As we move through the second decade of the 21st century, climate change continues to be one of the most pressing concerns for humanity. Glaciers are melting, temperatures are rising, and severe weather events are becoming more and more frequent.1
And yet, despite scientists from around the world sounding the alarm bells, many seem unaware of how climate change impacts our future. Whether it’s due to unfamiliarity or skepticism, people aren’t always fully conscious of the repercussions of a changing climate.
If you care about the future of the environment, bringing more awareness to the significant impacts of climate change is one of the best ways to do your part. With that in mind, we’re looking at seven different ways you can increase climate change awareness.
What is Climate Change Awareness?
Unless you’ve been actively trying to avoid news about our planet, you’ve likely heard of climate change. But knowing what climate change is and climate change awareness are two different concepts entirely.
In short, public awareness involves more than just educating people that the climate change issue is real. It spotlights the impacts of the climate crisis to engage and mobilize the unengaged. From there, climate change awareness campaigns strive to give people the tools, skills, and resources they need to join the fight and improve upon climate literacy.
Why Climate Change Awareness is Important
While it’s tempting to fall into the “awareness isn’t action” mindset, you can’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Awareness is truly the first step to a greener, safer, better tomorrow to increase public engagement.
Without mass climate change awareness, there’s not enough public pressure on the businesses and governments that can make far-reaching, impactful decisions. Alas, every step toward increased awareness is a step in the direction of meaningful action.
7 Ways to Increase Climate Change Awareness
Fighting climate change can seem like a herculean task, and it can be hard to know where to start. As a launchpad, we’ve compiled these seven ideas for increasing climate change awareness. Even adopting one of these strategies today can help drive change tomorrow.
#1 Join a Climate Change Organization
As an individual who cares about fighting climate change, it’s easy to feel siloed and overwhelmed. But the truth is that you don’t have to fight alone—there are millions of forward-thinkers like you throughout the U.S. and around the world.
When you join a climate group with like-minded activists, you add your voice to a growing collective of concerned citizens. And if we’ve learned anything from past movements, there’s strength in numbers.
Today, there are dozens of high-quality nonprofits that work tirelessly to bring awareness to climate change, and it’s worth doing some research to identify which ones align with your values. To help with orientation, here are some impactful organizations to kick off your search:
- Citizens’ Climate Lobby – Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nonprofit grassroots organization with over 550 active chapters worldwide. Firmly nonpartisan, CCL believes that communities can work together to urge politicians at every level to take action.
- Environmental Voter Project – The Environmental Voter Project also sees a path to a greener future through the democratic process. EVP encourages environmentalists to vote in local, state, and federal elections to put eco-minded politicians into office.
- American Forests – Since 1875, nonprofit American Forests has been pushing for greener policies surrounding reforestation, environmental protection, and equity—right here in our backyard.
#2 Donate to Climate Change Awareness Campaigns
If you have the funds but lack the time, consider donating to one or more organizations instead. Every dollar helps bring public awareness to politicians and citizens alike.
Donations help nonprofits continue their vital work; without a steady income, climate activists can’t organize events and online campaigns that spread awareness. Even contributing $10 per month can make a difference—and if you donate to a registered charity, you may be able to claim a deduction on your federal taxes.2 Talk about a win-win.
#3 Research the Brands You Buy From (And Tell Your Friends)
Have you ever heard the phrase “Vote with your wallet?” It means making a conscious effort to only support sustainable, eco-minded brands. When other companies see proof that consumers prefer brands that address climate change, they’ll follow suit.3
However, before you can confidently change your buying habits, you need to do your research. Thankfully, many companies now include a Sustainability section on their website, outlining the actions they take to address climate change.
For each brand you consider buying from, take a few minutes to review their policies on:
- Low- or no-carbon emission shipping
- Use of renewable energy
- Smart, ethical sourcing of resources
- Waste reduction
Once you’ve chosen the companies you want to support, it’s time to bring awareness to them by encouraging individuals in your network to follow suit. Start by sharing lists of sustainable suppliers and urging your friends and family to avoid irresponsible businesses.
The best part is that opting for eco-conscious brands doesn’t require a massive lifestyle shift or a bigger bill. Even something as simple as replacing virgin paper products with more sustainable options like bamboo toilet paper or recycled paper towels can bring awareness and change.
