The Three Most Important Actions

1. Learn About Climate Change
The first step in helping resolve climate change is to learn about it. If we know what animal species are in danger, we can help protect them. If we know the causes of climate change, we can help reduce them. If we just act without a sound knowledge of why we’re acting in that particular way, we can rightly be accused of just jumping on the green bandwagon. So the very first act is the one that you can do from where you are – by looking at our Scientific Views on the Environment page you can learn much about the facts of climate change, issues of pollution, waste, overpopulation, and much more.

2. Don't Get Disheartened
Our planet is facing a severe crisis. Sometimes, it can all seem to be too much and it would be easy to give up. Certainly, when we see politicians talking about green issues, but then implanting policies that they can neither keep, nor that would actually bring the needed changes, it can be tempting to ask what changes we can make. Key to the ethos of IDEA is that everyone can make a difference. Lots of small changes add up to one big change. We can influence our politicians by voting, and our economies by ethical consumerism. We can literally influence the leadership of countries by combined, communal on-the-ground action. After all, to get re-elected politicians have to serve our agenda – they answer to us. If we are all living in ways that are not synchronous with our government, then you can be sure that the government will change for the better.

The old maxim "Think global, act local" is often very helpful. We can get easily disheartened if we try to act globally, if we try to save the whole world in one go. But there are so many local environmental issues that if we just help those, we make a very big change in the world. That might mean researching and helping out with a local environmental issue, or it might mean influencing local government. Either way, “think global, act local” can be incredibly empowering, so long as thinking global doesn’t fill our heads with negativity!

3. Set Targets that are Challenging and Realistic
If you set yourself an unreachable action target, if you fail to meet it then you will became disappointed, and perhaps disempowered. What is needed is for individuals to set themselves tough targets, but not targets that are unachievable. For example, committing yourself to abandoning the car and always using a bicycle is laudable, but might not be possible. In this example, it might be better to commit to buying a bicycle within a month, to commit to taking 50% of your journeys either by bike or public transport within 6 months, and perhaps increase that percentage for a year.