While we are encountering the impacts of global climate change almost on a daily basis today, there are many things that we can do right now that will dramatically reduce the most severe climate change impacts in the future.
- A global shift to renewable energy
If we are ever to make meaningful progress to reduce climate change, we must cut our use of fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power that do not produce any greenhouse gases.
With the new batteries that can store renewable power for both residential and commercial scales, it will become easier over time to shift away from fossil fuels.
- Reduce our energy use
Making buildings and homes more energy-efficient, choosing more energy-efficient appliances, and choosing fuel-efficient and electric vehicles are just a few of the opportunities to reduce our use of fossil fuels.
- Sustainable agriculture
Agriculture is a large user of fossil fuels, so we must change how we produce our food to methods such as permaculture and biodynamic farming that require little to no inputs, follow principles found in nature, store carbon in the soil, and do not depend upon fossil fuels.
- Localize our food system
Much of our food travels large distances from where it is grown and produced to where we consume it. These “food miles” require a lot of energy (and fossil fuels). By choosing to locally source as much of our food as possible, we dramatically reduce the amount of fossil fuel that is required to bring our food to us.
- Save water
By saving water, we reduce the energy (and fossil fuels) that is required to bring water to us through pipes and other infrastructure.
- Sustainable investments
Many people unknowingly hold financial investments in the fossil fuels industry, which is contributing to climate change and fighting the most significant climate actions.
Check with your financial advisor to determine if you have any fossil fuel investments and switch them to companies that are invested in sustainable energy.
- Carbon sequestration
Not only must we stop putting more carbon and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we must also sequester (store) them.
We must restore natural ecosystems such as forests and native prairies that store carbon in the soil and in biomass, and we must stop our destruction of existing forests, peatlands, and other ecosystems that act as huge stores of carbon.
We must plant as many trees as possible on Earth to sequester our carbon, and we also need to implement sustainable agriculture systems that store carbon in the soil.
- Private sector leadership
Many companies have now become leaders in saving energy, sustainability, and innovation to reduce fossil fuel use, but there are plenty of other companies that still have a long way to go in taking climate leadership.
- Vote with your money
Pledge to support those companies that are actively striving to reduce or eliminate their carbon emissions both in their operations and with their products themselves, and boycott those companies that are standing in the way of necessary change for climate action.
- Recycle and reuse
By reusing and recycling items, we save energy (and the associated fossil fuels) that it would otherwise have taken to produce new items.
- Support climate action policies and candidates
We should be supporting policies and political candidates that will commit to taking action on climate change. Climate change is an issue that we simply cannot afford to delay action on any longer.
- Revolutionize transportation
By improving the fuel-efficiency of vehicles, the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels, and alternative energy vehicles, the transportation industry has a real opportunity to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
For our personal transportation, increasing our use of public transit, car-sharing, walking, and using bicycles to get from place to place reduce fossil fuel use as well.
- Support organizations that are working for climate action and are actively working to restore ecosystems
- Reduce your commute or work from home
By working closer to come or working from home, you would reduce your use of fossil fuels on a daily basis.
- National and local policies
Policies should support tougher carbon emission regulations and efficiency standards for industry, adding subsidies to support renewable energy, and cutting subsidies for fossil fuels. These actions include the building of clean power plants, local government actions, and limiting carbon emissions from power plants.
- Simplify and consume less
By simplifying our lives and by buying less “stuff,” we reduce our use of energy and natural resources, including fossil fuels.