For this week’s blog topic, I’ve decided to introduce The Public Comment Project, which will be joining us at our upcoming Climate Science on Tap Event, Climate Science goes to Courton February 27th! With a mission of encouraging science-backed policy through promoting scientists to comment on federal legislation, the values of the Public Comment Project relate closely to Cascadia Climate Action’s. Both CCA and The Public Comment Project encourage people to become informed on how they can get involved at a governmental level to push for a more sustainable future.
The public comment process was enacted under the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946, which required government agencies to allow the public to provide their own opinions on proposed government actions. The documents that are put up for public comment are preliminary rulemaking documents, new regulation or rule proposals, proposed changes to existing rules, and agency information collection activities. Not only can citizens comment, but non-profits, industry lobbying groups AND other government agencies have access to using the public comment process, which makes it important for citizens and independent scientists to take advantage of this ability. Though the commenting forums exist online, the summaries and sorting capabilities of the website can be difficult to navigate – this is where The Public Comment Project comes to the rescue!
On their website, which you can check out here, concerned scientists and citizens alike can easily find documents with layperson summaries that are up for public comment. Government agencies are supposed to consider the public’s suggestions seriously, but the openness of public comment is especially important because more disciplines, sectors and professions are included in the discussion.
If all of this sounds interesting to you, make sure to stop by The Public Comment Project table at our event tomorrow, or use their website to make your mark!
The children of our future are making their voices heard around the world. From the Juliana v. United States case, to the climate strikes rapidly spreading across the globe, climate change is now a conversation that the youth of our planet has taken into their own hands. From cutting class to go on strike, to suing the federal government, they demand to be heard.
The Juliana v. United States case is one representation of the youth’s voice that has made a bold presence in the climate conversation. Like many others in their generation, the 21 youth plaintiffs stated that their rights to life, liberty and property have been stripped from them through the government’s actions. This case, now being called the “trial of the century”, will use scientific evidence to support their statement that the government’s allowance of the fossil fuel industry and other harmful practices have threatened their future. Their end goal is to get the federal government to create a national plan that phases out the fossil fuel industry and restores earth’s stability. Under both the Obama and Trump administration, statements have been made that there should be no trial. Yet a strong case has been made and the wait for a trial date continues. Andrea Rogers, the attorney defending the young climate group, will be one of the panelist speakers at the next CSoT. She will be giving insight on how science will be used to drive policy change in a court setting.
While the Juliana v. United States case is using their voice in court, others are striking to show the weight climate change has on them. Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish activist, unknowingly began a global movement last year when she started to take time away from class to demand for actions against climate change. Her actions got attention in Britain, where the movement took off. Marches are now happening across the globe. Germany, Australia and Uganda, are only a few of the countries following Britain’s lead. With the amount of missed school increasing, participants have made it clear they demand a better future for themselves and for the planet.
The movement is now making its way to the Pacific Northwest, where Zero Hour Seattle has taken the lead on planning a climate march. The march is planned for July 21st, following a lobby day on July 19th and a poster/art event on the 20th to create props before taking the streets.
Welcome to Cascadia Climate Action’s weekly intern blog! If you’re just joining us, please take a moment to check out Eden’s post (here) on her letter to her representative urging her to support the Transit Zoning Bill, SB-50, in her home state of California.
In this week’s CCA intern blog, we’re going to briefly review key ways you can get politically involved on climate issues.
1. Join the Community
With the often sensationalist news covering a disastrously divisive time in American politics, it’s all too easy to become jaded. If left unaddressed, this can cause or contribute to anxiety, depression, and isolation. Fortunately, many may discover an antidote through joining a sympathetic community.
There are innumerable benefits to being a part of a community: inspiration, motivation, support, and celebration are just some to name a few. Luckily enough, being a part of an environmentally-focused community comes with all the same benefits!
You may already have found friends and community at our informative and fun Climate Science on Tap events (here), and if not, we hope you’ll join us, soon. There are many great environmental groups out there, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one you like. We’ve listed a few involved in climate changes issues below:
With all the different groups and communities out there working to make a difference in, around and for the environment, it’s easy to get lost in all the events, campaigns, programs, and projects on top of everything else. However, staying aware of each and everyone has never been easier with CCA’s continuously updated calendar of events (here)! We post events happening all over the Puget Sound region and beyond from workgroup meetings and hearings, to talks and film festivals. There’s something for everyone! Check it out! Take action.
