6. Individual Actions

KNOW HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Why are people reducing their emissions in the first place?  

  1. Less fossil fuel has meant more connection with the land, with food, with family and friends, and with community.
  2. By moving away from fossil fuel, I’m aligning my actions with my principles.
  3. I believe personal reduction does help, indirectly, by shifting the culture…by changing ourselves, we help others envision change. We gradually shift cultural norms.

From BEING THE CHANGE by Peter Kalmus

“The essential story I’m telling is that life can be better without fossil fuel. I’ve experienced this to be true; if others also experience this to be true, who’s to say the story won’t develop a powerful, change-making response?”

From BEING THE CHANGE by Peter Kalmus

“The more we align our individual choices with the world we want — it doesn’t change the world, but it changes us. We become more convincing to ourselves. We feel less a victim. The solar panels on my house, the clothes out on the line instead of in the dryer, eating low on the food chain, taking the bus to work — it makes me feel less powerless and more energized. Individually, of course we can’t make large-scale changes. But our individual choices are helpful to the extent that we can show possibilities and feel more committed.”

Francis Moore Lappe

EMPOWER YOURSELF & INSPIRE OTHERS

INDIVIUAL ACTIONS:

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Vote:

Zero Waste Habits:

Your Food Choices:

Environmental Working Group, Figure 1. Full Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Common Proteins and Vegetables, Meat Eater’s Guide: Report, https://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/a-meat-eaters-guide-to-climate-change-health-what-you-eat-matters/climate-and-environmental-impacts/.

… Be a Conscious Consumer

YOUR TRANSPORTATION CHOICES

Pledge to:

YOUR CONSUMER HABITS

How you spend money is your vote:

YOUR CLOTHING PURCHASES

Avoid buying new clothes:

Your voice, habits, choices, and purchases, ALL make a difference!

EXPLORE HIGH IMPACT PERSONAL ACTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

HIGH IMPACT:

MODERATE IMPACT:

LOWER IMPACT:

SOURCE:2017 Study from Lund University: Impact of Personal Actions

Pro Tip:

Suspend judgment.
There’s no “one-size-fits-all”  solution. Do what you can do. Be an example. Allow others to go at their own pace.

Activity #6A:
Be the Change

Meet: Katelynn Sutton
High Tech High School, San Diego

HOT TIP:

“When taking individual action, strive for progress and not perfection. Whether you are beginning your eco-friendly journey with reusable produce bags or becoming vegetarian, you should be proud of your initiative. But don’t be afraid to keep growing from there!”

Katelynn is a secondhand enthusiast, low-waste vegan and SD 350’s youth intern.

Along with her individual actions, she has helped plan a youth climate action summit and a summer program for teens.

Highlights: Exploring different avenues of environmental activism: from planning a summit to becoming vegan to speaking to the press, Katelynn doesn’t limit change-making to just one avenue. 

Quick Guide #6

  • STAR “LOW-HANGING FRUIT”

    Which items would be easiest for you to adopt?

  • WHICH FAMILY STRATEGIES APPEAL TO YOU?

    How can you make it easier for your family to adopt? Examples:
    Manage the compost bin
    Tell people you’d like to go to a movie instead of receiving a gift
    Figure out how to really turn off all of your home electronics and appliances
    Help with the recycling
    Many strategies save money (appealing to adults)

  • SUSPEND JUDGEMENT

    Let others make their own choices. Do what’s best for you. Berating others won’t get them to change. Accept where they are. Lead by example.

  • ”REFUSE” IS MOST IMPORTANT OF THE 5 Rs:

    Refuse, reduce, re-use, recycle, rot.

  • CONFRONT YOUR FOOTPRINT

    Quantify how much you use in various categories and how they affect your footprint: Food, energy, water use, transit choices.

  • EXPERIMENT

    Try out an individual action: see if it works for you. List your successes. Where could you use support? Use your club as a sounding board for ideas.

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