Good news for the planet! Across the United States, we’ve made promising climate victories on ballot initiatives and elected officials that support a liveable future.
25 (and still counting) pro-environmental candidates have been elected at the local and state level, from Colorado to Delaware.
Climate policies have also changed. Columbus, Ohio voted to switch to 100% green energy by 2023 and the state of Wisconsin voted to retire 1400 megawatts of coal in favor of clean energy. In Louisiana, voters shot down Amendment 5, which would have loosened taxes on oil companies. Colorado voters supported an amendment to reintroduce gray wolves, a vote that will help restore and preserve the natural ecosystem and biodiversity for the next generation. Denver residents voted to increase taxes in support of green infrastructure. So far, people have voted in favor of seven pro-climate ballot initiatives.
Last, but not least, 75 million people voted for Joe Biden, the presidential nominee most likely to address climate issues. The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ushers in a new era of possibility for federal-level climate action. Biden plans to recommit the US to the Paris Climate Agreement and he’s considering creating a new climate change office. He plans to put environmental justice at the forefront of clean energy and infrastructure investments. In addition, he plans to reverse Trump’s regulation rollbacks with a series of executive orders on Day 1.
With so many climate wins, voters can breathe out a sigh of relief and pat ourselves on the back. Maybe even dance in the streets.
Then we need to take a steadying inhale and fill with power and purpose. These climate victories are only the beginning. The next 4 years will dramatically impact our climate and communities for decades to come. We have more work to do.
Here are four things, starting from your personal sphere to participating in collective action, that you can do to keep the momentum going.
1. Heal: Start a conversation
In his address to the nation, president-elect Joe Biden echoed the words of Barack Obama in declaring that there is no such thing as a red state or a blue state, just the United States. It is clear that it is time to heal our political division.
Such healing can only happen in our hearts and minds. Don’t shy away from taking a break for some everyday self care or speaking to a therapist, if access to mental healthcare is within reach.
If you have the emotional bandwidth, reach out to family and friends to start conversations and find common ground. Make climate personal for your family and friends to help them see how climate impacts them personally. No one wants polluted air or water in their neighborhoods. Even if your friends and family have differing political beliefs, you may be surprised that many of us are on the same page when it comes to climate: last week, Fox News reported that 70% of Americans think the government should do more for clean energy. Unfortunately, only 36% of Americans regularly discuss climate science, which results in climate silence.
2. Step on the Scale: Reduce what you can, offset the rest
Check your spending history in the Joro app to see the carbon impact of your current habits and consider where you can improve your carbon footprint. Join a challenge to eat more plants or reduce your home energy use to save money and live lighter.
Along the way, celebrate the improvements you’ve already made this year. For example, Americans dramatically reduced their air travel due to COVID-19, creating a climate win in the midst of a global pandemic. Together, our personal actions add up.
Where you find it difficult to reduce your carbon footprint, purchase carbon offsets. With Joro’s carbon offset subscriptions, you can invest in clean energy, soil sequestration, and reforestry at a price point that works for you. Purchasing carbon offsets can be a real headache, but Joro demystifies the carbon offset process to give peace of mind when you choose your offset project.
3. Celebrate: Prepare for a sustainable holiday season
Start planning to celebrate the holiday season with sustainable menus and gifts.
To kick off your planning for a sustainable Thanksgiving table, we have two great events on Wednesday, November 11th and Monday, November 16 at 5:30 pm PT.
This Wednesday, November 11th at 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET, join Erik Drobey (Sous-Chef at Wursthall and Bierhaus, R&D at Impossible Foods) for a plant-forward Thanksgiving cookalong special. Erik will share a delicious recipe for Impossible Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy, and his best advice about cooking with plant-based meats. Join us to cookalong and get a copy of the recipe.
On Monday, November 16th at 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET, continue the plant-forward inspiration with a discussion on global food cultures with Ozoz Sokoh. As a culinary anthropologist and food historian, Ozoz will take us on a journey to discovering new flavors to incorporate into our American Thanksgiving tradition. Join a vibrant conversation.
4. Activate: Find your activism jam
Look for ways to engage with environmental activism with local and national organizations. If you’re looking for inspiration, here ere are a few of our favorite organizations:
- Join the Sunrise Movement’s Wide Awake campaign to push for policy reform.
- Take action with the League of Conservation Voters and EarthJustice to advocate for environmental regulation.Speak up against fossil fuels with your local 350.org and/or DivestEd chapter. College and universities make up a $500b industry, redirecting those investments to clean energy is significant.
- Connect with local climate justice groups and stay updated with local issues in your city and state. You can impact policy by calling your representatives to let them know what you care about. As voters, it is our job to keep our elected officials accountable to the platforms they promised.
- The climate crisis is daunting, but together we can make an impact. When the path toward a green future looks dark, remember, hope is contagious.