Human-caused climate change is one of the biggest factors impacting our wildlife and biodiversity. Changing weather patterns and temperatures can affect seasonal migrations, food availability, reproductive timing, and even yearly survival rates. One million species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction. To fix the problem, we need to conserve habitat and address climate change.
There are many resources available to help you measure and reduce your carbon footprint and climate impact. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Carbon Footprint Calculator is a great place to start. You can also learn the most effective climate solutions by checking out Project Drawdown, a research organization that researched and ranked climate change solutions in order of effectiveness.
Beyond that, here are some of our favorite actions:
- Drive Less – Walking, biking, and mass transit are all great ways to reduce your carbon footprint – and get a bit of exercise! Here in the U.S. public transportation saves 37 million tons of carbon emissions each year. If you live in the Denver/Boulder area, our friends at eGo Car Share have another great option – car sharing. They even have hybrid cars for you to use. Friends of Rocky Mountain Wild can use the discount code “EGOFRIEND” and get a $25 eGo Car Share credit!
- Eat Less Meat – You don’t need to become a vegetarian, but reducing your meat intake by one or two meals a week can have a real impact. Animal agriculture accounts for at least 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions!
- Eat Meat Sustainably – If you do eat meat, remember that when it comes to environmental impacts, it’s not the cow, it’s how. How your food is produced (in a factory farm vs through sustainable animal husbandry or hunting practices) matters. There are even Indigenous communities and companies that have honed their animal husbandry to restore the health of environments through practices like precise grazing that stimulates plant growth and biodiversity!
- Reduce Your Food Waste – In the U.S. 40% of all edible food is wasted. If that food waste was its own country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gasses behind China and the U.S.
- Unplug Your Devices – Electronic devices like cell phones, tablets, and computers use energy when they are plugged in, even when they are powered down. Residents of the U.S. spend $19 billion per year on these phantom loads. Unplugging your wall charger when it is not in use is a simple and fast way to reduce your impact.
- Line Dry Your Clothes – By making this one switch, you can reduce your carbon footprint by one third! Running a clothes dryer is the equivalent of turning on 225 light bulbs for an hour. (Bonus: If you live in a dry climate and use an indoor drying rack, you can put some moisture into your indoor air).
- Go Solar – Most of the electricity generated in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Extracting and using fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. By contrast, solar energy is clean and readily abundant. If we could capture all of the sun’s energy shining on Earth for just one hour, we could power the entire world one year! Our partners at Sunrun have affordable plans to help you power your home with the sun. Check them out!