Do what you can with what you have, where you are.
Feeling helpless to do anything about our climate change crisis? Here are three simple ways you can make a difference.
1. Plant a tree. Trees help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere, and storing carbon in their trunks, branches, roots and leaves. A healthy tree can store 13 pounds of carbon each year.
Trees can lower air temperature by blocking sunlight and removing heat from the air when water evaporates from leaf surfaces. The evaporation from a single tree can produce the cooling effect of 10 room size air conditioners working 20 hours a day.
Plant deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home to help cool your house in summer and warm your home in winter. You will save money on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint.
2. Include native plants in your garden. Native plants are vital to preserving biodiversity in an ecosystem because they create an important habitat for birds, insects and other animals. Biodiversity is the variety of living things in an ecosystem. It includes soil organisms, birds, insects, plants and animals.
If you read my blog, Biodiversity Matters, you know ecosystems help regulate climate. And ecosystems depend on biodiversity to flourish. Check Audubon’s native plants database to discover native plants in your area.
3. Buy less. We live in a consumer society that’s trashing the Earth by using excessive resources. Trash in landfills contributes to climate change by releasing methane into the atmosphere as it decomposes.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, landfills are the third-leading cause of methane emissions in the Unite States.
You can influence others
Instead of excessive consuming, try sharing, making, fixing, upcycling, repurposing and enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Spend time in nature, be with people you love, volunteer to help others. These activities give us more purpose, belonging and happiness than buying and consuming.
Your example can influence others. Talk to family, friends and neighbors about how you’re helping to reduce climate change. Tell your stories — about changes you’ve seen where you live, how climate change has affected you, and describe changes you’re making to lessen your impact. Encourage friends and family to explore how they can contribute to reversing climate change.
Remember, you are not alone. Many people, communities, businesses and organizations are taking action. They’re acting like our lives depend on it — because they do.