This is a response to 5 Easy Habits That Can Help Change The Earth And Make You Feel Accomplished This Earth Day.
As climate change continues, anxiety surrounding climate change rises as well. According to a study conducted with 10,000 people around the world, aged 16-25, 59% of young adults reported that they were extremely worried about climate change. More than 45% of young adults said their feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning. Let’s be real, climate change isn’t entirely the general population’s fault. Many of the causes of climate change come from industries, including manufacturing, coal, oil, and gas. In many instances, low-income and communities of color are being taken advantage of for production and profits. According to the United Nations, the richest 1% of the global population combined account for more greenhouse gas emissions than the poorest 50% and while this statistic is alarming, you can still make a difference. How can we be a part of the change when there are so many factors that seem out of our control? Here’s how.
1. Advocate for equitable public policies.
Our elected officials have a responsibility to implement policies that protect and reflect the desires of the community. If your desire to protect the environment (hopefully it is, we only have one Earth), advocate for public policies that focus on environmental justice and stand up against those that don’t. Reach out to policymakers and hold them accountable. Vote for officials that have the good of the planet in mind.
2. Encourage public participation and education.
To have a healthy environment, all members of our community have to participate and be educated on the issues. Whether it’s on your Instagram story or campus, spread the word and increase public awareness of the impacts of climate change and environmental injustice. Get educated and have conversations with those around you!
3. Donate and volunteer when you’re able.
Although it doesn’t seem like it, especially when most social media talks about the devastating impacts of climate change, people and organizations are out around the world doing the work to combat climate change. There are climate wins every day, even if they aren't as well known to us. We must support the efforts of organizations like Nature Conservancy, which consists of staff and scientists advancing effective, lasting conservation in more than 70 countries and territories. Whether it’s donating a few dollars to a good cause or dedicating some of your free time to volunteering in the environment over the summer, you can make a difference!
Of course, there are ways that you can individually make a difference through your daily habits and modes of consumption. But it’s important to remember that wide-scale change happens when communities work together. Join an organization on campus that advocates for environmental justice, find a group in your community to volunteer with, and check out the original author’s article to learn about habits you can take on to make a difference!