3. Take Action
Reversing climate change while remaining within the other 8 planetary boundaries can be expected to require a change from all of us, in every aspect of our lives. Tackling climate change is not as simple as swapping out our light bulbs or buying an electric car. Unfortunately, solving climate change is much more complicated than that. We have to have a portfolio of solutions as a society through clean energy bills, fully-funded regulators, and local, transnational, and international agreements on planetary conservation and protection. And we have to have a willingness and humility as individuals to embrace change in every big and little way.
Like our blog? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check us out next week with Gabriella!
With the Washington legislature recently in session, I found it fitting to write a letter to my representative, to feature in this week’s blog post. As I’m from Oakland, California, I’ll be writing to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s 13th District.
Fun side note: My sister won the Fan Favorite component of the Congressional Art Competition, and had the opportunity to meet Congresswoman Lee (pictured).
Writing to your representative may feel like a daunting task. The likelihood of your representative personally reading your letter is slim, but that’s not to say no one will open it. Usually teams are dedicated to opening and responding to citizens’ letters, and to quote my hometown basketball team (go Warriors!), there’s strength in numbers.
The proposed bill I’m asking Congresswoman Lee to put her support behind is State Sen. Scott Weiner’s (D) bill, SB-50, also known as the Transit Zoning Bill. This bill would change zoning laws around transit stations and high frequency bus stops, allowing for more multi-family housing and apartment buildings to be built. As described by State Sen. Weiner, this would be “pro-affordability and pro-sustainability,” as more affordable housing would be available for the ever-growing population of the Bay Area. As for being a sustainable measure, more housing around train stations, such as BART (which I grew up riding), would give people more incentive to ditch their cars and take public transportation to work. The transportation sector is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gasses, and so making buses and trains more accessible would mitigate our emissions.
Here is the letter I sent to Congresswoman Barbara Lee:
Honorable Barbara Lee House of Representatives 1301 Clay Street, Ste. 1000-N Oakland, CA 94612
Dear Representative Lee,
My name is Eden Cypher, and I was born and raised in beautiful and vibrant Oakland, California. At the moment, I’m living as a California transplant in Seattle, attending the University of Washington and pursuing a double major in Environmental Studies and Communication. Aside from having seasons and enjoying a lot more fresh salmon in the PNW, Seattle has a lot in common with the Bay Area. Both cities face a massive influx of people, but at the same time want to move toward a greener future.
I believe that State Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB-50 bill addresses these issues in a proactive way. Restructuring zoning laws around transit centers to allow for multi-family homes is a great way to deal with the increasing population of the Bay Area, provide more affordable housing, and promote public transportation.
Promoting sustainable practices on an individual level is one of my main motives for entering the environmental field. Aside from the larger issues this bill would address, I hope to one day move back to Oakland. On a personal level, if this bill is passed I will be more likely to live in my favorite, diverse and magnificent hometown, as will many others! SB-50 allows many others to experience the Oakland I was lucky enough to grow up in, so I hope that you take this into consideration and support this proposed bill.
I hope this letter can be an example for others to reach out to their own representatives! I’ve never written a letter like this before, so I looked at some examples online. You can find them here and here. Citizens Climate Lobby is another great resource for learning about how you can reach out to your representative, and they have a great webpage for finding your congressperson and writing to them!
Today, I write my tenth and final blog post for Cascadia Climate Action. I’m writing this a couple days after the big Climate Science on Tap event that signified the end of my internship and work with CCA. To wrap it all up, I was asked to write some final thoughts on the blog to summarize the summer. Working with Cascadia Climate Action has been a rewarding experience that taught me a lot, both about myself and about nonprofits.
Watching my boss, Mary, balance almost all of the work for CCA has made me realize how much goes into running a small organization and how difficult it can be with a small team. It often means people have their individual tasks to be completed independently and then reviewed jointly. Which can create differing ideas and various visions for the organization itself or aspects of it. But, more importantly I saw people overcome this and use teamwork and dedication to be efficient advocates for the environment. Things may not have always gone smoothly or quickly, but ultimately everyone was always eager to work hard to get the job done. I will always admire the amount of energy, time, commitment, and enthusiasm that the people I encountered bring to climate action. But, most of all, I will admire Mary Manous for her incredible dedication.
