Pt 1: Take the Climate Action Challenge Every Day
In part one of this two-part blog post, our Heal the Bay team encourages you to take climate action on Earth Day and every day. Check out part two.
We have all been impacted by COVID-19. Thousands have lost their lives and millions more have lost their livelihoods. During these devastating times, something has happened that many thought wasn’t possible: coordinated collective action around the world to defeat a common threat. As we tackle the climate crisis, we want to carry over that same momentum of collective action, while ensuring that health and safety does not come at the cost of frontline communities.
As we continue to band together to save lives through our individual actions across state lines and international borders—physically distancing ourselves and wearing protective gear to slow the spread of COVID-19—we must also make a commitment to take climate action.
Greenhouse gas emissions by humans have thrown Earth’s natural processes off track, causing longer droughts, more intense storms, sea level rise, air pollution, hotter temperatures, devastating fire seasons, and more. Underserved communities bear the brunt of these negative impacts, which are now linked to higher COVID-19 death rates.
Heal the Bay has committed to taking climate action by educating thousands of volunteers about the climate crisis, advocating for climate resilient policies, and engaging in the restoration of our ecosystems (natural climate buffers). Can you make the commitment too? Here is how you can take the climate challenge to lower your carbon footprint and advocate for the systemic changes necessary to tackle the climate crisis.
Take the Climate Challenge
Just as our personal actions during the ongoing COVID-19 response have helped flatten the curve, so too could our individual actions help slow down the onslaught of the climate crisis. However, wider systemic changes are also required to make the sweeping revolution our planet needs. And you have an important role in that transformation, too!
The current pandemic places limitations on what we can do. It is a privilege to have the time, energy, and financial resources to make environmentally conscious choices and take action against climate change. Yet for many communities the decision to take climate action now or later can mean the difference between life and death.
So let’s do our best to get creative and be intentional with our actions and resources. Whether you have money, time, creativity, passion, or something else entirely your own, we all have a unique contribution to make in the fight against climate change. Start by picking one action you can take today to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Use #fightclimatechangefromhome and let us know how you are fighting climate change for Earth Day!
Don’t stop there! Consider the skills, experiences, and resources you have to offer and create a personal list of climate actions. And because every day is Earth Day, take this list with you and do what you can when you can with what you have.
Here are some ideas to get started…
Where We Live
- Pick up trash around your neighborhood
- Ditch single-use plastic and switch to reusables at home
- Remove any hardscape or lawn on your property and replace it with a vegetable garden or drought tolerant native vegetation
- Start or join a community garden
- Sign up for Green Power or install solar panels
- Reduce your energy needs
- Turn off lights, unplug unused electronics, and swap out old lights with LEDs (once the bulbs burn out)
- Bring in a professional to insulate your home, or find simple swaps around the house like adding thick curtains around your windows
- Set your thermostat for maximum energy savings, or regulate temperature without a thermostat by opening/closing windows and using those thick curtains
- Wash clothes in cold water, and hang dry rather than using the dryer
- Decrease your water usage
- Take shorter showers
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes
- Audit your household water footprint
How We Commute
- Telecommute if it is an option
- Choose public transportation
- Walk or skateboard for shorter distances
- Ride a bicycle
- If you must drive
- Invest in a hybrid or electric vehicle
- Use car sharing services with electric vehicles
- Make sure your vehicle is in tip top shape for optimal efficiency (secure gas cap, inflate tires, etc.)
What We Eat
- Consider a plant-based diet
- Start by eating one vegan meal each day
- Eat lower on the food chain
- Reduce food waste
- Eat your leftovers
- “Vote” with your wallet to support regenerative agriculture or community supported agriculture.
- Compost at home
- Support sustainable seafood
- Patron environmentally friendly restaurants and businesses
What We Learn
- Educate yourself, your family, friends, and community
- Join Heal the Bay’s Climate Change Knowledge Drop
- Check out The Nature Conservancy’s Carbon Footprint Calculator to understand your carbon footprint
- Put climate change books in little libraries around your neighborhood
- Start a Heal the Bay club at school
- Follow climate change activists on social media
- Listen to scientists and keep tabs on their latest research
- Empower students and the next generation with tools
- Request a Speaker’s Bureau climate talk for your school or organization
- Sign up for a Suits on the Sand climate event for your business or group
How We Vote
- Vote in local, statewide and national elections!
- Support just and equitable environmental policies in support of:
- Climate resiliency
- A tax on carbon
- The end of fossil fuels
- Regenerative agriculture
- Renewable energy
- A reduction in plastic waste
- Be an advocate
- Attend local City Council meetings and town halls
- Send a letter to your local representatives so they know climate action is important to you
- Participate in public demonstrations and rallies
- Sign petitions
- Give public comments
- Take part in the Census 2020
- Create climate inspired art and share it with the world
- Join existing efforts by Heal the Bay and partner groups to demand climate action now
- Sign Heal the Bay’s petition to hold polluters accountable
- Get involved with STAND-L.A. to Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling
- Advocate for the restoration of Ballona Wetlands
- Become a member of OurWaterLA in support of smart water
- Join Reusable LA and fight plastic pollution
- Participate in the next Fire Drill Friday
- Volunteer with Heal the Bay
We hope you are feeling inspired to take climate action today. Take a deeper look at the climate crisis and see how Heal the Bay is pushing for systemic changes in California.
And while many of our usual activities have been put on hold until the threat of COVID-19 has subsided, we are still here with new virtual presentations, online events, blogs, and much more to help keep you informed and engaged.