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  • Matt Tucker

Conceptualize! Three Spheres of Climate Action

As you have become increasingly concerned about climate change, you have probably come across a random assortment of suggestions on how you can make a difference. The randomness of this information can be confusing, even paralyzing! In an effort to help you impose some order on this chaos, consider conceptualizing your climate action options as fitting into one of these three spheres : personal, workplace, and collective.


Sphere 1: Personal - Shrink Your Footprint

This category of climate action starts right at home. By reducing your individual carbon footprint, you're directly contributing to a healthier planet. 

SIDEBAR: Maybe you’ve heard the term carbon footprint, but aren’t sure what it means. Every individual, family, business, corporation, city, state and country has a carbon footprint. Carbon in this case is shorthand for greenhouse gasses that trap heat in our upper atmosphere. Carbon is one of them, but there are others including methane. So a carbon footprint can include any of these gasses. The process of making and transporting a product you purchase releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Producing and transporting the food you eat releases greenhouse gasses. All of these contribute to your carbon footprint. 

So the game here is to reduce your carbon footprint through your personal lifestyle choices. Here are some impactful choices:


  • Go green with your power: Opt for renewable energy sources like solar or wind power, or support companies that do. If you own your home, consider installing solar panels. If you don’t, consider joining a community solar group if that option is available to you in your area.

  • Power down: Be mindful of energy consumption. Turn off lights and electronics when not in use, unplug chargers, and adjust thermostats for energy efficiency. If you own your home, consider getting a home energy audit done and following through with increased insulation and air sealing.

  • Embrace green transportation: Walk, bike, use public transport, or carpool whenever possible. Consider electric vehicles or hybrid options.

  • Electrify your home: If you are lucky enough to own your home, consider replacing your fossil fuel burning appliances with ones that run off electricity: heat pump water heaters, heat pumps for heating/cooling air, induction cooktop.

  • Travel smarter: Choose trains or buses over airplanes when feasible, and offset unavoidable carbon emissions from travel.


  • Reduce meat consumption: Opt for plant-based meals more often. Meat production has a significant carbon footprint.

  • Buy local and seasonal: Support local farmers and reduce the food miles associated with imported produce.

  • Reduce food waste: Plan your meals, store food properly, and compost scraps to minimize waste


  • Buy less, choose wisely: Resist impulse purchases and prioritize quality over quantity. Invest in durable, long-lasting products.

  • Repair and reuse: Fix broken items instead of replacing them, and give pre-loved items a second life through thrifting or donating.

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle: Minimize waste by composting, recycling diligently, and choosing products with minimal packaging.

  • Avoid fast fashion: Clothing made by the fast fashion industry is cheaply made and typically ends up in the landfill shortly after being purchased. The carbon footprint of fast fashion is enormous.

Living Green:

  • Conserve water: Take shorter showers, fix leaky faucets, and install water-efficient appliances.

  • Plant trees: Trees absorb carbon dioxide, so plant trees in your yard or support tree-planting initiatives.

  • Support sustainable businesses: Look for companies committed to environmentally friendly practices and ethical sourcing.

Remember, even small changes add up. Start with a few actions that resonate with you and gradually build on them. Share your commitment with friends and family to inspire collective action.


Sphere 2: Workplace 

Your professional life presents another potent opportunity to contribute. Advocate for climate action within your company by:

  • Engage with leadership: Share information about climate change and its impact, propose sustainable solutions, and encourage company-wide initiatives.

  • Join green teams or committees: Many companies have internal groups dedicated to sustainability. Get involved and contribute your ideas.

  • Promote eco-friendly practices: Reduce paper usage, encourage energy-saving habits, and suggest green procurement policies.

  • Support sustainable business models: Advocate for investments in renewable energy, sustainable supply chains, and responsible waste management.

  • Share knowledge and resources: Educate colleagues about climate change and empower them to make sustainable choices.

  • Change jobs or even career: This is a pretty drastic, but for some, it's the right move. You can join a company that is more prepared to take action on climate, or you could go back to school to make a move into a career at a company at the forefront of climate technology. Most of us can make an impact in the jobs we already have, so don't feel like this is necessary by any means.


Sphere 3: Amplify Your Voice - Joining Climate Action Organizations

Joining forces with others multiplies your impact. This is where Climate Action Guide is focussed. Here are some ways to get involved:

  • Support climate action organizations: Volunteer your time, donate, or participate in fundraising events. Choose organizations aligned with your values and interests. Climate Action Guide can help you find those organizations. Go to our guide here: The following bullets are the kinds of things that climate action organizations do.

  • Advocate: Lobby governments and businesses to promote climate-friendly policies and regulations.

  • Participate in protests and marches: Raise awareness about the urgency of climate action and demand change.

  • Educate your community: Organize workshops, presentations, or discussions to spread awareness and inspire action.

  • Use your voice: Contact your elected officials, write letters to the editor, and share information on social media. Show up to board meetings, town council meetings of public entities in your community and voice your concerns.

  • Vote: Vote for climate friendly officials up and down the ballot. Help get out the vote efforts for those candidates.


Beyond the One-and-Done: A Holistic Approach to Climate Action

Don’t get caught in the one-and-done mental trap. Too often, people will do one thing to make a positive difference and call it good. While you should start with one thing, don’t stop there. The only way the world collectively gets to where we need to be is if we all do everything we can

Start with what resonates with you, explore different avenues, and don't be afraid to experiment. Combining personal lifestyle changes with workplace advocacy and collective action creates a powerful force for positive change. 

I hope that this climate action framework helps you make sense of the multitude of options ... And more importantly, I hope it gives you the clarity you need to take the leap into your first of many climate actions.

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