#4 Become Active on Social Media
Even if you’re extremely aware of the changing climate and its effects on our planet, your friends and family may not be. Luckily, you have everything you need to elevate your voice in the palm of your hand—social media.
Climate change awareness is all about communication and conversation. By sharing reputable sources on climate change and the benefits of sustainability, you may convince your followers to take action and change their perception. At the very least, you’ll help keep the conversation in your friends’ newsfeeds.
If you need help finding trusted, unbiased sources to share, the U.S. Department of the Interior has put together a list of Internet Resources on Climate Change.4
#5 Start a Company Awareness Campaign
You can also combat climate change while you’re at work. No matter which industry your business is part of, you can bring attention to some aspect of the climate crisis with a coordinated campaign.
For example, you could:
- Promote a program that contributes a percentage of sales to climate change awareness
- Partner with a grassroots climate organization in your community
- Produce an informative video that details issues in your industry
- Sponsor a local event
Even as a small business, you can make a massive impact. Take local grocer East West Market in Vancouver, Canada: In 2019, the family-run store began giving out plastic bags with “embarrassing” slogans to encourage customers to bring reusable bags.5
What started as a local initiative soon became a global news story, and suddenly everyone was talking about the harmful effects of single-use plastic.
And while every campaign won’t become an international headline, even small initiatives can make a difference in your community. When it comes to climate change awareness, no action is too small—it’s the sum of these parts that drives impact and climate action.
#6 Put Together a Green Team at Work
Chances are you’re not the only one at the office who cares about climate change. So why not band together with your fellow employees and work to make a difference from the inside?
This idea of having a “green team” is becoming part of various workplace cultures. A green team is a (typically voluntary) group of employees who meet semi-regularly to discuss eco-friendly initiatives. By brainstorming new programs or policy changes in the workplace, employees can make real behavioral changes at the workplace that will influence their daily lives.
You may even be able to convince management to create an official sustainability team.
An official team will have more power to influence the company’s decisions. And because consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products,6 working toward a greener business model doesn’t just increase climate change awareness—it’s also an effective business initiative when thinking of sustainability in the workplace.
#7 Organize a Community Cleanup
To the unaware, the climate crisis can feel like a distant issue that doesn’t affect everyone directly. Local events bring the reality of climate change closer to home.
When you organize a community cleanup at a local park, beach, or walking trail, you bring awareness to climate change at a more approachable scale. Plus, every poster or social post advertising the event is also an advertisement for climate change awareness.
Best of all, community cleanup days are simple and cost-effective to organize. All you need to supply is:
- Garbage bags
- Reusable gloves
- Garbage tongs
You may even be able to convince local businesses or your city government to donate supplies. Ultimately, a local cleanup event showcases how any person can address climate change in their community.
Contribute to the Climate Conversation with Reel Paper
Of course, awareness alone won’t solve climate change. But it is the first step to enacting meaningful change in our communities, our country, and our global ecosystem.
A lot of the time, bringing awareness to climate change feels like it needs to involve grand gestures. However, the little things—like switching to more sustainable versions of everyday products—that, due to their ease of adoption, can also make significant impacts on these environmental issues.
When you switch to Reel Paper, you help increase climate awareness—one toilet paper square at a time. We’re doing our part to promote sustainability and halting deforestation. And we deeply appreciate you taking the time to read this article and doing yours.
- NASA. The Effects of Climate Change. https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/
- USA.gov. Donating to Charity. https://www.usa.gov/donate-to-charity
- The Wall Street Journal. Consumers Expect Brands to Address Climate Change. https://deloitte.wsj.com/articles/consumers-expect-brands-to-address-climate-change-01618945334
- U.S. Department of the Interior. Internet Resources on Climate Change. https://www.doi.gov/library/internet/climate
- The Guardian. Grocery store urges customers to rethink plastic with embarrassing bags. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/11/vancouver-east-west-market-plastic-bags-shaming-customers
- Forbes. Consumers Demand Sustainable Products And Shopping Formats. https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregpetro/2022/03/11/consumers-demand-sustainable-products-and-shopping-formats/?sh=16cae0a66a06