One should be conscious, on whether the home heating and electricity come from renewable or not? Do you question yourself on what is my least impactful energy option? Can I travel on public buses instead of private cars? Do I need to be conscious of meat consumption? Can I avoid plastic bags while shopping? Am I fully aware of the threats of climate change? Can I talk about it openly?
The suffering of nature is quite evident in this Anthropocene era. The behemoth emissions of greenhouse gases are causing the magnitude of change that humans can’t even comprehend. The majority of climate scientists agree upon the fact that human beings are responsible for climate change.
Climate action urgency is imminent and understanding its various dimensions in terms of science, economics, ethics from societal, political, and individual levels is crucial.
Responding to climate change involves two approaches
- Mitigation: that can reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
- Adaptation: Adjusting, adapting, and being in alliance with changing environment.
Individual actions include anything that we can do by ourselves. It’s time to be an effective agent for climate change. As an individual, we can take action on the following thematic areas:
Food: FAO estimates that 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted annually. You can take action by following a vegetarian diet, eating local organic vegetables, avoiding excessive meat and dairy products, growing vegetables in our own garden, buying leftovers from the grocery stores for our livestock, reducing food waste, and using paper bags.
Transportation: Transportation is one of the major means for the emission of greenhouse gases. We can prefer travelling on public buses, cycling or even walking in a short distance, rideshare, or Carpool etc. Some countries like Britain and the Netherlands pay people to cycle to work and are rewarded for not driving their own car. What a policy!
Energy: We can make our house more energy efficient. Turn off lights, thermostat and WIFI before going to bed. Upgrade the boiler. Insulate doors. Switch to a cheaper energy tariff. Use a water-saving showerhead. Fit a double glazing window. And consider solar panels.
Engaging with a local organization to partner together on climate advocacy can help bring up organizational and institutional awareness. For example, you can get involved in Nepalese Youth for Climate Action (NYCA) district chapters. NYCA is a youth-led coalition of the Nepalese youth tackling climate change with the motto “Caring for Climate, Caring for ourselves”.
We can prepare our own personal Climate Action Plan to facilitate continued action. Even for a global issue like climate change, we can also contribute a lot as an individual.
If we can make a difference then why step back? Embrace the challenge and act. According to climate experts, 10 words to know for climate action: “It’s Real, It’s Us, It’s Bad, Scientists Agree, There’s Hope”.
I’d like to add a few more on that – ‘If not Us then Who? If not Now then When?’