Wildfires, droughts and powerful storms are all conditions we are experiencing more often and with greater intensity.

In the face of it all, it’s easy to feel powerless. So what can we do about it? Stand by for some answers.

Five things you need to know:

  1. Start with your wallet or purse. What you spend your money on is effectively a vote. So vote for the best product you can buy, one that tells you how it’s made, how it impacts the environment and if the company making it has goals to reduce its carbon emissions. No? Then find another one that does! What you buy means there will be a market for it. The same goes for investing. You can use your money for sustainable investments. It’s your choice and it's a powerful one.
  2. If we buy less, we’ll need less so hand-me-downs and second-hand stores and sharing tools or cars are another way to ensure we own less and reuse more. It's what's known as a sharing-economy mindset. Why not walk to the shops or cycle there instead of driving? Using your legs and body will probably mean you’ll live longer anyway.
  3. Reforest not deforest: some studies suggest carbon-dioxide emissions could be massively reduced if we planted 900 million hectares of forests worldwide. How easy is that to do? Not impossible if we all plant trees in our lifetimes.
  4. The real key to fighting climate despair, scientists say, is to create community around it, build a group so that you can put compassionate pressure on governments and companies. And in taking action with others, you’ll feel better than just doing it on your own. Or why not run for local office?
  5. And finally, vote, with your wallet, yes, but also actually vote. You can choose a candidate who understands the climate problems we and our grandchildren face who will help us all push in a greener, cleaner direction. Because ultimately, the biggest impacts can be made by governments and governance. 

Acting locally and thinking globally has never been more important. What’s good for the climate in the U.S. is ultimately what’s good for the people of the world. The more we all take a stand now, the better and more hopeful all of our futures may be.