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    December 30, 2020 | 8:00 AM

    5 Climate New Year’s Resolutions for a Better Tomorrow

    There’s no denying that 2020 has been a, um, complicated year. And we’re just going to leave it at that.

    But for those of us in the climate movement, it’s at least coming to an end on something of a high note – after four long years of climate denial and environmental rollbacks from the highest office in the land, we now have a president-elect who has promised to make climate action a priority of his administration.

    So as 2020 fades and gives way to 2021, we’re taking stock of this moment – and all the ways we can work together to move forward.

    And what better time to resolve to do better?

    Resolve to Study Up

    Let’s get this right out of the way: Climate science can get complicated quickly – and we know it.

    But at Climate Reality, we also know that speaking with authority on issues related to our climate is one of the most powerful actions you can take to change minds and, ultimately, help drive the conversation to where it needs to go – what all of us need to do to solve this crisis.

    Well, this is your lucky day, because one of the things we’re proudest of at Climate Reality are the great resources we create for climate advocates just like you to take out into your communities to inform and spread the good word that we can beat this thing – but it’s not going to happen on its own.

    With that in mind, we hope you’ll find the five pieces of free downloadable content below as valuable as many of our biggest supporters have:

    • Extreme Weather and the Climate Crisis: The Facts: Is climate change really making weather more extreme? The simple answer is yes. In this free e-book, we explain in plain language how burning fossil fuels is driving climate change and making our weather more intense and dangerous. Download here
    • How Renewables Work: A Practical Guide To Solar, Wind, and Geothermal: Around the world, cities, states, countries, and companies (and people just like you!) are making the switch to clean, renewable energy to help confront climate change – and because it just makes good economic sense. But how exactly do renewables even work? What are the upfront costs and maintenance expenses involved? What are the benefits to household and business bottom lines? You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. Download here.
    • Knowledge is Power: Climate Reality teamed up with HGTV’s Jonathan Scott for Knowledge is Power, a free e-book about the incredible benefits of solar energy and the deceptive tactics fossil fuel utilities are using to protect their bottom lines at the expense of every person on the planet. Download here
    • Climate 101: Weather Vs. Climate: Weather and climate are closely related, but the differences between them are vital. Feeling cloudy about the facts? Don’t worry, we’ll make it a breeze. Download here.
    • Climate-Smart Cooking and the Future of Food: Food is one of the most important things in our lives – and it is critically threatened by the climate crisis. Why? Because if we keep burning fossil fuels at our current rates, food may become harder to grow in many places and harder to access in others, and what does grow could be less and less nutritious. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Download here.

    Once you have the facts down, you’ll be ready to make one of the most important cases of our time: That the climate crisis is real, that it is man-made, and it is very solvable.

    Resolve to Change Just One Bad Personal Habit

    We’ve all got them. And don’t let the more self-righteous among us try to eco-shame you into thinking they don’t just because they drive an electric car. When it comes to how our personal behaviors impact the climate, no one is perfect, and we can all do a little bit better.

    And a whole bunch of us doing us a little better could go a very long way to creating the change we need.

    Whether it’s reducing your gasoline use by choosing to walk or bike just a little more; opting for reusable utensils, washable cloth napkins, and live flowers over disposable stuff to liven up your dinner parties (returning to a home near you in the summer of 2021?); seeking out local, in-season produce; or walking away from brands with bad environmental records in favor of ones prioritizing sustainability, there’s plenty you can do for the planet without having to undertake a wholesale change of your lifestyle.

    Beyond any “food miles” saved or carbon sequestered by the examples above, what we’re really talking about here is moving the dial, bit by bit, by showing those around you that you care about our climate, that doing so is far simpler than they may think, and that they should do it too.

    And there’s also this: One of the most basic and potent forms of power we have is our ability to decide where and how we spend our money. So when you pump less gas, you’re saying something. When you make the effort to have a waste-free event, you’re doing something. When you support local farms and climate-smart brands, you’re making a difference by revealing to the world a growing market for whom business as usual will not cut it.

    So just start with one thing, and go from there.

    Resolve to Join Us for a Webinar… or Training

    Earlier this year, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. Almost overnight, Climate Reality’s challenge shifted to carrying the gravity of the pandemic with us while continuing our work to solve the climate crisis and create a truly just and healthy future for all.

    To rise to this unprecedented challenge, much of our in-person organizing and training events had to be moved online.

    Over the summer, we launched a new webinar series exploring the key issues and ideas shaping the climate movement today. Each month since, we’ve featured special guests and field leaders from across the movement and beyond, sharing their unique expertise and unvarnished perspectives in conversation with Climate Reality activists and staff. Topics covered so far have included the intersection of climate activism and social justice, Indigenous leadership in the movement, talking to kids about the crisis, and much more.

    Importantly, each installment looks at how everyday activists can jump in and make a difference in the fight for a just and sustainable future. Sound like something you’d be into? Click here sign up to learn more.

    If you think you’re ready to go a bit bigger, consider attending a future Climate Reality Leadership Corps training. Dates for our 2021 virtual events will be available very soon.

    Resolve to Look Into Your Green Power Options

    You want to do your part to cut emissions and start using clean energy at home, but aren’t sure where to begin or if it makes sense for you. Trust us, we get it.

    We also get that not everyone can plaster solar panels on their roof and call it a day. For renters, it’s not their roof to put panels on. Some homes are ill-suited to solar power systems. For others, access to low-cost financing can be an insurmountable issue.

    But choosing clean alternatives over energy from coal, oil, and natural gas for your home is a whole lot easier and cheaper in most places than you might realize. And for many, it starts somewhere you might least expect: your existing utility (no really).

    Hundreds of utilities across the US already offer customers the option to choose green power from renewables like wind and solar. The programs may have different names like Windsource (Xcel Energy in Colorado and Minnesota) or Green Source (Portland General Electric in Oregon), but they basically work the same way: the utility either generates the power with clean sources or buys renewable energy certificates from other clean energy providers.

    Frequently, there’s an additional charge for choosing clean energy, and prices can vary depending on location, utility, and type of program. But as just one example, Puget Sound Energy customers may pay just 1 cent/kWh to enroll in the utility’s Green Power Program, which works out to be roughly $8-10/month for the average home. Not nothing, to be sure. But an affordable option for a lot of families and a practical one for many renters.

    And in many cases, making the switch is just a matter of a few clicks or a couple of minutes on the phone.

    Now, Resolve to Tell Us What You’re Up To

    What are your climate resolutions for 2021?

    Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by sharing what you hope to do in the year ahead to benefit our climate and help create a safe, sustainable future for decades to come, and tagging @ClimateReality in your post.

    We may even share some of the most interesting, innovative resolutions in hopes of inspiring others early in the new year to follow in your dedicated footsteps.

    If you’re looking for other ways to get involved with Climate Reality, join our email list today to get the latest on the climate crisis and the movement for solutions.

    Before You Go

    At Climate Reality, we work hard to create high-quality educational content like blogs, e-books, videos, and more to empower people all over the world to fight for climate solutions and stand together to drive the change we need. We are a nonprofit organization that believes there is hope in unity, and that together, we can build a safe, sustainable future.

    But we can't do it without your help.

    If you enjoyed what you’ve just read and would like to see more, please consider making a generous gift to support our ongoing work to fight climate denial and support solutions.

    The Climate Reality Project