I also learned how lucky I am to be surrounded by such an amazing community here at UW and in Seattle. A few days before the recent Climate Science on Tap event my father was kind enough to fly out to Seattle to assist me in moving. Luckily, this meant he could attend the event and see a bit of what I’d been working on the past few months. One of his biggest takeaways was the community that had gathered at Lagunitas. The amount of people there dedicating their time to both learning about climate change and teaching about it was exciting to him. He also continuously expressed how impressed he was with the amount of PhDs and educated individuals at the event. This was a good reminder for me. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such dedicated, inspiring individuals that push me to be the best student, advocate, and person that I can be.
Lastly, this internship constantly reminded me of the urgent situation we humans have put ourselves and the other life that exists around us in. It’s sometimes difficult to find the right words to summarize what climate change is and all that it will mean for the world, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying. This experience reminded me how important it is for each and every one of us to be doing our part to reduce the impact we have. It reminded me of the sometimes intangible effects small actions can have and also the big changes we can make when we work together.
I am far from a fully informed and educated individual when it comes to most topics, including climate change. But, through my time with Cascadia Climate Action I’ve made leaps and bounds toward the type of advocator and person I want to be in life. I don’t know what I want to do with my life or how I will make a difference, but I learned that it is possible to make a difference and that there’s an entire community waiting to embrace me as I embark on a journey of fighting for this beautiful planet. I hope all of you will consider joining me and this inspiring community as we continue in this battle.
Throughout my college experience, my study abroad trips, this internship, the interviews I’ve participated in, and my evolution as a person and an environmentalist, I’ve continually been introduced to new ideas, outlooks, approaches, and attitudes. At times I am met with desperation and despair, other times I am met with hope and optimism. Some want to change the tide in politics to create policy changes that benefit the climate and all life on earth. Some want to change the way people consume to promote ethical, sustainable relationships with the things we consume and the natural world. At times, this becomes overwhelming and confusing. How do I find the best, the right way to combat climate change? I’ll probably never find the one best way to solve the problem of climate change, likely because there is no one solution. But, if there was it would likely be exactly what David Perk described in our recent interview.
David Perk is just a normal parent and citizen, but somewhere along the line he realized, “something had to be done.” David says it’s possible that we’re past the tipping point, but he joined the fight after the Bush administration and hasn’t stopped since. He has been involved in stopping coal and oil trains in Washington through participation in a variety of organizations, and is currently a board member for 350 Seattle. David isn’t sure how to persuade people to get involved, but he believes some major changes need to be made. In particular, capitalism needs a makeover or a complete disposal. He notes that capitalism is an expression of human nature, and therefore it will be difficult to change. However, it is critical that humans develop a more holistic way of living and thinking. We must realize the consequences of our actions on future generations and the planet. We need to change the way we consume to start living in a way that benefits all of society, rather than our individual selves.
David wants to see the system change, and he thinks it will likely have to happen bottom up. Theoretically, most of the world gets it (Paris agreement), the US is just behind. To him, it seems the crazy has all risen to the top in our government, but he sees hope in the young people of the next generations. David says that although the changes he speaks of have to happen from the bottom up, simply increasing awareness will not do the trick. People can be educated, but they have to feel something if they’re going to be inspired to make changes. There’s a difference between understanding and feeling, and David thinks that might just be the key. Rather than just making people to “get it,” we need them to “feel it.” An interesting thing to consider for yourself. Do you simply understand climate change, or do you believe in it and feel something about it?
In the past, I have mentioned my passion for personal choices and sustainability. In particular, I am very interested in the things that we as humans consume on a daily basis, like food. Food is fascinating to me for many reasons. For one thing, it is very closely tied to culture and often defines what most people know about foreign places and people. Your average person may not know anything about Thai culture, but they’ve tasted the delicious, savory pad thai and pad see ew that comes from the far off country. This can of course be problematic at times, but food does allow us a glimpse into exotic places and unfamiliar cultures. It is also directly tied to our wellness as it dictates the health of our gut microbiome and overall body. Not eating the right foods can result in fatigue, disease, obesity, mental disorders, and so on. So, it’s not only necessary for our survival, but it can also determine our quality of life and define the cultures we exist within. And now, we are discovering that it heavily influences the health of the planet. Needless to say, food is valuable, fascinating, delicious, and of monumental importance.
