Beth Terry, in her presentation at Green Sangha’s first Rethinking Plastics conference in 2010, identified eight reasons that our personal changes make a difference. She posted a transcript of her talk here: Eight Reasons Why Personal Changes Matter.
Do you still worry, though, that your individual actions won’t amount to enough? Here’s what Paul Stern of the National Research Council says: “The potential for reducing carbon emissions through behavioral change at the household level is sufficient to yield a major effect on national emissions if well-designed interventions are scaled up nationally” (in American Psychologist, May-June 2011, p. 304).
We have exceptionally well-designed interventions already set up in the Bay Area. In the East Bay, you can join Linda Currie in a five-session class on reducing your carbon footprint: https://greensangha.org/lower-your-carbon/. In Marin, Tamra Peters has established a similar program that has already helped homeowners reduce their collective annual emissions by over 2 million pounds a year: http://www.resilientneighborhoods.org/.
Don’t stop there, Linda says. Keep demanding climate action now, and vote for policies and politicians who will lead the way. For updates on climate legislation, EPA regulation, and other actions, go to the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Action Center.
And remember that each one of us who takes personal action to preserve the climate, and who shares these actions in a patient and loving manner, sends ripples into the world well beyond our individual acts.