Want to make a difference but don't know where to start? The field of planetary health is vast, and there is room for everyone to make a meaningful contribution.
Start by choosing one area of planetary health that most closely aligns with your own values and passions. Maybe you're a cook who cares about reducing food waste, or an animal lover who wants to contribute to healthy environments for wildlife. Starting with what you care about can help you focus your intention and do your best work.
Make it concrete
It can be helpful to clarify your intention into a concrete goal that makes sense for your life. Use our goal setting feature to learn how ready you are for change, define clear action steps, and set up a timeline and plan for accountability.
Need some ideas? Below are a few ways you can work toward planetary health, with suggestions for every level of commitment, from individual choices to collective action. (These are only a few examples of actions you can take, big and small, to support the health of the planet and your fellow humans. For even more ideas, visit Drawdown EcoChallenge and check out our Top 10 Tips for Reducing Global Warming.)
Reduce food waste
Quick fix: Learn a new recipe for food you'd normally toss, such as smoothies with mushy berries and brown bananas, or stock with veggie scraps.
Level up: Cook a zero-waste dinner with friends or family, exchanging tips for using all of your ingredients completely.
Big investment: Install a compost bin in your yard, which converts food into stable soil carbon, rather than methane. Use your compost to nurture a garden of your own.
Change the system: Volunteer for a food rescue organization that strives to repurpose would-be wasted food (such as restaurant surplus) to feed food-insecure areas.
Improve your water habits
Quick fix: Limit showers to 5 minutes and hold off on laundry until you have a full load.
Level up: Install a low-flow showerhead.
Big investment: Switch out older technology - such as a dishwasher or laundry washing machine - for a newer, energy efficient version.
Change the system: Advocate for policies that encourage water conservation in your area.
Get around differently
Quick fix: Use public transportation or a bicycle instead of driving for local errands.
Level up: Re-think your "big trips." Can a work trip be done virtually instead, or if not, can you avoid multiple layovers for necessary flights?
Big investment: Purchase or lease an energy efficient vehicle.
Change the system: Contact your local officials to see what they are doing to curb transportation emissions, such as adding bike lanes, making public transportation safer and more accessible, or advocating for emissions limits on personal vehicles.
Shift your power
Quick fix: Replace all your old incandescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs.
Level up: Lower your thermostat a couple of degrees in the winter and throw on an extra sweater instead.
Big investment: Install a rooftop solar panel on your home.
Change the system: Write or call your local representatives and power company and urge them to invest in wind and solar power. If your utilities company offers an option to support renewable energy sources, sign up.
Get more involved
Level up: Join a community meeting in your area to find out how you can work with others to make a difference.
Big investment: Volunteer for a political campaign that is running on a platform of environmental protections.