This past December I completed a research project on food culture and food choices in the city of Arusha, Tanzania. I interviewed 100 locals from a town just outside the city limits. Each day I would take an hour long commute of dala dala (a “bus” that was actually a van with the occupancy of a bus) and piki piki (motorcycle taxi) to the town where I would then enter the homes of various community members to hear a bit about why they ate the food they ate. I asked them about health concerns, the environment, money, transportation, and so on. I learned that the majority of the residents made their food choices largely based on monetary concerns. However, eating cheaply looks different there than it does here in America. A low-income Tanzanian living in the town of Bangata eats meat about once a week and buys their food from relatives or neighbors. Meaning that they buy primarily fresh produce and a few animal products, as well as rice and other basics, from local sources. This does not ensure that they prepare healthy, nutritious meals, however the average Tanzanian has a very direct relationship with the foods they consume.
I don’t bring this up in an attempt to persuade my readers to adopt a Tanzanian diet, but I do ask them to reconsider their own. We have so many options at our fingertips and very few constraints in comparison to many around the world. Within a five mile radius from each of our homes there is likely a Safeway/Fred Meijer/Trader Joe’s, a local market, a gas station, a dozen restaurants, and maybe even a bulk store, like Costco. Within each of these stores there are veggies, fruits, meats, frozen foods, premade foods, fresh deli foods, organic foods, local foods, etc. We are surrounded by a multitude of food choices. Many of which have traveled across the country, or even world. They’re also likely covered in plastic and possibly pesticides. It’s also probable that they are a part of some larger political scandal that we’re all unaware of (watch the Netflix docuseries Rotten). This means that very few of us Americans have any sort of direct relationship with the food we consume. We often don’t know where it was produced, how it was produced, who produced it, and the impacts it had.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I consume a plant based diet. I do this for a variety of reasons, one of which is environmental. According to Drawdown by Paul Hawken, “The most conservative estimates suggest that raising livestock accounts for nearly 15 percent of global greenhouse gases emitted each year; the most comprehensive assessments of direct and indirect emissions say more than 50 percent.” He then goes on to say, “If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.” This is due to the methane cows directly produce, the carbon dioxide that is produced through the land use and related energy consumption to grow feed for the livestock, and the nitrous oxide that is released from manure and fertilizer. This doesn’t even dive into the amount of water and feed that goes into raising the cattle, rather than feeding hungry people or solving droughts around the world. So, why does food matter? That is just one reason why.
Eating a plant based diet is one of the best things an individual can do for the environment. This is primarily due to lessening the demand and consumption of harmful products such as beef. However, I’m aware that regardless of how convincing I am in this post, all of my pleading and begging will likely not convert many, if any, to a vegan diet right away. Of course, I would love for each and every environmentalist and climate change fighter to abandon all animal products, but using my realistic outlook, I’m instead going to use this opportunity to implore that we simply take whatever steps we can towards becoming conscious consumers. If that means adopting a plant based diet for some people, that’s awesome. If it means buying local at farmers markets for others, that’s also awesome. We don’t live in Tanzania. We live in a country where we have pretty much everything we could want at our fingertips at all times. This means we have to force ourselves to be aware of the choices we make. Being a conscious consumer can expand past food, and it must if we are to build a sustainable future. But, for now we can begin to focus on the relationships we have with the food we consume. Read the label on the products you buy. Take note of whether the products you consume are organic, local, vegan, and how many ingredients they have. Go to the farmers market. Buy in-season produce. Find alternatives to animal products. Eat food that doesn’t cause harm to the world around us. Cattle production is not the only part of the food industry that has negative impacts on the climate and the natural environment, so try to educate yourself on the other things you consume. Food is incredibly influential in many ways as its production can lead to numerous negative impacts, including clear cutting, dead zones in the ocean, soil erosion, degradation, pesticide contamination, and so much more.
Ultimately, I want to urge you all to educate yourselves so that you can become conscious consumers. Be aware of how your food was produced and the impacts it has. I understand that food is part of culture and that is so important. My hope is that food culture is not too damaged by climate motivated lifestyle changes. However, culture can change and perhaps it must. As we know, many large cultural changes have occurred in the past when pieces of it have been deemed unethical. It’s time that we stop finding excuses and to the best of our abilities we make the necessary changes to become conscious consumers of sustainable, ethical products. Because, food matters not only for our health and our cultures, but also for the other people, beings, plants, and ecosystems in this world.
