Climate change can be an overwhelming concept when you realize the true dimension of the problem. You might think there isn’t much you can do, but big changes start small. For example, we found three simple things you can do right now. In the words of Maggie L. Fox, CEO of Climate Reality Project, a Moms Clean Air Force partner:
“Use your time, your dime, and your voice.”
1. Get the facts, feel empowered and make small changes. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make. “Learn more about the reality of climate change and how we can solve it,” explains Maggie. For example, did you know that for every 10 minutes your engine is off, you’ll prevent one pound of carbon dioxide (the primary contributor to global warming) from being released into the atmosphere? Now you know, so when you carpool you’ll think twice about leaving your engine idling to spew soot into the atmosphere. Just shut off the engine if you’re waiting more than 10 seconds. Contrary to popular belief, restarting your car does not burn more fuel than leaving it idling. In fact, idling for just 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine.
2. Inspire others. You not only teach valuable lessons to your kids by speaking about different issues, but your behavior influences them directly. You also have the power to inspire your friends and family members to make small changes to reduce pollution and carbon emissions. In turn, they can influence others. This starts a bigger shift in the behavior of your community. If you are feeling particularly inspired, go speak at your school or church about the changes you have made to show others how smoke it can be. “Use your voice — and demand action from our leaders to work toward meaningful solutions,” says Maggie.
3. Start at home. Seal off your windows and doors to avoid energy leaks. Install a thermostat and program it so it adjusts the temperature when you are not home. You will not only save money but will also reduce carbon emissions. And who doesn’t want more money in their pocket? Jeff Deyette, senior energy analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Clean Energy program and author of the science-based guide Cooler Smarter, explained during the 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report broadcast that the average American family can save over $180 a year with these simple changes. The changes you make can also help support businesses that care about the environment. “You will make a real impact by using your purchasing power as an intelligent, informed consumer, and rewarding companies that reduce their impact on our climate…” explains Maggie.
Now, put all your good intentions into action! You will save money, your family will breathe easier, and you’ll feel good about yourself. From where I stand, it’s a win-win situation!
Jeannette Kaplun is a fully bilingual and bicultural busy mom of two children, journalist, TV host, blogger and author of hundreds of articles about parenting, babies and motherhood. She has won the Best Parenting Blogger LATISM award. Jeannette blogs at Babble Voices. She was a Social Good Fellow and a conference speaker at BlogHer.