By: Avner Yeshurun, Scholarship Winner —
How Can One Person Stop Climate Change?
Climate change is a problem on such a massive scale that one often thinks, I wish I could stop it! But what can one person possibly do against the might of so many who are making the issue worse by the day? It can be very despairing at times; even though we care for the environment and do not want humanity to suffer the self-inflicted effects of a warming planet, sometimes it seems like there is nothing we can do to stop it.
But there are small steps we can take to stop climate change. Not necessarily in their physical effect- that will be quite small if we are being realistic- but in their inspirational effect. The only way to solve climate change is through a grass-roots initiative. Offer carpool rides to your friends. Buy a hybrid or electric car. Make sure your paper products have the “from a sustainable source” label. Open the curtains during the day instead of turning on the light. Recycle.
But just doing these everyday activities, while commendable, is not the most one can do for the planet. We need to inspire others to do the same. We need to spread the message of hope. We need to make people receptive to the idea that this planet that is our only home in a vast inhospitable galaxy. We only have one chance.
What are some ways to inspire? I can think of quite a few practical approaches. The first is to explain to friends and fellow community members why you are conducting your lifestyle in this interesting way. Be passionate, but do not alienate. Offer help to those who want to become more environment-conscious but do not know how or do not have the resources.
Education of the young generation is key- if a child is motivated from a young age to care for his or her surroundings, he or she will grow up to naturally gravitate to a sustainable lifestyle. As an adult, you can sponsor a movie night for children or young adults and show “Our Planet”, a recent documentary that shows how so much beauty in nature is declining so quickly. Awareness is always the first step to combating a problem.
Stopping Climate Change Starts With You
Spread knowledge. Be passionate. Take practical steps that will inspire your friends. The movement will become bigger than any individual- it will start on your block, encompass your neighborhood, captivate the town, overwhelm your city. Gaining momentum will earn the support of companies and corporations to do their fair share, and the national headlines will proclaim a revolution. It starts with you.