Posted on January 9, 2019
Tuesday Tip: Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions to Help Fight Climate Change
Happy New Year and welcome to 2019! Here at CREDO, we’re looking ahead to what we can do to make positive change for our communities, our environment, and our world.
To get you off on the right foot, here are seven simple, yet powerful New Year’s resolutions you can make to improve our planet, starting today.
Climate change is no longer an abstract threat. Experts are now predicting a full-blown climate crisis within the next few decades unless we take immediate action to reverse our carbon emissions. And we’re seeing devastating impacts already in the form of wildfires, droughts, extreme heat and superstorms.
You can do a lot by driving less. Cars and trucks are responsible for around one-fifth of all emissions in the United States, coughing out an average of 24 pounds of CO2 and other global-warming gases for every gallon of fuel they burn. So this year, resolve to take public transit, carpool or ride a bike. If you like to cycle, read our post on how to start biking to work.
Volunteer one day a month
It’s not your imagination. Everyone really does have less time these days. And that leaves fewer hours for self-fulfilling activities like volunteering. But if you can make the time, you’ll be glad you did. Volunteers don’t just contribute to their communities, they enjoy numerous personal benefits.
You can volunteer at a local school or shelter, take part in a park or beach cleanup (find one here) or sign up to be a docent at the museum or zoo. To find a volunteer opportunity near you, check out VolunteerMatch or United Way.
Take grassroots action
As anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Sign a petition, call a decision-maker, send a letter. A good place to start is CREDO Action. You can even pressure Congress to support a Green New Deal (click here to sign the petition).
You surely know that plastic is choking our environment. But you may not know how bad the problem is. Here’s how bad: By the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. This is a significant contributor to the threat of marine species collapse, which could come as soon as the year 2048. That’s bad.
You can help by resolving not to buy products packaged in plastic whenever you can. Take your own canvas tote to the store. Bring a mug to the cafe. Don’t use straws. Participate in Plastic Free July.
A personal-health note on plastic: you probably have microplastics in your body, and this is almost certainly not good for you. Exposure to plastics has been linked to cancer, birth defects, lowered immunity, endocrine disruption, and other health problems. One way to avoid plastic is to get a non-plastic water bottle. Read our post on alternatives.
Eat less (or no) meat
There are a lot of good reasons to eat less meat. You’ll make a major contribution to the health of our planet. Animal agriculture uses 56 percent of the water in the United States – the production of a single hamburger requires 660 gallons of water, which is enough for two months of showers. Livestock and their byproducts are responsible for over half of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, more than all forms of transportation combined.
Reduce your waste
Our planet has a huge garbage problem. People now produce more than 2 billion tons of waste each year, most of which is buried, burned or dumped in the ocean. The average American tosses out three and a half pounds of the stuff every day. An astonishing 99 percent of everything we buy ends up in the trash within six months.
To help, you can resolve to reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose and refuse to buy products that harm the environment. It actually does work. Sweden, for example, recycles almost 100 percent of its household waste and now imports waste to keep its recycling plants in operation.
Read our post on four easy ways you can reduce your own household waste.
Switch your phone service to CREDO Mobile and your home electricity to CREDO Energy. You’ll power progressive change in the world just by doing what you do every day of the year because we donate to environmental organizations who are fighting the climate crisis every day. Take a look at who we fund and vote for the organizations we should fund this month.