Climate Action Month: Goals for a Climate-friendly 2021!

4/22/2021

mixed forest reflected in large pond
Image by Hayden Sloan

 

Spring is a perfect time for Climate Action Month and Earth Day. In the northern hemisphere, Earth  is in its annual process of renewal and rebirth. It is a beautiful moment to appreciate what our global climate provides us. We can take advantage of this time to reflect on the environmental impact of our lives and that of the systems in which we take part. Then again, is there ever a bad time to reflect and plan change?

 

How are you celebrating Climate Action Month? We’ve got some ideas to share, with examples of some concrete goals that you could carry into the rest of 2021 to help maintain the climate that keeps us alive. This year may mark the beginning of a post-pandemic world, with our lives getting back to “normal”, so let’s set some goals to make it a better, climate-friendly normal. Get creative and share your ideas with us, too!

 

The easiest way to participate in Climate Action Month is to find a local event to take direct action, like a community clean-up, donation drive, or climate protest. You can join Race to Zero Waste for our Love Your Neighbor(hood) clean-up and donation campaign at Ocean Beach on May 23rdth.  Goal idea: participate in 3-4 local clean-ups/drives this year.

 

To maintain a stable climate, we all need to reduce our consumption of energy and fossil fuels. You could shut off your lights, a la Earth Hour, and find some old-school entertainment like star-gazing or sharing spooky stories. You could contemplate nature by finding any small plant or insect near you to observe for a while. In addition to the climate benefits of reducing our energy demand and screen time, spending time outdoors is connected to improved health and well-being. Goal idea: Spend 3-5 (more) hours outdoors per week this year. Bonus: winter, too!

 

Reducing our personal consumption plays a role in attaining both local and international goals related to global climate change. Please, continue to strive for a more plant-based diet, shorter showers, less plastic, fewer flights, and all of your heart-felt convictions. Goal idea: Go big on one conviction. Ex: Go from Meatless Mondays to a full month of vegetarian meals; Try a train ride instead of a flight; Challenge yourself to completely avoid plastic for a week; No new clothes or shoes for a year.

 

Unfortunately, industry-level emissions have a much greater impact on climate change than our individual households. Therefore, we need to support and vote for policies that hold these industries accountable. This article from the Union of Concerned Scientists explains how the pressure has been put on the individual to change so that polluting industries can continue to make a profit. Changing our habits can be challenging when options are limited. For this reason, it is important that we who have a voice raise it to address systems, industry, and inequality. Goal idea: vote, protest, and advocate with climate change in mind. Ex: Call or email your representatives to talk about climate change policies that hold polluters responsible.

 

Let’s celebrate the Earth by taking climate change seriously, using our resources judiciously, and taking care of each other. We hope to see you at a Zero Waste Station pop-up soon!

 

Need a refresher on anthropogenic climate change? Check out this summary by the UN.

 

This article was written by R20W Strategic Development Consultant Hayden Sloan.

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