A Personal Climate Action Plan to Help Save Our Planet

At SunCommon, we believe in protecting our planet. We drive electric vehicles, generate power with renewable resources, and strive towards reducing our carbon footprint—at work and at home. It’s part of who we are.

Still, we know we can do more. We want to help reverse climate change. And we invite you to join us.

We thought it would be fun and beneficial to have a Personal Climate Action Plan to follow. And we made it simple so we can all be inspired, instead of overwhelmed. While we can’t take credit for all the  ideas, we can direct you to our source: the book Drawdown edited by Paul Hawken.

This is a plan where we make a difference by acting together.

1. Eat Lots of Local Veggies

Drawdown Solution #4

Now this is a simple action to start with! A diet plentiful in fruits, veggies, and grains is good for your health and good for the planet. Raising cattle contributes to about 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions per year! Love burgers? Try Meatless Monday. Buying local produce is a great way to support farmers in your community and cut down on all the resources that go into distribution. And come warmer temps, you can grow your own veggies or join a farm share.

eat local fight climate change

2. Prevent Food Waste

Drawdown Solution #3

What’s the harm in throwing away food? A lot of it ends up in landfills. It gets trapped, gets no oxygen, and decomposes into methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that gets released into the atmosphere. What can we do about it? We can be mindful of our food prep so we don’t end up with waste. When we’re chopping and peeling our veggies, we can put our discards into the compost bin. Composting (#60) allows for a natural process of decomposition and creates nutrient-rich soil that is great for gardens.

food waste climate change

3. Go Solar

Solution #10 Rooftop Solar, #8 Solar Farms

Going solar has a huge potential to reverse climate change. That’s why Rooftop Solar and Solar Farms rank in Drawdown’s top 10 out of 100! Solar use continues to rise thanks to incentives, increased production, and advances in technology — all which bring the cost down. Yay. When you use rooftop solar, the earth’s biggest resource powers your home or work place!

Solar farms (what we call Community Solar Arrays/CSAs) are large-scale arrays that can harness massive amounts of sunshine. That’s a lot of clean energy being captured and distributed. Solar arrays may be the way of the future for power plants. They can be created much quicker than coal, natural gas, and nuclear plants, and they can cut emissions drastically. At SunCommon, CSAs are a lot smaller than power plant size, but they still offer big impact. CSAs distribute power to many people and are a popular solar alternative for renters and homeowners who can’t go with the rooftop option.

residential rooftop solar climate change

4. Drive EVs and Share Rides

Drawdown Solution #26 and #75

Drive an electric vehicle and you cut greenhouse gas emissions in half. Or better yet, power your EV with solar and you reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 95 percent! That’s a big difference. Both the U.S. and Canada have high rates of car ownership and people driving alone. That means we have a lot of potential for improvement. Consider this statistic from Drawdown: “For every one hundred cars being driven to work in the United States today, only five carry another commuter.” What if we started by carpooling once a week? What if many people did this?

5. Conserve Your Household Water

Drawdown Solution #46

We wash dishes, take showers, flush toilets, and do laundry. Over and over again. “At home, the average American withdraws ninety-eight gallons of water each day much more than is typical world-wide.”  How can we cut down? Lots of ways, really. We can change our habits just a little for big impact by taking shorter showers and laundering less. We can also switch to energy-efficient dishwashers and washing machines, and low-flow shower heads and toilets.

drawdown conserve water

6. Store Your Clean Energy

Drawdown Solution #77

Just like an electric vehicle operates off of battery power, so too can your home or workplace. On a practical level, battery backup, like our Tesla Powerwall, lets solar customers have power whenever they need it. The broader benefit is that this stored distributed energy ties into the grid, so that even more people can benefit from reliable, renewable energy. What a great example of how individual action can result in collective benefit!

Our actions really do add up. Positive climate action starts individually and builds collectively. Get started. Share your progress. Be empowered to make a difference.

(Curious about Drawdown? Learn about the discussions we’re hosting and why we’re such big fans here.)

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