Climate Change – Make it Personal

*This article continues a series of posts focused on UIG’s Mission 2022: Climate Change.  Help us build a comprehensive climate change collection by contributing visual content to UIG.  Contact us at


Climate Change is a crisis that requires global leadership in setting policies and committing to shared goals.  As we look to our governments to address climate change and drive change on a national and international scale, it’s very easy to lose sight of the profound power of individual action.  Each of us can take responsibility for making the health of our planet better for ourselves and the future generations that depend on us.

ActNow, the United Nations’ campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability, promotes and challenges individuals making choices that have less harmful effects on the environment and that help take better care of our planet. To learn more about this initiative, and to download the ActNow app to track your own actions in helping the Earth, visit

Let’s make promoting sustainability and combatting climate change personal!  Here’s some ways we can all help save our planet’s future:

Thermostat on Wall. Photo: Glasshouse Images/UIG

Save energy at home (save some money for yourself too!) – wash your laundry in cold water; try drying your laundry outdoors instead of with a dryer; switch to energy-efficient appliances; use LED lightbulbs; turn down the thermostat when you can – keeping your home a little cooler means you are using less coal, oil or gas to heat your home.

Denmark. Copenhagen. Photo: Giovanni Mereghetti/UCG/UIG

Walk, bike, use public transportation – join a carpool group for commuting; take public transportation instead of driving; get your bicycle tuned up and start using it; walk to the store when you can.

Fresh green vegetables and fruits in fridge. Photo: Anjelika Gretskaia/REDA&CO/UIG

Eat more vegetables, and less meat – eating more vegetables, grains, fruits and consuming less dairy and meat will probably help you feel healthier while at the same time reduces the amount of methane gas released.

Torremolinos, Spain. RENFE local train. Photo: Ken Welsh/UCG/UIG

Consider travelling less – virtual meetings are becoming more accepted.  Taking one or two fewer airplane trips per year makes a significant impact on reducing your personal carbon footprint.  If you need to go on a trip and can do it by train, that helps too!

Compost. Photo: Tohier P/

Throw away less food – food scraps fill up landfills and as food rots it produces methane gas.  Use what you purchase or grow, and compost what you don’t use.

Batteries. Photo: Giovanni Mereghetti/UCG/UIG

Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle – when we purchase new clothes or electronics, we are paying for the production of those items, which used energy and created waste while contributing to global warming.  The more we can reuse what we already have, the better.

Modern electric car charging up at a station concept 3d render. Photo: FreelanceImages/UCG/UIG

Purchase an electric vehicle – EV’s are still too high-priced for the average consumer but if you can, consider buying an EV the next time you are in the market for a new vehicle.

Solar Panels, House, Bretigny sur Orge, France. Photo: Alex Bartel/Prisma by Dukas/UIG

Change your home’s source of energy – investigate solar and wind power initiatives.  Many local governments have programs that help make converting to solar and wind power affordable.

Recycling symbol. Photo: Chris Harris/UCG/UIG

Choose eco-friendly products – research which products are harmful to the environment, as well as which brands are sensitive to sustainability and climate change.  There’s plenty of sites that summarize products by eco-friendliness, such as

Climate emergency demonstration in London, 26th September 2019. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG

Speak Up! – You don’t need to attend a protest or demonstration (it’s cool if you can).  Share what you know about sustainability and climate change with your friends and family members.  Tell your neighbors about the steps you are taking to reduce your carbon footprint.  Write letters to your representatives to encourage them to lead us forward and out of our climate crisis.  Use your voice!


United Nations

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