WHAT CAN I DO?
Stay informed. The United Nations is a good place to start. But you can find out about climate change policy in your country by searching online. Add your country name to keywords like "climate change policy" and "reducing greenhouse gas emissions." You can also learn what progress your country is making at Climate Action Tracker.
Begin at home. Earth Day has recommendations for reducing your carbon footprint and adopting climate-friendly practices ranging from what you eat and what your wear to whom you buy from and how you get around. Commit to "walk the walk" before you "talk the talk."
Be a savvy consumer. Finding climate-friendly companies and products isn't as easy as it should be. Start by reading labels and knowing what certifications are reliable indicators of a green product. The Global Ecolabelling Network and Ecolabel Index provide lists of certifications. You can also use keywords like "eco-friendly," "climate-friendly," and "green" to search within specific product categories, like clothing. Be careful though. Companies often pay to be listed as a green company and their claims may be false. Learn how to recognize "greenwashing." Here is an article at Brightly.eco with some tips.
Join an organization. There are too many climate action organizations to list here. Search online combining keywords such as "climate action" or "climate advocacy" and "organizations" with the name of your city or country. Climate Action Network International is an excellent resource. Click on the map or scroll down to the footing and click on your country for the list of organizations active there. Consider an organization's mission and activities to make sure they align with your interests and the issues you are passionate about.
Volunteer. If you join an organization, you can volunteer your services to help advance its mission. Are you a writer, good at public speaking, or willing to organize or join a march? Do you have fund-raising skills or experience in media relations or digital communications? Non-profits or informal organizations are always scrambling for "worker bees" and funds.
Become an activist. Follow the news and search online for opportunities to join with activists in your city, region, or country. Can't find any? Start a group or organize a local action to plant trees, clean-up the beach or riverbanks, or establish a community garden. Learn about some inspiring youth activists at Unicef. You can also draw inspiration and advice from Ted Talks.
Advocate for action. If we are going to have a healthy planet, we need action at every level of government: city, region, sub-national jurisdiction, and country. Know who your elected representatives are, and if you can, get to know them in person. Visit their offices, write them letters, and volunteer in election campaigns for politicians who support climate action. Don't hesitate to start at the local level. Local Government for Sustainability (ICLEI) is a good source of information on local government transformation and its role in catalyzing climate action globally.
Whatever you do, when your spread the climate action message, stick to the facts! They need no embellishment. We need more ambitious goals and committed global action on climate change over the next decade to have any hope of regenerating a healthy planet.