Combat Climate Change at Home

Updated January 25, 2019
Solar panels on a rooftop with tall brick chimney
With help from the 30 percent tax credit, solar power installations could reach 2 million in the next two years. (Angies List photo)

The truth is, though, that everyone can minimize their carbon footprint.

Because climate change is such a grave and massive concern, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, and like there isn't anything an individual can do to help. Little things, from changing the food in the fridge to unplugging the toaster after breakfast, can really add up.

Switching to Renewable Energy

To many people, switching to renewable energy sources in their homes sounds like a difficult and expensive project. However, it's simpler than most people realize. The first step may be as simple as calling the power company and opting into existing renewable energy programs. There's no need to change over the entire home's power supply, either. Geothermal heating, solar-powered water heaters, and other major appliances and household systems can help you introduce renewable energy alternatives. Households may even make additional money by installing a few solar panels. For every need, every home, and every budget, there's a renewable resource waiting.

Renewable Energy Options for Your Home

How Energy-Sharing Boosts Renewable Energy Efficiency

Four Ways to Switch to Renewable Energy

Understanding Community and Shared Solar

All About Solar Energy

Geothermal Energy Explained

Reducing Your Meat Consumption

What contributes more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere: your car or your burger habit? It may surprise you to learn that the guilty party is actually your lunch. Food production may be the single greatest contributor to environmental damage and climate change. The biggest offender is the meat industry. Cattle and other livestock create tremendous amounts of greenhouse gases, and as the world's population continues to expand, so does the demand for cows, pigs, and chickens. Fortunately, regular consumers can help lessen this demand, thereby making a dramatic impact on the environment by changing how they eat. Organizations like Meatless Monday make it easy to take small steps toward a healthier planet. Simply cutting meat from your diet one day a week makes a significant difference. The more plant-based meals each consumer eats, the greater their impact grows.

How Meatless Monday Combats Climate Change

How Livestock Producers Can Combat Climate Change With Existing Best Practices

The Health Benefits of Meatless Meals

How Eating Less Meat and More Vegetables Helps the Environment

Giving Up Beef Reduces the Carbon Footprint More Than Cars

Environmental Toll of a Meat Diet

Traveling Green

We all know that the vast majority of vehicles create greenhouse gasses. Travel is a major contributor to climate change, and the shifts in global temperatures recorded since the introduction of gasoline-fueled personal vehicles is astonishing. Planes, trains, and automobiles are destroying our world, but they're vital for day-to-day life. The good news is that every household can make changes that add up to big energy, pollution, and even monetary savings. Daily commutes make up a great amount of the carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. To save the planet, consider public transportation. It saves on fuel and often costs commuters less. If nearby public transportation isn't available, there is always carpooling. Ride-sharing reduces the number of cars on the road, cutting down on pollution while also saving the commuters money. In cities with carpool lanes, ride-sharing may even get workers to the office faster. Unfortunately for those who travel frequently for business, the fact is that airplanes are terrible for the environment: They contribute more greenhouse gases per mile per passenger than any other mode of transportation. It may be time to consider trains or old-fashioned road trips when possible.

Air Travel and Climate Change

The Environmental Costs of Commuting

Top Five Benefits of Carpooling

How Ride-Sharing Improves Traffic

What Effect Is Global Aviation Having on the Environment?

Transit's Role in Environmental Sustainability

Using Less Energy

Consumerism is another leading cause of climate change. The average person uses massive amounts of energy and resources without realizing it. Luckily, it's not difficult to learn to be mindful and cut back on energy usage and consumerism. No one wants to pay high energy bills, after all, so what is there to lose? Saving energy begins with simple steps at home. Turning off the lights and shutting down the computer at the end of the day save more than many would expect, for instance. Here are some resources to learn more:

Five Steps to Reduce Your Energy Consumption

How to Reduce Your Energy Consumption Without Sacrifice

20 Things You Can Do to Conserve Energy

55 Ways College Students Can Save Energy

The What, Why, and How of Energy Management

Pushing Your Legislators for Change

One of the most powerful actions individuals can take is to wield their power as a citizen. Lasting, meaningful change requires legislation and support from government entities.  Elected officials represent their constituents. In order to encourage change, voters need to communicate with the leaders they put in office. Writing to and calling legislators to let them know your wishes with regard to climate change law can help impact their decisions.

How to Contact Your Representatives

Keep Up to Date With the Latest Environmental Legislation in the U.K.

How to Find Your House Representative in the U.S.

Sample Letter to a Representative

How to Write a Persuasive Letter

How to Call Your Representative