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Part of It’s Time Network’s mission is to highlight organizations working to regenerate the Earth and its ecosystems.  As such, we support global efforts to reduce climate change, including the the Conference of the Parties (COP21), the UN’s Climate Change Conference that took place last year in Paris.

What is the COP21?

It’s been nearly four months since COP21 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At this convention, 40,000 representatives from 196 countries met to discuss climate change, its impact on the world, and how countries can work together to reduce the speed of climate change and its harmful effects. This global agreement became known as the Paris Agreement, and laid out a goal to limit global warming to less than two degrees and net zero anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of the 21st century.

 

What’s happened since then?

In order for the agreement to pass, 55 countries, contributing to 55% of carbon emissions worldwide, must sign it. The agreement opens for signatures on Earth Day, April 22, 2016, giving all parties involved time to reflect on, understand and plan for the actions they will need to take as a result of signing. Initially, there has been doubt as to whether enough countries will agree to sign. However, on this Earth Day, signatures are now expected to come from up to 130 nations, including the United States, China and India.

 

What can you do?

In support of this historic global agreement, Individuals, families and organizations can play a positive role in reducing climate change. Here are just a few ways that you can help:

Advocate for green policies:

  • Vote for and support political leaders who are working towards energy efficient and climate-friendly policies.

  • Stay informed on local and national initiatives that support a healthier environment.

  • Learn about organizations that support policy change to protect the earth and its citizens.

  • Donate boldly to those organizations you feel most aligned with.

Change your daily habits to use less electricity, water, and fuel:

  • Consume less meat and dairy and consider transitioning to a vegan diet.

  • Only run the dishwasher when it’s full.

  • Turn off the water when washing dishes by hand.

  • Wash your laundry with cold water.

  • Walk or bike whenever possible.

  • Use public transportation or carpool when you can.

  • Buy energy efficient appliances for your home.

  • Buy “Leed” light bulbs that are now readily available at hardware stores.

  • Install a programmable thermostat.

  • Turn off your lights, TV and radio when you don’t need them.

  • Wash your clothes only when they’re dirty. This reduces the amount of water, energy and soap you use, and your clothes will last longer.

Reduce waste and recycle whenever possible:

  • Don’t print tickets or documents that can be accessed online or by mobile phone.

  • Opt in to paperless options for your bank statements, utility bills and credit card bills.

  • Avoid pointless purchases and reuse what you buy.

  • Buy in bulk and buy products that use less cardboard and plastic in packaging.

  • Support packaging laws that seek to reduce wasteful packaging.

  • Be conscious of the amount of paper you use and cut back wherever possible.

  • Buy recycled and recyclable paper for your home and work printers.

Take action at work and / or school:

  • Share how your daily use of electricity, water and plastic impact the earth and where you can cut back on use.

  • Start a recycling program at your office or in your school.

  • Plant a tree near your office.

  • Organize a carpool for work, school or social gatherings.

  • Start a “commute-free day” where everyone works from home, doesn’t drive and the electricity at the office stays off.

  • Use dishes and silverware at work instead of plastic forks and paper cups.

  • Propose a corporate social responsibility program focused on the environment at your office, such as company-wide recycling, a volunteer day to pick up litter, or financial support for an organization working to improve the environment.

To address climate change, it will take everyone of us making changes in our personal lives. Increasingly, civil society leaders and policy makers, companies and individuals are finding ways to collaborate on this work. Attorney generals from 17 states are working together to tackle climate change through litigating fraud and pollution violations in the energy sector. Global companies are now joining forces and are transitioning to using only renewable energy. Many organizations like the World Wildlife Fund offer helpful advice for organizations, schools and individuals to make a difference. Companies who offer environmental, community and social benefits can be labeled as B Corporations, making it easier for companies and consumers to choose who they work with or shop from based on their impact on the environment or society.

Progress is being made by groups large and small who are working to make a difference and who know that it is essential to work together for collective action. Our list of partners is growing in a mutually supportive network.

We’re thrilled to work with and support a growing network of partner organizations who are doing just that. To become a network partner, please find information and get in touch with us here.


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