Individual Actions Still Matter: How Our Personal Choices Impact Climate Change

At NWEI we have long focused on the role of each individual to create positive change. We believe the little things can indeed make a big difference – and we focus on a simple objective: to give people a framework to talk about our relationship with the planet and to share in discovering new ways to live, work, create and consume. We believe no change is too small — in fact, the choices we make every day are exactly where change is most possible and powerful.

That’s why we are excited about a groundbreaking new study from Sweden that outlines what individuals can do about climate change  – as well as measures the relative impact. Researchers examined what individuals can do to help address the climate crisis while also providing data about how individual actions do indeed add up to make impact. A key takeaway: individual actions still matter- a great deal.

Grist.org recently highlighted the study, which was published in Environmental Research Letters, and noted that “the researchers found that behavioral shifts could be faster than waiting for national climate policies and widespread energy transformations.” In fact, Grist author Eric Holthaus suggests the study may be the first comprehensive analysis on the effectiveness of specific individual climate actions.

Perhaps not surprisingly, lower-impact actions like recycling or changing light bulbs had less impact. Higher impact actions include buying green energy or living car free. The individual action with a highest return? Having one fewer child.

Click here or below to see how all the actions studied measure up. And for a deeper dive, check out NWEI’s Change Is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions discussion course book or join us for our annual EcoChallenge October 11-25th and kick-start new habits by choosing energy or transportation actions!

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