The start of the new year brings fresh hope, potential and the promise of good deeds. It is a chance to slip out of the shackles of the past 12 months, shake up some old habits – and get started on some new ones!
If the past year in climate change has left you feeling frustrated, infuriated or keen to push for action (or all of the above), make 2019 the year you throw some climate change resolutions into the mix. (And if you’re already doing these, what about bringing someone you know on board by suggesting some ideas, or forwarding them a link to join the Climate Council?)
There’s so much you can do to push for action on climate change in your community and make an impact every day.
Hungry for ideas? Here are our top picks from our climate action toolkit (head to the toolkit for the full list):
1. Make your vote a climate vote.
2019 is a federal and state election year in Australia – and a chance to make a real impact on climate change. Contact your Member of Parliament (MP) and let them know that climate change will be an election-deciding issue for you. You could do this by attending a public meeting they’re hosting in your area, calling their office or writing them a letter.
Search for your local member and find out how to contact them here. For pointers on how to write your MP a letter and what to include in it, check out our guide on how to write an effective letter to your MP.
2. Fundraise for the Climate Council.
There is more than one way to donate to support a clean, renewable powered future! You can make a financial contribution by fundraising on behalf of the Climate Council.
Fundraising is a great way to get active, raise awareness and contribute to our work at the same time. And there’s no limit to what you can do! We’ve had people cycle across Australia, give up alcohol for a year or choose to forego wedding presents in lieu of donations.
Download our fundraising toolkit here and get creative – the sky’s the limit!
3. Install rooftop solar, or switch to green energy.
Two million (and counting) Australians are now harnessing the power of the sun to reduce their greenhouse gas pollution and take control of their power bills, by installing rooftop solar. And when paired with battery storage, rooftop solar can deliver clean, reliable, renewable power 24/7. For more information on switching to solar energy, check out chapter 4 of our climate action toolkit.
Alternatively, if you’re not in a position to purchase solar panels, you could consider making the switch to a clean energy provider, who will purchase renewable energy on your behalf. This is also a great way to bring down greenhouse gas pollution and invest in renewable energy. Check out the Green Electricity Guide for help picking a provider.
Want more ideas about how you can push for climate action in the new year? Sign up to the Climate Council mailing list for the latest news on climate change and to get involved in our campaigns.
4. Move your money, so it doesn’t support the fossil fuel industry.
Do you know where your personal finances are invested? Many banks, super funds and share portfolios invest in fossil fuel projects. Making informed choices about where to invest your hard-earned cash, will put pressure on financial institutions to do better.
And thankfully, there are a lot of options out there for banks and super funds that support renewable energy and the environment! To find out where your bank stands, click here. To find out more about the future your super is funding, click here.
5. Change the way you travel.
Transport accounts for 18% of Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution, adding 100 million tonnes to the atmosphere every year. On emissions, transport is second only to electricity!
- While a credible national policy is needed to tackle transport emissions, there are some everyday actions you can take to reduce your emissions from transport, including:
- Avoiding unnecessary travel (e.g. can you use video chat software for meetings, instead of travelling interstate?)
- Choosing cleaner alternatives to car travel, such as public transport, cycling and walking
- Encouraging your workplace to support cleaner transport options. This could involve travel to, and for, work. Your workplace might like to offer discounted travel cards and cycling facilities, for example.
6. Get your friends involved in climate action, too.
Are your friends and family on board when it comes to climate action? Or could they do with a little more information/convincing? Are they keen to do something about climate change, but they just don’t know what? Why not strike up a conversation about why climate change is important to you, and share with them what you know?
- Talk to them in real life. You could kick-start the conversation by sharing a personal story about how you came to care about climate change. Ask questions to work out where they’re at, and make them think! If you’re talking to someone with different views, remember to be patient and listen. People like to be heard. Try to find common ground.
- Share something on social media, like an article you’ve read, or a Climate Council post (you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)
- Ask them to join our mailing list, so they can receive our latest climate change news, reports and ways to get involved
- Ask them to consider becoming a contributing supporter
7. Shift how you consume.
There are lots of ways to change how and what you consume, and reduce your impact on the environment. You might like to shift:
- Who you purchase products from. Find a list of companies who have committed to 100% renewable energy here
- Reduce consumption and buy goods that are built to last
- Can you make changes to what you eat, or reduce the amount of food you waste?
Think about what you need and don’t need, and what’s realistic to change.
Join the Climate Council for more of this in your inbox. You’ll be first to know about our new reports, factsheets and guides on climate change, and will receive event invitations and alerts to take action on important campaigns.
As a crowdfunded organisation, the Climate Council relies on the donations of our generous community of supporters. Financial contributions ensure that we can continue to push for climate action at all levels of government, research and write landmark reports on climate science and keep climate change at the top of the news – and in the public eye.
Whether you chip in $5 or $500, make a one-off or regular donation, contributing is one of the best ways you can push for climate change action and take on the biggest issue of our generation.
So, which resolutions will you make this year? Take your pick – and share with your friends to make yourself stick to it!
(Psst, for more ideas for how to make a difference in your everyday life, check out our climate action toolkit – it’s jam-packed with resources and even more hot tips on how to take action!)