This year’s earth day celebrations look a little different from what many of us had in mind. With the spread of COVID 19 affecting all of us across the world, we are celebrating from the safety of our houses and staying indoors. This year’s theme is “Climate Action” – but how can we take “action” from home?
Well, strangely enough, the whole world has been taking action on the climate by doing nothing. Due to movement restrictions and other COVID 19 precautions, satellite maps have shown drop-offs in air pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, one of the main gases emitted by road traffic and other forms of fossil fuel combustion. The TROPOspheric Monitoring instrument, a European Space Agency Satellite, has found that air quality is getting better in many places around the globe.
Of course, we would never make light of the situation at hand, but it’s worth a reminder that even when stuck at home we’re still powerful actors in tacking climate action. If you’re feeling anxious, ineffective, or uninspired, you’re not alone. Here are some incredibly effective actions you can take this earth day, all without leaving home!
1) Put Your Money Where Your Values Are!
A great way to take action in your own household is to look at the bank you’re currently using, ask around and see if they invest in fossil fuels. Banks invest our savings and pay us interest in return, so choosing one who invests in renewables and other environmental projects (rather than funding fossil fuels) can have an incredible impact. This is a great solution as it doesn’t require you to spend any money, just simply move your savings and you’re helping to fund a greener future. Check out the links below for a list of banks and credit unions in Canada, USA, and Australia that are divested from fossil fuels. This organization even created “leaving letter” templates to send to your bank letting them know why you’re moving your money.
- Divested Banks and Credit Unions in Australia
- Divested Banks and Credit Unions in the USA
2) Some of the best Climate Actions are free! Lend Your Voice
Voicing your opinions and concerns to decision-makers is one of the most powerful climate actions you can take, period. You can take this action by writing a letter to your local representative (ie: MP or congressperson), or your Prime Minister or President. In terms of the content of the letter, this depends on what you feel most passionate about. However, we would suggest researching the United Nations Climate Change recommendations and the steps that are needed according to the Paris Agreement.
As an example, you could write a letter to your MP about anything from the need for more bike lanes in your neighborhood to the need for your country or region to transition to clean energy. Are you concerned about the environmental practices of a business overseas? Let them know that you care and convince them why they should as well.
Some other tips:
- Research their position on climate change action, check out their website, their parties’ position, and any social media they use.
- Let people in your network know that you wrote a letter about this issue and ask them to as well! You can share your letter or outline to make it easier for them.
Here’s a great template that you can use for your letter.
3) Call your friends and family to action: start a conversation around climate change
Now is a great time to use social media to spread the word about climate action. With everyone at home, people are paying a lot of attention to their social media these days - think about using your platform to engage friends and family!
You can be creative and have fun with it! Do an Instagram live where you talk about why you’re so passionate about climate action, or share an image of your favorite spot in nature and engage your followers in the comments with tips on how to become climate-conscious. If you’re looking for a new passion project during your time at home, how about starting your own blog on how to fight climate change? Send friends and family the link so they can keep up with your blog entries.
Remember, “likes” and “comments” aren’t the goal, climate action is! Reaching 5 people who understand and are genuinely interested is far better than a hundred emoji comments.
4) Lend a hand to charities in need
As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve around the world, many charities and nonprofit organizations are being forced to make tough calls on how they will continue paying staff and covering monthly expenses. Without support, many charities will be forced to lay off staff which will, in turn, lessen their ability to make an impact. A great way to ensure the survival of your favorite environmental charity is to donate this earth day. If you’re unable to donate at this time, shoot them an email asking if there is any other way you can show them your support!
A few great environmental charities to consider are:
- Sumatran Orangutan Society
- Environmental Defense
- David Suzuki Foundation
- Rainforest Alliance
- Ocean Conservancy
- Sierra Club
5) Lend a hand to charities in need
The final tip we wanted to share was to sit down with your family, roommates, spouse – whoever you live with and create a climate plan for the future. This could be as simple as a sheet of paper with a few household goals like limiting waste, composting, and carpooling. Maybe you’re looking to make even bigger changes? Why not calculate your own carbon footprint and come up with tangible ways you can reduce and offset your environmental footprint! If you’re interested check out TAMGA’s Eco Calendars which are posted at the beginning of every month. These calendars are great ways to be mindful of your goals and keep track of your progress each month!
We hope these tips get you excited to celebrate Earth Day from home this year! From all of us at TAMGA we hope this Earth Day leaves you inspired and energized to take action for a brighter future!
Other helpful links: