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Wondering how on earth one person can make a difference to a global problem? Here’s why individual action is important.

Climate change is one of the biggest issues of our time, one that’s so huge it can often feel like there’s nothing we could possibly do to stop it happening. While we can’t solve climate change on our own, we *do* have the power to create change, so don’t let that feeling stop you from taking action. Here are 4 reasons why every single person can make a difference.

Become the change you want to see

Once we believe in something, acting in line with those beliefs (however small the action may feel, whether it’s wasting less food or using a reusable bottle) gives us purpose and a sense of pride. We walk the walk which means we’re in a better position to fight for those things we really believe in because we’re already doing it! You can literally create your idea of a better world by the way you behave. Start small and then grow it from there. Little things do add up! 

Show that another way is possible

Whether it’s riding a bike, growing our own veggies, buying second hand or eating leftovers, every time we take a sustainable action it shows everyone from our friends and family to the people in charge (like government and big businesses) that this way of life is possible. As humans, we’re really influenced by the people around us, so if we take positive action and make changes, over time this can have a knock-on effect and start a chain reaction with others. Win, win!

It helps to create wider system change

As ‘citizens’, or ‘people of the world’ we can influence more than 25% of the emissions savings needed by 2030 to avoid the worst of the climate crisis. That’s a big number! Governments and businesses (the system) make up the rest – 75% – so they have an even larger responsibility. *

The good news is, we can influence them through our actions. When governments and businesses want to create positive change, they often look to people to prove that the change will be popular, and therefore easier and more successful. A good example of this is how almost every chain restaurant these days has veggie and vegan options on the menu. This has happened because lots more people are going veggie and showing there’s a demand. Restaurants have been more willing to change because they know that people want action.

 

Taking action can be a good way to help anxiety

With climate change hanging over us, it’s understandable that many people feel anxious and overwhelmed – these are totally normal feelings to have about something big and scary! However, taking action and finding something that you want to fight for can help you feel more in control and make you happier. Whether it’s taking up a positive new habit, litter picking in your local area, get involved in the conversation, or getting some friends together to think about changes you could make in your homes and schools, doing something – however big or small – can help your wellbeing as well as the planet.

Ready to make a difference? Take the quiz to find out what kind of eco-hero you are and discover easy ways to tackle the climate crisis.

* The ‘Power to the People’ research was requested by The JUMP, undertaken by Arup, overseen by C40 Cities, and based on evidence kindly provided by the University of Leeds.

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