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April 11, 2022 Category: Information System (5 minutes read)

10 Things You Can Do to Help Climate Change

The evidence is irrefutable: unless we act immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will not be able to stave off the worst consequences of climate change.

The world is already 1.2°C warmer than in pre-industrial times, and every fraction of a degree counts. Research shows that with two °C of global warming, we will have more intense droughts, devastating floods, wildfires, and storms.



United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said at the recent UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), "Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread. We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe. It is time to go into emergency mode — or our chance of reaching net-zero will itself be zero."

The outlook can seem depressing. But the good news is that there is a lot we can still do as individuals to change this narrative.



"The climate emergency demands action from all of us. We need to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and everyone has a role to play," said Niklas Hagelberg, UNEP's Climate Change Coordinator. "We, as individuals, must change our consumption habits and pressure those who represent us – our employers, our politicians – to hurry to a low-carbon world."


Top climate scientists recently issued a "code red for humanity" warning that this is our last chance to implement the transformational changes necessary to keep warming below 1.5 C and avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate chaos.

Canada's climate targets are still critically insufficient to do our fair share on the global scale, and we are the only G7 country whose emissions have increased since the Paris Agreement was signed.


Here are ten ways you can be part of the climate solution:


Spread the word

Please encourage your friends, family and co-workers to reduce their carbon pollution. Join a global movement like Count Us In, which aims to inspire 1 billion people to take practical steps and challenge their leaders to act more boldly on climate. Organizers of the platform say that if 1 billion people took action, they could reduce as much as 20 per cent of global carbon emissions. Or you could sign up for the UN's #ActNow campaign on climate change and sustainability and add your voice to this critical international debate.


Keep up the political pressure to lobby local politicians and businesses to support efforts to cut emissions and reduce carbon pollution. Count Us In offers some helpful tips on how to do this. First, choose an environmental issue you are passionate about and decide on a change request. Next, try to set up a meeting with your local representative.  


Transform your transport

Transport accounts for around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, and across the world, many countries are implementing policies to decarbonize travel. It is possible to get an early start by leaving your car at home. Instead, walk or cycle whenever you can. Offer to carpool with others if you have to drive.


Rein in your power use

Suppose you can switch to a zero-carbon or renewable energy provider. Install solar panels on your roof. Reduce your heating by turning down the heat a few degrees. Switch off appliances and lights when you are not using them and better yet, buy the most efficient products in the first place (hint: this will save you money!). Finally, insulate your roof or loft: You'll feel warmer in winter and cooler in summer, and you can save money.


Tweak your diet

Food decisions can have a significant impact on the environment. Here are four simple ways you can make your diet more climate-friendly.

  • Eat more meat-free meals
  • Buy organic and local whenever possible
  • Don't waste food
  • Grow your own


Shop local and buy sustainable

To reduce your food's carbon footprint, buy local and seasonal foods. You'll be helping small businesses and farms in your area and reducing fossil fuel emissions associated with transport and cold chain storage. Sustainable agriculture uses up to 56 per cent less energy, creates 64 per cent fewer emissions and allows for greater levels of biodiversity than conventional farming. Go one step further and try growing your fruit, vegetables and herbs. You can plant them in a garden, on a balcony or even on a window sill. Set up a community garden in your neighbourhood to get others involved. 


Don't waste food

One-third of all food produced is either lost or wasted. According to UNEP's Food Waste Index Report 2021, people globally total 1 billion tonnes of food each year, accounting for around 8-10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Avoid waste by only buying what you need. Take advantage of every edible part of the foods you purchase. Measure portion sizes of rice and other staples before cooking them, store food correctly (use your freezer if you have one), be creative with leftovers, share extras with your friends and neighbours and contribute to a local food-sharing scheme. Make compost out of inedible remnants and use it to fertilize your garden. Composting is one of the best options for managing organic waste and reducing environmental impacts.


Dress (climate) smart

The fashion industry accounts for 8-10 per cent of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined – and 'fast fashion has created a throwaway culture that sees clothes quickly end up in landfills. But we can change this. Buy fewer new clothes and wear them longer. Seek out sustainable labels and use rental services for special occasions rather than buying new items.


Plant trees  

Every year approximately 12 million hectares of forest are destroyed. This deforestation, together with agriculture and other land-use changes, is responsible for roughly 25 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, we can all participate in reversing this trend by planting trees, either individually or as part of a collective. For example, the Plant-for-the-Planet initiative allows people to sponsor tree planting worldwide.

Check out this UNEP guide to see what else you can do as part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global drive to halt the degradation of land and oceans, protect biodiversity, and rebuild ecosystems. 


Focus on planet-friendly investments

Individuals can also spur change through savings and investments by choosing financial institutions that do not invest in carbon-polluting industries.