Everyone can help limit climate change. From the way we travel, to the electricity we use and the food we eat, we can make a difference. Start with these ten actions to help tackle the climate crisis.
Save energy at home
Much of our electricity and heat is powered by coal, oil and gas. Use less energy by lowering your heating and cooling, switching to LED light bulbs and energy-efficient electric appliances, washing your laundry with cold water or hanging things to dry instead of using a dryer.
Walk, cycle or take public transport
The world’s roads are clogged with vehicles, most of them burning diesel or petrol. Walking or riding a bike instead of driving will reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and help your health and fitness. For longer distances, consider taking a train or bus. And carpool whenever possible.
Eat more vegetables
Eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and less meat and dairy, can significantly lower your environmental impact. Producing plant-based foods generally results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and requires less energy, land and water.
Consider your travel
Aeroplanes burn large amounts of fossil fuels, producing significant greenhouse gas emissions. That makes taking fewer flights one of the fastest ways to reduce your environmental impact. When you can, meet virtually, take a train or skip that long-distance trip altogether.
Throw away less food
When you throw food away, you’re also wasting the resources and energy that were used to grow, produce, package and transport it. And when food rots in a landfill, it produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. So use what you buy and compost any leftovers.
Reduce, reuse, repair & recycle
Electronics, clothes and other items we buy cause carbon emissions at each point in production, from the extraction of raw materials to manufacturing and transporting goods to market. To protect our climate, buy fewer things, shop second-hand, repair what you can and recycle.
Change your home’s source of energy
Ask your utility company if your home energy comes from oil, coal or gas. If possible, see if you can switch to renewable sources such as wind or solar. Or install solar panels on your roof to generate energy for your home.
Switch to an electric vehicle
If you plan to buy a car, consider going electric, with more and cheaper models coming on the market. Even if they still run on electricity produced from fossil fuels, electric cars help reduce air pollution and cause significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than petrol or diesel-powered vehicles.
Plant native species
If you have a garden or even just a plant or two outside your home, check for native species. Use a plant identification app to help. And then think about replacing non-natives, especially any considered invasive. Plants, animals and insects depend on each other.
Clean up your environment
Humans, animals and plants all suffer from land and water contaminated by improperly discarded garbage. Use what you need, and when you have to throw something out, dispose of it properly. Educate others to do the same, and participate in local clean-ups of parks, rivers, beaches and beyond.
Learn more about all of the above tips at UN.org