100 (Isolation-Friendly) Climate Actions
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Turns out that despite the limitations posed on our every day lives by the restrictions in place to manage COVID-19, now can be the perfect time to take climate action. Here's a list of 100 restriction-friendly actions you can take to help in the effort to secure a safe climate future. They're categorised to help make this list a resource you can keep coming back to. And with such a diversity of actions, no matter who you are, how much you've done already, and whatever you skill sets, there's something for everyone.
Acknowledging that we're in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic - our hearts go out to everyone affected, we hope you and your family are safe and healthy and we thank the amazing people working hard to look after our health and needs at this challenging time.
On the Internet
Great actions you can take on your phone or computer.
1. Sign up to receive emails from climate, related issue and environmental groups in Australia. You’ll receive useful information including details about actions you can take and events you can attend. Check out the Groups page on our website to find the groups that most appeal to you.
2. Sign petitions. There are a multitude of climate related petitions available online. Petitions are a powerful tool that are used to lobby governments to create meaningful change. If you’ve signed up for emails (action #1) you’ll likely receive some petitions in your inbox. You can also search for climate related petitions on petition dedicated platforms like Change.org.
3. Join online climate events. Now, during COVID-19 restrictions, there are a multitude of group meetings, trainings, talks, working bees and other events online. These events are usually open to anyone, free, accessible, fun, informative, and productive. Many groups have event pages on their websites and/or Facebook, but being on email lists is often the best way to stay in the loop (see action #1).
4. Attend online rallies. While smaller events are happening all the time, big rallies are being held occasionally by climate groups. They're fun to attend and help propel momentum for the cause. An important upcoming live stream rally is the School Strike for Climate rally to be held on May 15. You don’t have to be a student, this event's for everyone.
On Social Media
Moving beyond Facebook resharing.
5. Offer your own thoughts about the climate crisis on social media. A thoughtful, personalised sentiment goes a long way. Make it social by tagging friends and interactive by posing a question. It only takes one post, to set your stance on climate change, amongst those who have read it. It’s important to break the silence surrounding the climate crisis and to break the ice amongst those close to you.
6. #DigitalStrike – When the world’s not in the grips of a pandemic, the global movement Fridays for Future not only organises big rallies, but they also strike in locations, commonly in front of town halls, around the world every Friday. Since COVID-19 kicked in, this every-Friday climate strike movement has moved online. Simply take a selfie (or a shot with your house mates), with a climate change protest sign, post it on social media, on a Friday (every Friday if you can) and use the hashtags #DigitalStrike #FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrikeOnline
7. #SilentStrike – Silent protest for climate has had a place in Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future and elsewhere. Silent striking is an accessible form of civil disobedience that can bring awareness to the climate crisis. There are no real rules – it’s been done at events, some people do it every week on the same day, others maintain their silence for an extended period. So, if this sounds like fun then get ready to be mute, have a notepad or whiteboard handy and consider explaining yourself to friends, family and colleagues beforehand. Don’t forget to post on social media with a photo of you during your silence and use the hashtag #silentstrike
8. Use Hashtags to spread your reach. If you’re making a climate related Instagram post, don’t forget to use all 30 allowed hashtags to get the word out! Also, its powerful to use relevant campaign-specific hashtags where possible. Examples include: #dontfrackthent #dirtypower #outdoorspeopleforclimateaction #placesworthprotecting #savetassiesforests #stopadani Use other well-known climate hashtags as well, for example #keepitintheground #actonclimate
9. Tag people. Tag relevant people, where possible, on your climate related posts. You might be requesting something from, or giving feedback to, a politician or a company so make sure they hear you. Also tag friends, campaign groups, and influential people where appropriate.
10. Check in to places. This is just a little tip to extend your reach for your climate related posts. Checking in places on Facebook is commonly used for large collaborative digital actions (for example, by checking in at political building where a targeted politician works). You can also use this concept in your own posts, to increase exposure of the issue more broadly. Likewise, 'geotag' your climate posts on Instagram where possible to increase engagement.
11. Make a video about you and the climate crisis. What concerns you? Has it impacted you already? What are your thoughts? What should people do about it? Videos are engaging. Pop it onto Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, IGTV or wherever else.
12. Create or participate in large social media waves. There is power in numbers when getting the attention of the public, or relevant politicians/companies. Keep an eye out for any upcoming mass-actions on social media and make sure to get involved.
13. Get a Linked In account. This is a great place to interact with companies and their employees to help achieve company-specific campaign goals. This is a tactic used by groups who regularly target companies as a part of their campaigns, namely 350.org and Stop Adani.
If you’re an Outdoors Person
Actions relevant to Outdoor enthusiasts, outdoor guides, outdoor educators and other outdoor workers
14. Join Outdoors People for Climate Action. It’s so simple, just add your name to the joint Statement of Concern here.
15. Check out the Outdoors People for Climate Action website – where you can learn more, access resources, and find out how to get active in the climate movement.
16. Follow Outdoors People for Climate Action on social media – on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. You’ll find regular content, relevant to outdoors people, about the climate crisis and climate action.
17. Check out Outdoors People for Climate Action's Facebook discussion group – and join the discussion.
18. Give us feedback/drop us a line/say g’day/get in touch! Direct message us on social media, send us an email or use our contact page. Whatever you’ve got to say, we’d love to hear from you.
19. Check out Protect Our Winters. POW is the leading climate advocacy group for the winter sports and outdoor community, representing 60 million people across 12 countries, with an Australian branch launched in 2018.
20. Read articles in the Mountain Journal, the online publication that covers Environment, news, and culture from the Australian Alps. You can find important updates about environmental issues in our mountains and what you can do to help.
21. Support Expedition Climb8. It’s an 800km team snowshoe expedition across the Australian Alps during winter 2020. The expedition will include adventure, science, community and conservation. Why not add a little something to their GoFundMe to support their trip expenses or even join them for a leg (if you’re experienced in gruelling winter journeys)?
Community and Communication
Building stronger and more informed communities during the climate crisis.
22. Write a letter to the editor. Your letter could be general and about the climate crisis, or about more specific issues, like renewable energy in your local area. Check out this Climate Council guide: How to write an effective letter to the editor.
23. Call into talkback radio to talk about the climate crisis or a related issue. Check out this Guide to Talkback Radio by GetUp! and this one by Australian Conservation Foundation.
24. Write letters to other influential people. Get creative. Got a favourite Instagram influencer, blogger, musician or performer in mind? Why not ask them to speak out on the climate crisis. Here’s an Elle article Can Instagram Influencers Help Save The Planet?
25. Do some letter drops in your local neighbourhood. Hand-write a personalised note, type a letter or print an informative pamphlet and away you go. You could share your concerns about the climate crisis, reference further resources and include an ask – like to vote with climate as the priority at the next opportunity. Remember to wash your hands and follow COVID-19 restrictions. The Climate Council has a variety of printable resources.
26. Check out the Transition Streets Movement. Transition streets is a global movement, where neighbours spend time building relationships and working together to make their homes, lives and streets more sustainable! Resources are available with meeting and discussion guides, questionnaires, challenges, and worksheets to keep your team focused and productive. Check out the Australian workbook here. Feel inspired with this video from Transition Streets Newcastle. Due to restrictions, you won’t be able to do everything as a group now, but could do some planning, get linked up as a group over social media (you could pop invites into your neighbours mailboxes) and have meetings over Zoom. After all, people are spending a lot of time at home and it seems gardening, DIY and general domesticity is on the rise so now’s a great time to improve our sustainability!
Our money can do a lot. It’s up to us to decide if it’s for better or worse.
27. Donate to climate, related issue, environmental and/or conservation groups. It really helps, if you can, to sign up to donate regularly, say every month. This helps groups and organisations forecast their finances and it’s an easy way to donate more in the long term. Some people like to create a portfolio of groups, giving each one a share of their donations (however small), to spread the love.
28. Pay for solutions to offset your footprint. It’s always better to reduce your footprint than to just offset it. But none of us will eliminate our footprint entirely and considering that we need to reduce emissions as much as we can, carbon offsetting projects are a great thing to support. Also, many of the projects provide additional benefits in areas such as biodiversity, education, jobs, food security, clean drinking water and heath & well-being in developing countries. Learn more here.
29. Divest your bank account. If you’re with a bank that invests in fossil fuels, it’s a great time to move your money somewhere else. The big four banks invest a lot of money into the fossil fuel sector, helping it to expand in Australia, which hinders Australia in meeting its Paris agreement. See where your bank stands, and find a bank that doesn’t fund fossil fuels, here. Make the most of your divestment by sharing some information with Market Forces (optional) and sending a message to your bank explaining your decision here.
30. Divest your superannuation. Just like Action #29, divesting your super helps to divert funds away from fossil fuels. Super has a sizeable impact considering that you’ll rack up a fair amount of money in your account and hold it there for some time. Check how your super compares, and which supers are worth switching to here. You can also check out how Ethical Advisers’ Coop ranks the ‘sustainable/ethical’ super funds here.
31. Have shares and stocks in only ethical funds and companies. Check out the Top Rated Funds chosen for ethical investment by Ethical Advisers’ Coop. Check out their full comparison of ethical/sustainable funds here.
32. If you’re a shareholder, take action by holding to account the companies you invest in. Use your weight to get big companies to make positive climate decisions. Lobby the company and then attend and speak out at their Annual General Meetings (AGM). Check out the Market Forces Shareholder Action page here.
33. Ask people close to you to divest. Once you’ve gone through the steps of divesting your own bank account and superannuation, why not tell your friends, family and colleagues why you did it, about your experience and offer your support in helping them to divest.
34. Get institutions to divest. Do you go to university, attend a church or are involved in community group? Institutions invest a lot of money. For example, 350.org.au reports that Australian universities invest millions of dollars through their endowments into fossil fuel companies. Get involved with the 350.org.au Uni Divestment campaign here. Some churches in Australia are in the process of divesting, if you attend church find out if your church is one of them and if not ask why. On that note, if you do go to church, check out the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change group here.
Big companies have huge impacts and influence. There's much to gain in compelling them to take climate action.
35. Give companies constructive feedback on social media if they are recklessly contributing to the climate crisis (for example, when HSBC continues to lend money towards coal). Private message the offending company and comment on their social media posts. Bonus points if you follow the company on social media so you can continue to comment on their posts for a period (until the offending behaviour stops). This is a tried and true tactic. Big companies have policies they use to manage their social media accounts, and so your comments could contribute to the company having a meeting or review about the issue. Stop Adani, Market Forces, 350.org, Greenpeace and GetUp! are all active in campaigns against bad company behaviour (refer to Action #1).
36. Give companies good feedback on social media if they make a positive change. Refer to Action #35. This could be in response to a positive decision from any company (for example, when Greyhound ended its work with the Adani mine). But also, don’t forget to share the love with the ‘green’ companies too (for example, if you buy electricity from Powershop you could tell them how much you love their 100% renewable energy)! This is helpful to make sure a company gets rewarded with praise and good publicity for making positive decisions.
37. Rate companies on the internet with the star system based on their climate performance and give feedback in the comments. For example, you may want to give Origin Energy 1 star for their unashamed plans to continue fracking in the NT despite public outcry. Or maybe you’d like to give Telstra 5 stars for their leading renewable energy target. Explain why you’ve given them this rating in your comment so they can take your feedback on board and the topic gets some public exposure – but do be aware of posting guidelines (keep it polite). You can leave a review on Google Maps or on websites like Product Review.
38. Write emails to companies. There are frequently calls to action from climate or related issue groups to write to a company/CEO to ‘make a demand’. For example, why not write to Joe Kaeser the CEO of Siemens to ask him to stop plans to provide rail signalling to the Adani Carmicheal mine project. Climate/related issue groups will make these key, coordinated, letter-writing tasks known to you on their websites or social media or within their regular emails (see Action #1). You can also always write letters to companies on your own accord, if you see reason to.
39. Boycott companies that are worsening the climate crisis. Or even boycott companies that work with companies that are worsening the climate crisis (called secondary boycotting, this is a key tactic employed by the Stop Adani movement). You could boycott alone (by being a responsible consumer), but you’ll have a bigger impact by joining or starting a large boycott. Boycotts are a powerful tool. If you choose a company (for example Newscorp), be clear about the behaviour you want to see them change (for example to stop showcasing climate denial), and then stop buying goods or services from that company. To give your boycott the best chance of success, try to get a lot of people to boycott the company, contact the company about the boycott and aim to get media coverage. Check out the article: Organizing a boycott.
