Average, Easy Ways To Combat Climate Change


The growing threat of climate change is so significant that it’s easy for individuals to feel helpless in the face of such a massive challenge. As daunting a threat as climate change presents, there’s plenty that an individual can do to combat climate change, and those efforts can be even more profound if they’re embraced on a wide scale.

  • Reconsider how you shop for food.  A study from the National Resources Defense Council found that Americans discard as much as 40 percent of the food they buy without eating it.  Similarly, a study by the National Zero Waste Council found that Canadians discard more than two million tons of edible food each year.  According to the nonprofit organization “Project Drawdown,” wasted food is responsible for roughly 8 percent of global emissions.  Individuals can help reduce waste by shopping only for what they need, eating their leftovers or donating them and other excess food to local food banks.
  • Consider a plant-based diet.  Another way food can help combat climate change concerns the choices individuals make when shopping for food or dining out.  According to UCLA Sustainability, reducing consumption of animal-based foods can reduce water use by as much as 50 percent.  In addition, opting for plant-based foods over animal-based foods reduces the need to destroy untouched habitats, including rainforests and marshes, to create feed for livestock.
  • Support comprehensive climate legislation.  The right to vote is a significant weapon in the fight against climate change.  Green America, an organization devoted to creating an environmentally sustainable society, urges individuals to exercise their right to vote and support comprehensive climate policies. If necessary, contact local legislators to voice your support for such policies or your opposition to policies that are maintaining a potentially dangerous status quo.
  • Reconsider how you get around.  According to the National Travel Survey: England 2018, around 60 percent of trips between one and two miles in England are taken by car.  Short trips are just as common in the United States, where estimates from the U.S. Department of Transportation suggest car trips of less than a mile add up to about 10 billion miles a year.  Short journeys like those can be taken on foot or by bicycle and greatly reduce personal carbon emissions.

Despite the sizable threat posed by climate change, ordinary citizens can contribute much to the fight against it.