by Justin Van Saghi, Protect Our Winters (POW)
Maybe you’ve been hearing about the climate crisis and are ready to take action.
That first step is often confusing. There are many places to begin. How do you get involved in the climate movement? Is a reusable bag at the grocery store climate action? What about a change in your diet or selling your car and buying a bike?
Individuals have a responsibility to reduce their climate impacts and carbon footprints. Why? Because we collectively impact the climate with consumption. Also, we know that the scale of individual emissions pales in comparison with big industry. For example, did you know that just 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions? Making the changes here, at the top, will have a much bigger impact than starting at the bottom with individual consumption. But it also means that we have to shift the way we think from “how do we change ourselves” to “how do we change the system?”
Protect Our Winters
Protect Our Winters (POW), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that turns passionate outdoor people into effective climate advocates knows that individual actions matter. Therefore systemic solutions to climate policies are the keys to solving the climate crisis with climate action at the scale necessary and in the timeline needed.
This means climate action with POW looks a little different than the traditional model of individual actions enacted in a silo. For POW, any individual’s first step in climate action is getting involved with policy and contacting lawmakers. Policy has the power to hold big polluters and industries accountable. for their emissions and can push them to create cleaner options for individuals. When communities tell lawmakers that the climate is their top priority, it becomes lawmakers’ top priority too.
POW’s Climate Action Movement
Every year, POW launches campaigns centered around clean energy, clean transportation, carbon pricing and protecting public lands from fossil fuel extraction. These four policy areas have a broad-reaching climate impact and can be acted upon at the individual and collective scale, making it effective yet simple for anyone to get involved. But what really moves these campaigns along and eventually to victory? Individuals contacting their lawmakers telling them to put climate first.
So what does taking the first step on climate advocacy look like? Check out POW’s climate advocacy roadmap to figure out where you can have the biggest leverage. Whether you’re running a business, competing as an athlete or just a general outdoor enthusiast, POW helps everyone find their biggest lever for change.