The role that individual actions play in fighting the climate crisis is complex. No single person can replace the immense political changes needed to halt climate change at 1.5 degrees of warming, but every individual has a role to play. We can make a difference through the tangible impact we have (reducing just one ton of emissions can save 32sq feet of arctic ice), and we can further use our spare time, careers, or everyday words to influence the communities around us.
With our individual choices that we make everyday we have the power to send signals. Signals that “move money, change minds, inspire others, and drive more good policy discussions” (source).
We have boiled down that question to two distinct answers.
Individuals can use their skills, voices, and time to drive change in their communities.
Individuals can engage in a few highly impactful behaviors that experts believe are absolutely necessary to limit global emissions.
The team at You Change Earth evaluates all potential guides against the following principles. Do these projects help individuals:
Bring climate change into important discussions happening on the community, corporate, or national level.
Use their personal/professional skills in the best interests of the planet.
Get engaged with climate change as an issue going forward.
Driving sustained engagement with climate issues, and making sure individuals extend that engagement to their daily lives as citizens, employees, etc. were two principles that we identified as crucial to our mission. Examples of type 1 guides include “Take Action as an Employee” and “Join a Climate Movement”.
In determining which carbon cutting measures are impactful enough to be featured, our team has been guided by two primary resources: Project Drawdown’s reports on the top 100 societal changes that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as Rare.org’s report on how individual action factors into these changes. All of such projects are derived from these Drawdown solutions, and adapted to show individuals how they can get involved.
We support all actions that save carbon and help our environment, but for our projects we have set the bar at behavioral changes that will be largely required for a potential pathway below 1.5°C. Examples of type 2 guides include “Green Transport” and “Green your Diet”.
We have worked with over 30 professors, industry leaders, and environmentalists along every step of the way. Within every project, we filter through all possible actions that individuals can take to find those with the highest impact, and those that help individuals make climate a part of their identity.
Once completed, each project has to be signed off on by our executive team, as well as our head editor- former Green Party MP Gareth Hughes.
We do not accept money from companies that we link to. We have carefully designated every link based on what our researchers and expert contributors believe will drive individuals towards climate action. Where we chose specific organizations or resources, it is a result of their public reputations and our working relationships with them.
Our team hails from a mix of backgrounds, ethnicities, and political orientations.
As a group we work by three maxims:
We are non-partisan. We promote political advocacy to the extent that it affects climate policies. As such we check every site we link to for factual-accuracy and to make sure their work only orients itself towards what most mitigates carbon emissions.
We provide factual, well vetted information to our users. If we make a claim, we will provide a source for it. We strive to make sure it comes from reputable publications without bias on the mediabiasfactcheck.com or is backed by peer-reviewed studies.
We do not sell user data. Any information we collect is used to tailor the experience for users, to provide them a personalised set of recommendations.
We are funded by the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and founder of Kayak, Paul English. Neither of the funds when received came with any contractual obligations besides keeping them updated on our work’s progress for the planet.