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Tuesday Tip: Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions to Help Fight Climate Change

Illustration of the Earth with "Fight Climate Change" written around it and 2019 calendar in the background

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.

Drive less

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).

Avoid plastic

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.

Join CREDO

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.

26 Comments on “Tuesday Tip: Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions to Help Fight Climate Change

  1. I’m glad you included avoiding meat in your list. For so long liberals have been in denial about having to change their diets in order to slow climate change. This important action is finally getting some traction. I don’t see how you can be a meat-eating environmentalist. The science is so strong.

  2. Glad that you included avoiding meat in your list since it is such a huge factor in saving the environment. For so long, liberals have been in denial about changing their diets. I don’t see how anyone who considers themselves to be an environmentalist would eat meat.

  3. If everyone sent a simple tweet to Starbucks:
    “3 years is too long for a recyclable/compostable cup. Be a leader.”
    Could add: “Boycott Starbucks!”
    Or just voice concern.
    Tens of thousands of tweets would speed things up! There are enough eco-material cos. now that could design a cup & produce NOW within months for a humongous Starbucks contract!!

  4. I don’t understand how, if I “Switch … your home electricity to CREDO Energy” my carbon footprint changes. Happy New Year.

    • Hello Fred, thanks for asking about CREDO Energy. With CREDO Energy, through our partner, Energy Rewards, you can offset your home’s electricity usage with renewable energy credits. What does that mean exactly? You’ll find the answers here: https://www.credoenergy.com/how

  5. Great advice. I plan to do more of it especially using little plastic.

  6. I’m a hard core carnivore but I try to go meatless (but not dairyless (;-)) two days a week. The hard core vegans don’t approve but if everybody did this I think it would reduce the stress on the planet somewhat.

  7. Dear Indigo (great name by the way), You can help yourself along by leaving unconscious reminders. Whenever I know I’m going shopping, I always leave the reusable bags in the passenger seat where I’m unlikely to forget them and I never carry more than two inside with me, unless I’m entertaining, or have a major holiday coming up. That way I never buy too much.
    I now have an electric car and solar panels, so now I’m concentrating on reducing waste. The only thing I throw out is cat litter.

  8. This is excellent and very much appreciated. I’m really glad you included eating less or no meat as animal agriculture is a huge contributor to global warming and something individuals can do something about. However, I strongly encourage you to include eating less or no dairy as well as that equally contributes to global warming as does meat.

  9. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Educate The People. Represent The People. Study. Find out that just 169 years ago (1850) there were 1 billion human beings all alive on planet Earth at the same time. They were hunters, gatherers, farmers. They used animal power to move cargoes and transport themselves. Then someone made a steam engine that could be harnessed to an ‘energy slave’, a machine. In a short time there were thousands of these energy slaves, and the humans were burning anything, everything that would burn, to heat the water to make the steam.
    Just 75 years later (1925) there were two billion humans all alive on planet Earth at the same time. And each of them burned something, or had something burned on their behalf, every day. There were millions of internal combustion engines, using oil, burning gasoline, burning diesel, burning gas. A mountain range of coal was mined and burned. Great lakes of oil were pumped from beneath the ground and burned. Energy slaves cut down whole forests, and burned them. Humans burned animal dung, animal oils, grass, wood, natural gas. Humans burned things just to get rid of them.
    In just 37 more years (You do the math. 19?2) there were three billion of us, all alive on planet Earth, burning, burning, burning.Drive through the country. See the peoples’ ‘burn piles’? In just 14 more years (19?6) four billion. In just ten more years five billion (19??), In 2019 there are 7+ billion of us. The exponential increases seem to have stopped. AIDS? Carcinogenic pollution? Carcinogenic food additives? War profiteers profiteering? Still burning.
    Even if you want to take man’s burning out of the equation as the ‘Cause’ the disruption of climate due to carbon dioxide and methane holding heat in the greenhouse ‘Effect’ (Scientific Method) is still happening. And because it is not merely ‘change’ but Threatening Change, with a capital T and a capital C, it demands enactment of tactics in a strategy of Adaptive Response to enable survival. Leadership decision-makers in government and commerce don’t seem to possess the two requisite elements, intellect and integrity, to make high-quality decisions for you. That demands that you make more high-quality decisions for yourself in how you ‘lead’ your life. Do what you CAN. Educate The People. Represent The People. Recycle. Reuse. Reduce. And find leadership decision-makers to make high-quality decisions for you.

  10. I only drive an electric car so that doesn’t apply. I already volunteer and am a social activist so I don’t see that applying. The one I can try implementing is to bring my own cup. So thank you!

  11. Not a word about zero emissions Electric Vehicles? Why not? They can be part of the solution!

  12. Another big contributor to climate change is overpopulation. Wait another year or two before having a child or a second one. Limiting the number of kids you have to one or two is also a good idea.

  13. Thank you for these suggestions ! However, I already do all these. Recently I have started educating others on the harm that just idling your car while checking your cell phone causes in terms of increasing the amount of particulates in the atmosphere and burning additional fossil fuels….

    As a cell phone company I would hope you might educate people on this hazard as well, it may seem small, but I observe this behavior daily, even when not during cold weather. We have to seriously consider our choices daily if we are to survive on our planet !

  14. Republican operatives in GOP controlled battleground states are preventing millions of minority voters from voting or from having their votes counted. This must be stopped.

  15. I sincerely thank Credo Mobile for your tremendous effort to involve as many people as possible in progressive action
    through the signing of Petitions and in choosing non profits that are deserving of recognition for their important community programs. Unfortunately I cannot use your communication services because my condo is restricted to service by Hotwire Communications but I admire and am grateful for your goal of civic engagement.

  16. I sincerely thank Credo Mobile for your tremendous effort to involve as many people as possible in progressive action
    through the signing of Petitions and in choosing non profits that are deserving of recognition for their important community programs. Unfortunately I cannot use your communication services because my condo is restricted to service by a designated contractor but I admire and am grateful for your goal of civic engagement!

  17. Love the “ways” suggested. Have another to add. Start a vegetable garden even if it’s only a pot of lettuce or a tomato plant. Or buy local produce at your farmers’ market. If none nearby, organize to start one.

  18. Go for it! Every little bit helps, and spread the word, please. Learn about non-biodegradable microplastic fibers on the websites of Greenpeace, the Plastic Soup Foundation and the Women’s Institute’s ‘End Plastic Soup’. Urge washing-machine manufacturers to install filters for microfibers. Wash less frequently. Use a Guppy Friend bag to launder man-made fabrics. Eighty-five percent of ocean coastal plastic pollution is microplastic fibers. Each garment containing nylon, polyester or acrylic will emit hundreds of thousands to millions of fibers with each laundering.

  19. One tip for keeping bread fresher longer (and thus reducing food waste) that works for me is keeping it in the refrigerator rather than on the counter or shelf or in a breadbox.
    I also keep it in the freezer until I am ready to use it. Hopefully these practices do not negatively impact the nutritional value of the bread.
    Thanks for your good work!

  20. I’m glad you included avoiding meat in your list. For so long liberals have been in denial about having to change their diets in order to slow climate change. This important action is finally getting some traction. I don’t see how you can be a meat-eating environmentalist. The science is so strong.

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