P.S. There are so many things that need to be discussed on the topic of food. I’ve barely scratched the surface, and I’ve left important pieces out. I want to say that I fully understand that things like soybeans can also be detrimental to the environment, however fun fact – soybeans are sometimes fed to cattle! Ultimately, I urge everyone to educate themselves on food and start discourse with people in their lives. One source, is the book I cited above Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken. There is so much to learn and so many changes to make. Why not start today?!
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with another interesting climate advocate to learn a bit about how she got involved in climate action. Deejah Sherman-Peterson and her husband Ron are two more passionate individuals that had an unconventional start to their fight in climate action. She is now co-chair of the Climate Action Team at the University Unitarian Church, but her introduction to climate change problems started a while back. Her participation in advancing women’s rights through her time with NARAL and NOW led her to learn about overpopulation and the problems associated with it. This was her first introduction to human caused climate problems. Then, in 2005 she and her husband joined the green committee at the Unitarian church. Through the committee she and the team began altering the waste disposal available to the congregation to include recycling and compost. In 2014 she co-founded the climate action team at the church, which has hosted talks and fairs to increase awareness of climate change topics. The group plans to continue hosting a variety of events to educate the community.
Learning about Deejah’s involvement in climate action was engaging, but the most captivating parts of our conversation were the portions that strayed from the planned questions. Deejah was overflowing with interesting stories about both herself and others in the climate change fight. She recounted stories of individuals that stood in front of coal trains and turned off oil pumps in their mission to create change. Deejah’s strategy for creating change is less focused on physical action, but more derived from a desire to create discourse and motivate change on a community level. Her philosophy for creating this change is rooted in the idea that we must find a happy medium between scaring people too much and not scaring them enough. Her grandchildren’s future is a big reason she works to educate people on the topic, but a different approach is necessary for every individual. Connecting the dots between actions and impacts can be very powerful in creating a more conscious community.
Deejah believes that in today’s political climate it doesn’t do much good to work on politicians currently in office. Rather, she thinks the best strategy is to elect people that are going to be advocates for the environment. Educating individuals and fostering a conscious community is one of the best ways to do this because it creates awareness. It’s vital that the importance of electing officials that are proponents of environmental policy is common knowledge in order to build a sustainable future. Deejah showed me once again that the fight for climate change comes in many shapes and sizes. It was not only interesting to hear about her experiences, but also a pleasure to be in her company. She is a positive, spirited individual who filled me with hope for a sustainable future built by many different groups of people.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Victoria Leistman, staff organizer with Sierra Club in Seattle. Victoria is an energetic, young woman with enthusiasm for climate action and abundant suggestions for not only mitigating climate change, but also the best way to get involved, and even make a living in the field. Needless to say, it was a fruitful meeting and I’m going to share some of the biggest takeaways.
Victoria is pictured above with her colleagues at Sierra Club. She is in the woman in a blue long sleeve shirt.
Victoria did not originally set out to be a warrior for the environment, rather she majored in journalism. During her time as a journalist she found herself taking on many environmental stories and ultimately decided she wanted to take action, rather than just write about the problems. So, she put down the pencil, interned for an organization, and then joined Green Corps where she became a trained organizer. Her time with Green Corps eventually landed her the job with Sierra Club, which she has thoroughly enjoyed.
How Victoria became professionally involved in climate action is interesting and inspiring in part due to her lack of a college education in the environment. This is important to note because it highlights the possibility for anyone and everyone to become involved in the fight against climate change. An advocate of grassroots efforts spurring top down change, she herself says the best way to make a difference is to work with local environmental and social justice groups to contact officials and advocate for policy changes, none of which requires special training or education. Getting involved with these groups is a possibility for people of all ages, backgrounds, education, and experience, making it easy for anyone to take up arms
During the interview we talked about the biggest problems we are currently facing and what the best ways to address them are. Victoria believes the biggest problem is the lack of political will to implement the solutions we already have. When discussing the topic she asked, “How can we motivate the human race to be proactive instead of reactive?” I found this question intriguing and intensely truthful. As a whole, we humans tend to be better at reacting to a problem after it happens, rather than preventing it from happening in the first place. Victoria believes it’s time for us to start holding people in office accountable and responsible for making the necessary changes if we’re going to make a proactive effort.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of my encounter with Victoria was her narrative of hope, rather than scare tactics to get people involved. Meeting people that haven’t been discouraged by their fight for the environment is always encouraging and motivating. There’s still hope for a sustainable future, and we still have time to be proactive and get involved on all levels, regardless of our education and background.
