Individual Climate Action Matters: Inspiring Solutions at Scale By Doing Our Part

By Anita Fête Crews

Individual action matters and builds momentum for systemic change that will address climate change. This was the topic of discussion on our latest Blessed Tomorrow Let’s Talk Climate episode, “Sacred Home: Creating Shelter, Building Resilience, and Living Carbon Neutral”. 

Speakers from Let's Talk Climate Episode Sharing Together

Ani Fete Crews, Becky O’Brien, and Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll

We were joined by the Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, founder and CEO of Green The Church, and Becky O’Brien, Director of Food and Climate for Hazon to discuss individual action reduces our impact on the Earth but also allows us to more fully embrace our faith,  to pursue justice, and to live our climate values at the same time. We can educate our neighbors and invite our community to join us too. This might include reducing energy consumption, buying more sustainable products, shopping second-hand, making more sustainable food choices, and telling our personal stories about how climate change impacts us and our communities.

“We need it all (individual action and policy advocacy) – everybody and everything.” – Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, Green The Church

Both Green the Church and Hazon have exciting programs that help individuals learn and adopt more sustainable, just, and healthy behaviors to do their part in caring for the Earth. This includes training for clergy and lay leaders and programs that empower them to lead in their congregations and communities. For example, Green The Church launched its Ambassador program, specifically developed for individuals working in the environmental and black church space from different disciplines. And Hazon launched their Brit Hazon effort, a covenant for individuals to make personal commitments to climate action and advocacy. In addition, they both organize communities to elevate stories and voices of faith with policymakers and other decision-makers to adopt local, state, and federal policies that can address the climate crisis at scale.

We asked both guests to share their top five recommendations for individuals to make a meaningful impact and they both agreed on these key areas:

  1. Eat a more plant-based diet
  2. Recycle
  3. Compost
  4. Get an energy retrofit and reduce energy consumption
  5. Support the work of front-line organizations battling climate change
  6. And bonus but important, tell your story to make climate change personal and relevant for others

“Climate change is about asthma, it’s about being able to breathe, it is about being able to grow food in the places where we live.” –  Becky O’Brien, Hazon

Watch Here

Resources shared during the webcast:

Green The Church and Green The Church Ambassador Program

Hazon and Brit Hazon

Research: Americans May Feel Isolated in Their Climate Concern

Blessed Tomorrow Moving Forward Guide (in English & Spanish) 

Report: How Faith Communities Lead Social Movements

Blessed Tomorrow Ambassador Program

Fact Sheet: Climate Solutions for Your Community 

Let’s Talk Faith and Climate: Communication Guidance for Faith Leaders

Research: American Climate Perspectives Survey, Vol. I, “75% of Americans are aware climate change disproportionately harms younger people and future generations”. 

Research: American Climate Perspectives Survey, Vol. III, “A vast majority of Americans (96%) believe we have a right to live in a healthy environment with clean air and water — including 96% of rural Americans and 97% of urban Americans. 

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