Sustainable Living

I’m a Marine Biologist and Environmental Activist, and Here’s How You Can Help Fight Climate Change At Home

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If every climate-change-related headline, well-designed social graphic, or documentary has left you shouting “What can I do to actually help fight climate change?” into the void (or you know, your closest search engine), welcome to the club.

Approximately 146.1 million tons of solid waste was landfilled in 2018, According to the Environmental Protection Agency, so it makes sense if you’re feeling overwhelmed—but there are steps you can take to lessen your impact. To find those out, Sophia Bush sat down with marine biologist, policy expert, and environmental activist Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson on our latest episode of Need to Know to gain actionable tips on making real environmental change, starting with what you can do at home.

Before you can act, Dr. Johnson says you need to hone in on the area of climate change that you think needs your attention most. “I like to think which solutions I’m most excited to work on,” she says. “No one can do it all—it’s a matter of figuring out how the skills that each of us have map onto the solutions that need to be pushed forward,” she says. However, if we only focus on our individual carbon footprints, we’re overlooking the systemic changes that still have to be made as well, she says. So, how can you focus on both?

“People should think about what it means to be a part of the solutions in the communities and institutions you’re already a part of,” Dr. Johnson says. “What can you do to help transform your household, your workplace, your place of worship, your school, your sports team, or other groups you’re a part of?”

But when you’re looking close to home, shifting your mindset to examine things in your everyday life—from switching to a more eco-friendly car like the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai, a zero-emission car that checks off on style and sustainability, to starting a composting bin in your kitchen—can lead to bigger and more effective changes down the pipeline.

Tune into the video above for more expert-backed tips on how to help fight climate change.

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