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Climate Resolutions for 2022

Sunrise from Little Pisgah Mountain. Photo by Kevin Adams.

What are your resolutions for the New Year? Maybe you’re joining a gym, eating healthier, or spending more time with loved ones. While personal goals are important to have, we invite you to join us in setting goals for the planet as well. The call for climate change action is critical. Here’s how we’re taking action, and how you can help.

The Reality of Climate Change

As we face more floods, wildfires, landslides and droughts than ever before, the reality of climate change is undeniable.

These changes not only impact the land, but they also threaten our communities and our wildlife. Our future generations will suffer and many kinds of plants and animals will be eradicated if we don’t take action.

But there is still hope. We hold the power to make a difference for the planet in 2022 and beyond, through making intentional choices to fight climate change.

Wildfires abound in our region and beyond.

Practicing What We Preach

Here at Conserving Carolina, we decided to take action towards saving our planet. If we do not care for the planet, the beautiful places we love and protect will no longer exist.

To assess the best steps to take as an organization, we completed a greenhouse gas assessment last summer to better understand our GHG emissions and our impact on climate change. From this assessment, we came up with 5 strategies:

1) Reduce employee commuting, 2) increase carpooling, 3) transition to an electric vehicle fleet, 4) replace natural gas heating, and 5) sdd solar energy generation to our office.

Our last strategy was implemented this past month, with solar panels now installed at the office. Our other strategies are also in the works.

Solar panels installed on the roof of the Conserving Carolina office building.

Our board also voted to move all of our investments out of fossil fuels, and instead made ESG investments. ESG investing prioritizes positive environmental, social, and governance factors or outcomes. This means that our investments are placed in companies who are socially and sustainably-minded, meaning they make climate-conscious business decisions.

Actions You Can Take

Wondering what steps you can take to mitigate climate change? Here are five practical ways you can contribute to climate solutions this year.

1) Solar panels for you and your community

Consider powering your home with a little help from the sun. Solar panels can have a high up-front cost, but they’ll actually save you money over time – a worthwhile investment for both you and the environment.

If you are unable to get solar panels for your own home, try starting a campaign for so

lar panels in your community instead. Solarize, for example, is a community-based solar program. The more people who sign up for the program, the more everyone saves on the cost of solar power. This can include local businesses, non-profits, and residences as well.

2) Switch to clean investing

If you have investments in companies using fossil fuels, consider shifting these to companies who follow ESG guidelines. Options for investing in companies who follow these guidelines are now becoming more commonplace. You can find out more about ESG investing here.

3) Create a habitat at home

You can create a place for wildlife to find food and shelter in your own backyard. This helps species who are affected by climate change to adapt and remain resilient to habitat changes caused by flooding, temperature changes, and severe weather.

Check out our latest Habitat at Home ideas for how you can help local wildlife.

4) Policy for climate solutions

One important way you can contribute to climate solutions is through the power of your vote. Researching political candidates both at the local and national level is a great way to ensure that we’re holding our government accountable for taking action on climate change.

If you want take non-partisan climate action, we also recommend getting involved with grassroots organization Citizens Climate Lobby. This organization’s goal is to “put a price on carbon”. Carbon pricing would not only benefit our environment and our wildlife, but it would also create jobs, save lives, and establish a stronger economy. There are many ways you can get involved with this organization, by attending information sessions, conferences, or monthly meetings – or if you’re feeling ambitious, all of the above!

Learn more about federal action on climate change here, as well as state-wide actions North Carolina is taking.

5) Donate to Conserving Carolina

Conservation is a major piece in the fight against climate change. When you donate to CC, you help save the trees, plants, and soils that capture carbon, one of the major greenhouse gases. You also support projects to restore natural areas like floodplains and wetlands that protect our communities from flooding and other natural disasters.

“How we manage land is very important. Protecting forests and wetlands safeguards, expands, and creates new carbon sinks that directly drawn down carbon.” says climate strategist Chad Frischmann. “Land management provides four of the top twenty solutions to climate change.”

Watch this video from our 2021 Conservation Celebration to learn more about the relationship between conservation and climate change.