Hello, Mary the intern here. In a recent post I talked about whether top down or bottom up actions are more important and effective. Ultimately, I concluded that both were vital in the fight to end climate change. Now, I want to address how you can make some of these changes in your day to day life. In this post I’ll be talking about lifestyle changes, but in the future I will address how you can influence policy.
There are so many lifestyle changes we can make to benefit the environment, but these vary in how influential they are, as well as how easy they are to maintain. Recycling and using reusable bags are great actions to take, but as we discussed earlier, they have a very small impact, particularly on their own. However, the most influential actions demand a lot from us, and are perhaps unlikely for some people. I want to introduce the most influential actions and draw attention to them, but also discuss how we can simplify them if they aren’t a feasible option.
Many studies show that the number one lifestyle change people can make to help mitigate climate change is not have a child. This is a tall call, and likely one we quickly skim over. However, I’d like us to pause and consider it. Having a child is an incredibly personal choice, and I understand the lack of consideration for the environment when making this decision. I don’t want to use this space to ask people to not have children, yet I would like us to recognize the impact adding another human to the planet can have. What I would like to ask us to do, is to raise our children to be conscious consumers. Raise our children to respect the natural world and the other beings that reside in it. Raise our children to love the things we can’t understand and protect the things that differ from us. Raise our children to be warriors for a better future. Perhaps then having a child will have a greater positive, rather than negative, influence in many ways.
The next biggest lifestyle change people can make is to not own a car. This is another tough one that may be unrealistic for many. However, for those of us living in a large metropolitan area such as Seattle, it is doable. In fact, it might even be more pleasant after the increase in traffic over the last few years. Yet, I know that asking people to not own a car is probably unreasonable and somewhat hopeless, so perhaps simply consider driving it less often or converting to an electric car. Make small changes in your life like walking to work or to the gym. Car pool when it’s possible. Take public transportation on the days you have a little extra time. Maybe instead of always treating your car as an everyday tool, use it as a treat to only be used when necessary.
Another tough, but influential action individuals can make is to fly less often. Specifically, avoid long, international flights. Personally, I have always struggled with this one. One of the reasons I have such a desire to save the world is because of its beauty and abundance of life. All of which I want to witness first hand. This may sound fairly selfish, and maybe it is, but I think it’s a common trend among those invested in the environment. We tend to also be the ones who want to travel the world to see all the natural wonders and everything in between. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t control that desire or give it up once in a while. Furthermore, there are constantly new and improved ways to travel the world. So next time you go on vacation, perhaps you can put a little more effort into finding the most sustainable ways of travel, or maybe stay local.
Perhaps one of the most doable, yet tough actions is eating a plant based diet. Now, I might not be the one to speak on this because I am a vegan and I find it achievable, so maybe I’m biased. However, maybe that’s what makes me the perfect advocate. I made the switch from vegetarian to vegan about two years ago and found it extremely difficult. So, I can speak from experience that it is painful, and it is sad. But, if you believe in it strongly enough, that will all wither away and you will eventually be invigorated by this change. Although I can’t make any promises to you, I can tell you is that I felt healthier, happier, and more proud of the lifestyle I chose when I made the switch. Eating a plant based diet is almost always listed in the top 5 things we can individually do for the planet, sometimes it’s even listed first. Grist recently published an article about plant based diets making more of a difference for the environment than cutting down on flying and driving an electric car. I understand that a completely plant based diet isn’t for everyone, but I think we can all be more conscious of the food we consume. Perhaps we can start eating meat only a couple days of the week. Cut out red meat. Buy local produce when possible. The products we purchase have an immense impact on the world and it’s important we be aware of these impacts.
These are just a few of the lifestyle changes we can make to help mitigate climate change, but they are among the largest. Maybe you aren’t in a place to make any of these changes, and that is completely understandable. But, perhaps you can start considering them and start creating discourse on them. Sometimes one of the biggest changes we can make is to simply talk. You never know whose eyes you may open, or who may open yours.
Some of these topics will be explored more thoroughly in future posts, others will not. Let us know if there is something in particular you’d like me to write more about. Thanks for reading!