Actions with Impact

Actions with the Greatest Impact

The polar bear's survival is linked to the Arctic sea ice, a habitat greatly affected by climate change.

Research shows that it's not too late to take action to save sea ice and polar bears by greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

PBI scientists have put together a list of which individual actions have the most impact. Look through these tips, find out what you're already doing—and then commit to doing more.

These simple steps will soon become habits and, eventually, part of a stewardship ethic that guides your daily choices and informs your everyday decisions.

© Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com

Social Interactions

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  • Voting for political representatives who recognize that our carbon-based society isn't sustainable and who will work to establish an appropriate price for carbon—and sharing information on these candidates with others.

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  • Helping to create a stewardship ethic in your community and raising awareness of how lifestyle changes can make a difference, by taking part in local green initiatives like planting trees, recycling drives, or bike to work days—or starting your own.

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  • Encouraging members of your social circles to adopt sustainable lifestyles—and lead by example.

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  • Communicating the facts about global warming to friends and relatives.

Transportation

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  • Walking or riding a bike.

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  • Using public transportation.

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  • Driving the most fuel-efficient vehicle for your needed task and driving at the most efficient speed for your vehicle.

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  • Avoiding drive-through businesses—don't idle for more than 10 seconds.

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  • Keeping your car tuned up and maintaining proper tire inflation.

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  • Supporting community bike lanes, no-idling efforts, and mass transit options.

Home & Work

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  • Insulating buildings and heating/cooling with efficient systems (e.g., ENERGY STAR).

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  • Generating your own power with wind or solar sources.

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  • Letting your utility company know that you want to subscribe to green power. If you live in the U.S., you can do so by switching to Arcadia Power—and you’ll benefit PBI at the same time.

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  • Using energy-efficient (e.g., ENERGY STAR) appliances and equipment, turning appliances off when not in use, and using low-tech methods when possible (e.g., line-dry clothes).

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  • Replacing light bulbs with LED bulbs (see ENERGY STAR).

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  • Using no more water than needed.

Dining

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  • Buying and cooking only what you'll eat and not wasting food.

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  • Consuming foods that are minimally processed and packaged (e.g., potatoes vs. potato chips).

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  • Purchasing food grown locally and organically on small-scale farms.

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  • Avoiding products that result from tropical deforestation (e.g., palm oil, coffee that isn't shade-grown, South-American beef).

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  • Greatly reducing or eliminating meat consumption.

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  • When consuming meat, supporting pasture-fed beef, free-range poultry, and sustainable wild-seafood rather than CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations) meats—and buying these from local farmers or fishermen when possible.

Marketplace

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  • Minimizing consumption—reduce, reuse, and recycle!

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  • Researching vendors and buying from those with sustainable business models.

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  • Avoiding products with excess packaging.

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  • Buying products created closer to home: for example, if you live in the U.S. or Canada, purchasing goods made in North America instead of those shipped from far away, whenever possible.
glaciers floating ont he ocean
© Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com