40. When choosing companies to buy goods or services from check out their green credentials first. There are a multitude of resources on the internet to help you get the inside scoop on the sustainability of big brands. Have you ever wondered which streaming or other IT services are the most or least sustainable? Check out the Greenpeace scorecard: Click Clean. Don’t forget to tell your friends about your findings, make a social media post about it or write to the company about their good or bad reputation.
41. Call companies – If a company is doing something irresponsible. Give them a call and leave your feedback. There are many groups (like Stop Adani) that use this tactic with as many people calling as possible, so get involved where you can.
Use your artistic side for climate action
42. Make climart. If you’re a creative type, why not create a song, dance, painting, drawing, sculpture or installation relating to the climate crisis. Share it with the world – even if just on social media. For inspiration check out the Climart project or checkout climart on Pinterest or Instagram.
43. Put a sign in your window. It could be promoting something important (like the Climate Change Bill 2020), a word or phrase like “Climate Action Now”, a protest sign, a piece of ‘climart’ (action #42) or anything else. Your window is a personal place, off the internet, and ideal for spreading your message locally.
44. Use chalk to spread the message. Check your state or territory laws before doing this outside of your own property and consider COVID-19 restrictions.
45. Leave nature art with a climate crisis or climate action message where other people will see it. What about Climate Action written in beach sand, or an Extinction Rebellion symbol made of fallen leaves. Consider COVID-19 restrictions.
46. Good with design? Why not make an eye catching, memorable, shareable, climate-related graphic? Here’s some example climate change graphics from NASA.
47. Wear climate-related t-shirts, badges or other paraphernalia to promote climate action, when you’re out buying food or exercising.
48. Put a photo of any of the above on social media to increase your impact.
Shrink Your Footprint
Here’s some of the most important actions to quickly and greatly reduce your footprint
49. Find out how big your ecological footprint is and view your consumption by category with the Global Footprint Network's ecological footprint calculator. This calculator is great because you can add more or less detail depending on how much information you have (things like your exact house size).
50. Reduce your consumption of animal products. Eating a plant-based diet was one of the four recommended actions (as in the best things you can do), to reduce your footprint, given by a popular study The Climate Mitigation Gap.
51. Buy food from your local farmers market. This will help reduce your food miles. Also, much of the food you buy there is likely to be organic, small scale, plastic free, wholefood and vegan friendly. Outdoor markets are also handy for social distancing, and for supporting local economies at this tough time.
52. Start a veggie garden. For many this has been a great time to start a veggie garden, so much so that orders at the Diggers Club have gone up tenfold during the pandemic. If you don’t have much space why not grow just a few easy and quick veggies, like lettuce, rocket and silverbeet in pots. Your food miles will be lowered, you’ll eat organic and there’s no doubt you won’t waste any of your lovingly grown tucker.
53. Get and use a bike. Because living car free was one of the four recommended actions, to reduce your footprint, given by The Climate Mitigation Gap study. It’s also a handy way to avoid public transport during social distancing.
54. Buy green electricity. Buying renewable energy for your house was identified as a high impact action (especially in places with carbon-based energy grids like Australia) by The Climate Mitigation Gap. There are a number of options when buying renewable electricity in Australia. Powershop is one provider that’s frequently ranked the greenest electricity company in Australia, is 100% carbon neutral, powered by renewable energy, and offers great discounts if you buy your electricity before using it. Of course if you own your roof you can fit it out with solar panels.
55. Contemplate your family size during your extra quiet time. We say this in the most caring manner with full respect for your reproductive decisions. Its interesting to know that having one less child was identified as having the very highest impact of all actions by The Climate Mitigation Gap study.
56. Kindle your appreciation for local spaces, nearby places and 'staycations' during this oh-so home bound time. Why? Because avoiding just one round-trip transatlantic flight is listed as having a higher impact than even eating a plant-based diet by The Climate Mitigation Gap study. Likewise, reducing your road trips and driving kilometres is also highly beneficial.