By Carlen Altman
From weird weather, to catastrophic floods and hurricanes, to species extinction, climate change is real and something that is affecting all of us -- even you! (Yes, you!)
Young people, politicians and even celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Harry Styles are speaking out about one of the most important issues -- if not the most important issue -- facing human today. Luckily, you don't have to be a movie star or a member of One Direction to take action to stop climate change. All you need to do is care.
Here are some important (and totally do-able) things you can do this week and beyond to take #ClimateAction (that actually make a real difference!).
1. Tune into MTV on Wednesday night (Oct. 14) for MTV's #ClimateAction Takeover.
This Wednesday during the 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. NoChill block, MTV will be dedicating part of it's regular programming to #ClimateAction (including interviews, tips and some exciting surprises).
Wednesday night, tweet to @MTVNoChill with the hashtag #ClimateAction if you take any of the actions below to help our planet, and we might give you an onscreen shoutout! (What's better than doing the right thing AND getting famous, am I right?)
Here's a sneak peek!
2. Join the fun earlier on Wednesday at the People's Climate March.
This Wednesday, in cities and towns around the United States, people who care about our planet (you, perhaps?) will be participating in a National Day of #ClimateAction to call attention to the urgent need for bold steps to be taken to address our planet's climate crisis.
From gatherings to protests to teach-ins, something important and fun is bound to be happening right near you -- so get out there and meet other people also fighting the good fight. (Pssst... Even if you can just go for 30 minutes after school or work, it will make a difference!)
3. Switch your energy bill to run on renewable energy (and save money!).
Since we know one way humans are causing climate change is by burning fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal (which, when they burn, release heat-trapping carbon dioxide into our atmosphere), one of the best things we can do is use non-polluting, renewable energy (like solar, wind and hydro-electric water) to power our lives instead .
It's easy to switch, totally worth it, and might even save you some big bucks each month! To see if your house qualifies to run on renewable energy, check out websites like EthicalElectric.com and 100.org.
4. Ask your school or company to divest!
Many schools and businesses have some money invested in oil, gas and goal. But through the fossil fuel divestment movement, over $2.6 trillion dollars have been pulled out or "divested" from fossil fuels in the last few years alone. (Leonardo DiCaprio is an especially big supporter of Fossil Fuel Divestment, so it must be good!)
Check out Gofossilfree.org to help your school or office begin divesting.
5. Go meatless on Mondays.
Considering meat production is the cause of a serious amount of greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, one thing you can do right now is to take meat off your plates as much as possible (especially beef, since its production accounts for the most greenhouse gas emissions of them all).
Check out MeatlessMonday.com for meat-free recipes. To find vegetarian restaurants in your area, try the HappyCow.net (also available as an App for your phone). It might sound hard, but the planet (and animals!) will thank you -- not to mention, they say vegetarians are better in bed! (Could it be true? Find out!)
6. Get out there and VOTE!
Different candidates have different views on climate change. Some think it's a big priority (i.e., Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton), and some don't even believe it's happening (i.e., Ben Carson). To see how each candidate rank on the issue of Climate Change, check out NPR's chart on the subject. And most importantly, make sure you're registered to vote for our next president. Every vote counts -- including yours!
Whatever you do, remember that you have what it takes to change the world, and to never give up hope. Our planet and everyone on it is counting on us (NBD). Now go out there and do something to help our world!