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day is going digital.

The Future Coalition is organizing three consecutive days of online action, and one of the most exciting virtual events on the agenda is Earth Day Live, a three-day live stream that will take place from April 22-24.

Discover what it’s all about here.

You can also participate in the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by checking out the Earth Day Network Earthrise Map, logging your own digital action, or striking digitally with the Fridays for Future digital movement.

>> Learn more: How Pipelines Fuel Climate Injustice <<

Another powerful digital advocacy event is coming up on June 20.

This global pandemic has further exposed the historic inequities and existing crises of poverty and ecological devastation. That’s why our partners at the Poor People’s Campaign remain on the front lines, demanding action for a moral revival.

They will hold the largest-ever online gathering of poor and impacted people, and people of conscience, on June 20 to demand that the voices of the 140 million poor and low-income people across this nation be heard.

Learn more about the event and how you can participate here.

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You

Contacting your elected officials’ offices gives you the chance to make your voice heard at a critical time. Their staffs track the number of calls they receive on various topics, and most legislators do pay attention to calls from their constituents.

Calls count – and you don’t have to speak directly to your senators or representatives to have a voice. As a former congressional staffer explained, social media posts and letters can help get staffers’ attention, but calls are impossible to ignore.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your call:

1. Be sure to let the staffer you speak with know that you are a constituent. Elected officials are principally interested in the opinions of past and potential future constituents, so let them know where you’re from.

2. Know your facts. Be sure you are up-to-speed on the basic information about the climate crisis, and state your opinion on what your elected leader should do.

3. Be brief and to the point. Aides receive a high volume of phone calls every day, and you can’t help your cause if a conversation becomes far-reaching or your message is diluted.

You can find contact information for your senators here, and your representative here.

Speak Up with Your Wallet

More and more businesses in the US and abroad are embracing sustainable practices as they begin to feel the impacts of the climate crisis where it matters most: their bottom lines.

As wind and solar energy achieve cost competitiveness with fossil fuels and investors wake up to the long-term risks of continuing to power their businesses in ways that impact the environment, addressing the climate crisis has become an economic imperative.

Consequently, many major businesses are embracing renewables in a big way – and they’re finding that there’s an awful lot of green to be made in a clean energy economy. And the best part is, you’re helping them do it every day, and you might not even know it. By supporting businesses that are taking action for the planet, you’re putting your money where your mouth is.

Now, take it a step further. Be purposeful in your purchasing choices.

You likely already research the products and brands you buy for price. But with the extra time you may currently have on your hands, you can also easily look into brands’ business practices too.

When you actively seek out and support companies that have made a real commitment to sustainability and climate-smart practices, you’re not only providing that company with the fuel to keep up their good work, you’re showing other businesses and brands that there is an important (and growing!) consumer base for whom business as usual will not cut it.

“Green” Your Life

Many of us are stuck inside, taking care of ourselves and our families. And sure, there’s a good chance you’re working from home. But there’s also a solid shot you’ve found yourself with a bit more free time on your hands than you’re used to.

Many are reading books. Others are planted firmly in front of their TVs, catching up on familiar favorites. Others still are getting pretty antsy – and they need to do something fast.

Except, you’re not supposed to go anywhere. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do around the house to up your climate game. Haven’t gotten around to installing energy efficient lightbulbs? Now’s as good a time as any. Water-saving shower head sitting in the closet awaiting installation. Get out the toolbox and get to work!

And if you’re looking to get outside while maintaining safe social distance, consider climate-smart gardening. You’d be surprised how much you can do to preserve valuable natural resources, limit your garden’s carbon footprint, and even turn your own backyard into something of a carbon sink – or at the very least be more adaptive to climate impacts in your region.

And if you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. From edible landscaping to learning which plants are drought-tolerant or can handle a little extra rain (and so much more), we’ve long had a keen interest in climate-smart agriculture and the ways farmers and gardeners can do their part to help turn the tide on climate by taking action to fight this crisis.

>> Free download: Soil Health and the Climate Crisis <<

There’s also perhaps no greater time than this particular present to look into the options your utility might have for you to source your energy from renewables.

Listen, we know not everyone can host solar panels on their home for any number of reasons (though, if you think you can, start your journey here). But choosing clean alternatives over energy from coal, oil, and natural gas for your home can be a whole lot easier and cheaper in most places than you might realize. And for many, it starts somewhere you might least expect: your existing utility (no really).

Hundreds of utilities across the US already offer customers the option to choose green power from renewables like wind and solar. The programs may have different names in different places, but they basically work the same way: the utility either generates the power with clean sources or buys renewable energy certificates from other clean energy providers.

Frequently, there’s an additional charge for choosing clean energy in the range of 1 to 2 cents/kWh, which works out to be roughly $10/month for the average home. Not nothing, to be sure. But an affordable option for a lot of families and a practical one for renters.

In many cases, making the switch is just a matter of a few clicks or a few minutes on the phone. For those who are able, seeing what renewable-sourcing options are available to you might just be the perfect thing to set your mind to. And with the renewable energy industry facing many challenges as this pandemic continues, there’s no better time to show your support than now.

(Oh, and one more thing. Be sure to tell your social networks what you’re up to. When you talk, your friends and family listen. Sometimes, the most powerful climate action you can take is simply talking about the crisis and the ways we can fight it and win together.)

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