“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
In the chilly waters of the Arctic on September 18th, a group of international activists, crew and journalists participated in a peaceful, but bold protest against Russian oil company Gazprom’s contribution to global climate change. They now sit in a Russian prison possibly facing a 7-year-sentence on hooliganism charges.
Nearly 2 million people around the world have sent petitions to their Russian ambassadors demanding the release of these peaceful peaceful, called the Arctic 30. (Send your message now!) While we want to do everything we can to send these people back to their families and homes, we also must continue a legacy of climate action they furthered along with tar sands activists, Tim DeChristopher and the 40,000 people that traveled to the nation’s capital last winter for the Forward on Climate rally. The Arctic 30 are a prominent link in a chain of action of which you can also be a part.
Of course, we don’t expect people to travel to the Arctic to take climate action. There are small things and big things, but there is always something we can do to support the mission of the Arctic 30 and contribute to the halt of catastrophic climate change.
Thus, we’re embarking on 30 Days of Climate Action for the Arctic 30. And we need you!
I bet there is something you did today to stop climate change. Tell us about it here and read what other people have done as well. Need some ideas? We’ve gathered 30 different ways YOU can be a climate hero.
You don’t need to wait a single moment.
30. Your bike gathering dust? Start riding that sucker or explore public transportation or carpooling options if you tend to drive.
29. Talk to local government officials about plans for renewable energy in your community. Make it clear that you want to pay for clean energy, not new coal plants or natural gas drills.
27. Tell the largest utility in the United States, Duke Energy, to quit coal and invest in renewable energy.
26. Attend an EPA listening session on carbon emissions happening all over the country.
25. Shop locally for your groceries. The selections at bigger grocery retailers typically traveled far across the country meaning a significant carbon footprint.
24. Hold a Hurricane Sandy anniversary event to honor the victims of that devastating superstorm and raise awareness on the need for stronger disaster relief plans.
23. Maryland resident or live nearby? Join the Chesapeake Climate Action Network on their “Clean Energy, not Cove Point” tour protesting natural gas exports out of the Chesapeake Bay.
22. Check your energy usage at home. Unplug devices when not in use, switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and try to watch with cold or warm water instead of hot.
21. Flying leaves a huge carbon footprint. For your next vacation, consider some options that don’t require air travel.
20. Look into establishing or joining a community owned renewable energy project. Boulder, Colorado has a community-owned solar array providing power to residents.
19. Tried and true. RECYCLE. And upcycle. And compost. And turn around and grab those reusable grocery bags, that water bottle or coffee mug. The carbon cost of producing all that disposable paper and plastic is high.
18. Start bugging your utility company. Be vocal about your desire as a paying customer to have cleaner and renewable options.
17. Support green Internet services and call out the dirty ones. Google, Facebook, Apple, Salesforce and Rackspace lead the charge in greening the Internet with Amazon and Microsoft eating their dust. Amazon hosts Netflix, Reddit, Air BnB and Yelp among other popular services.
16. Buy sustainable wood and paper products to protect our ancient forests, a crucial element to stopping global warming. The Forest Stewardship Council logo will tell you whether the products you’re buying are forest-friendly. Stay away from products that use destructive pulp and paper sources.
15. Don’t let oil or gas companies get away with any spills. It’s easy for news of government shutdowns or potential way with Syria to overshadow environmental news including frequent oil or gas spills. If there is a spill in your community, like the one in Arkansas last spring, don’t let it go unnoticed. Write to your local newspaper, organize in your community and hold polluters responsible.
14. Send a message to President Obama to say no to the Keystone Pipeline. It’s up to him now, and he’s got all the evidence he needs to know the pipeline is a bad idea for the United States.
13. Plant a community garden. Not only will a garden provide you and your family with fresh produce and a reason to get outside, green spaces can alleviate the impacts of climate change by cooling urban heat spots.
12. Buy sustainably-sourced seafood products. Industrial fishing depletes several critical species in the ocean that contribute to healthy oceans, a critical factor in mitigating climate change.
11. Establish a local climate action in your community. Talk to your city council and local government about the long term vision and short term goals of your community’s energy plan. Find tips here on how to implement a process to evaluate the city’s current energy usage and plans for improvement.
10. Shop for local and in-season produce. Big agriculture that produces monocrops available all over the country and in every season generates greater waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
9. Support local sustainable businesses. Several restaurants, retail shops, car service businesses and other local companies take the extra step to operate sustainable. Frequent these establishments and tell your friends to as well!
8. Join the Meatless Monday movement! You don’t have to go 100 percent meat free, but we can manage one day a week. Eating even a little less meat can lower your carbon footprint.
7. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper asking everyone in the community to take these action in their own lives and get involved in ways to make your town more sustainable all around.
6. Use an energy calculator to figure our personal impact on the planet.
5. Use vinegar or baking soda instead of harmful chemicals. This not only keeps toxics out of your life, but also eliminates additional plastic packaging.
4. Talk to the organizations in which you’re already involved to lead the way together in sustainable practices. Your church or school could hold fundraisers contribute together for solar installation or your sports team could sponsor a community garden.
3. Stand up for peaceful protest. One of the strongest tools we have as climate activists is civil disobedience against polluting companies and non-responsive governments. Protect that right to protest by defending those who do including the Arctic 30.
2. Get informed and inform others. It’s crucial to know what you’re talking about when it comes to climate change so that you can inform those who may doubt the impacts or cause of climate change. Learn how to effectively talk about climate change and the ways people can make a difference.
1. Spend time in nature. The best way you can remind yourself and others the important of taking climate action is spending time with what you’re trying to save.
Post your climate action now and become a #ClimateDefender!