6 things you can do about climate change
Let’s talk about shampoo, personal finance, and finding your superpower. We heard from women entrepreneurs and leaders, and we’re sharing their climate activism tips with you.
By Helen So
October 5, 2022
During Climate Week NYC, we attended the Women and Climate happy hour celebrating women leaders in climate optimism and climate activism. Elizabeth, one of our co-founders, spoke as a panelist, along with many other women entrepreneurs and leaders in the community.
Here are six tips the speakers shared to help you get involved with climate change in your day-to-day life.
#1: Connect with nature
Get outdoors! Emilie McGlone, director of Peace Boat, reminds us that if you’re living in a city, it can be easy to forget how much we need to feel connected to nature. Escape the traffic for a hike or just find a tree at your local park and sit under it for a while. Simply existing in nature for a few minutes can help you feel refreshed—and remember why our Earth is worth fighting for.
#2: Open your life to different routines
Emily Ewell, founder and CEO of Pantys, tells us that when she moved to Brazil after living in several different countries, she realized that living in different environments opens your eyes to new routines and products. In tribal communities in the Amazon, people lack access to waste management services. Plastic waste there is burned, making it particularly important to reduce plastic consumption. Ewell has switched from liquid to bar-based shampoo and soap to cut down on her plastic usage.
Other favorite lifestyle changes we heard about from the speakers include composting and sharing climate news with friends.
Is there a plastic product you’ve been considering switching from? Or have you thought about turning your food waste into compost to nourish a community garden?
#3: Check out where your money’s going
We encourage you to look more closely at where your money is going. Is your bank using your money to fund solar projects or to finance oil drilling? If you have an ESG fund, you may want to check whether there are any fossil fuels in there. Exxon and other oil corporations are included in several ESG funds (even though they’re definitely not environmentally friendly!) because they scored better than other players in the fossil fuel industry.
If you don’t know where to start, feel free to check out our blog post with 5 tips to avoid greenwashed financial products.
#4: Find your superpower
Madeleine MacGillivray, a lifelong climate activist and the founder of Superheroes Needed, calls for every person to understand their own strengths and lived experiences—superpowers, if you will—and use them to contribute to the climate fight.
Growing up, MacGillivray accompanied her mother, an environmental lawyer who fought for clean water and a liveable climate, to her work with communities worldwide, where they met many incredible people. MacGillivray remembers Donatilda, who fought for clean water for herself, her family, and her community in Ecuador that had been ravaged by Chevron for decades.
She also describes meeting Melina Laboucan-Massimo, co-founder of Indigenous Climate Action, who led MacGillivray through 14 kilometers of tar sands in her indigenous community in Alberta, Canada. MacGillivray says we are “experts in our own experience,” and calls for us to become the superheroes we need to save ourselves.
What is a personal strength that you’re proud of, and how might you use it to give back?
#5: Join a community
Join a discussion group, or see what events are happening in your area. Even simpler, start a conversation with your friends about the climate news sometime. You never know what could come out of it. Our co-founders, Bonnie and Elizabeth, met on a train, and now they’re building a platform to help individuals like us green our finances. Our best ideas happen when we’re together, and engaging in community is how we turn individual actions into collective impact.
#6: Take care of yourself
She explains that to be a true optimist, you must be aware of the problem. She distinguishes climate optimism from toxic positivity, a term that refers to ignoring problems, shaming negative emotions, and forcing a positive outlook that isn’t necessarily grounded in reality. Instead, climate optimism calls for us to be informed of our circumstances and to accept where we are. Then, we can participate in the action and show up for the work that needs to be done.
Gennari says it best:
“Since the future is up to us, we have nothing to lose, and give it all we’ve got. Being alive today is an extraordinary gift. We are here to make history together.”
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