In August, President Biden signed the biggest climate law in U.S. history–the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Incentives in this law will make electrifying and decarbonizing your household a lot cheaper. REWIRING AMERICA has created a savings calculator which shows how you can use the new climate law to electrify, shift to clean energy, and make your home more energy-efficient. (This action will take less than 5 minutes!)
Use Savings Calculator to find your clean energy incentives!USE CALCULATOR
Why this action is important: The IRA’s provisions are aimed at speeding the U.S. clean energy transition, lowering household energy costs, saving lives, and creating good-paying jobs. Starting in 2023, Americans will be eligible for many new incentives for electric appliances, energy-saving products, and more. Some incentives benefit renters, and some are available now. To use the incentives, which will save you money, lower your carbon footprint, and improve your health and comfort, you have to know about them!
Four big banks–Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo–are helping finance the climate crisis by supporting new oil, gas and coal projects. But these banks rely on their credit card and banking customers like you to stay in business. By signing the Banking on our Future pledge, you’re asking these banks to stop funding climate chaos by the March of 2023, or you will cut up your credit card and move your money with them. If you don’t bank there now, you pledge you won’t do so in the future.TAKE THE PLEDGE!
Why this action is so important: Last year, the International Energy Agency stated that in order to meet the Paris climate targets there can be no new investments in oil, gas, or coal, starting immediately. Yet since the climate accords were signed, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have loaned the fossil fuel industry a trillion dollars with no plans to stop. We, as their customers, have the ability to convince them to do the right thing for all our our futures.
Once you’ve signed the pledge, here are two next steps you can take to amplify the impact of this action:
First, If you do have a credit card with Chase, Citicard, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo, apply for a new credit card with a better bank now. That way, you’ll be able to switch cards by March 2023 should it be necessary. To find a good option, use Green America’s list of credit cards issued from banks that don’t lend to fossil fuel companies. Both Beneficial State Bank and Amalgamated Bank offer climate-friendly credit cards with no annual fee.
Second, share the Banking on our Future pledge with your network! Third Act has a Banking on our Future Page on their website with all the resources you need to learn about the action and share with others.TAKE THE PLEDGE!
To learn more about this action, watch a 3-minute video from THIRD ACT: Banking on Our Future
An overview of the connection between financial institutions and the climate crisis, from the New Yorker
Bank.green, a tool allowing you to check your bank’s fossil fuel financing record.
Green America’s List of fossil fuel-free credit cards.
Perhaps the most high-impact personal climate action you can take is to electrify the machines that you use in your daily life. Forty percent of U.S. electricity already comes from carbon-free sources, and this percentage is growing rapidly each year. Electric motors are more efficient than fossil fuel-fed motors, and emit no pollutants when in use. Climate experts all agree that every path to a renewable energy future and a safe climate relies on electrifying everything we can as soon as we can.
This month’s action is to take a step toward electrifying your home. There are two actions to choose from, both from Rewiring America:
ACTION ONE: Take Rewiring America’s #Electrify Everything Pledge! You provide your email and they will send you great guidance on how to electrify you home, and the latest electrification updates, which are all free.TAKE THE ELECTRIFY PLEDGE!
ACTION TWO: Find your incentives with the Inflation Reduction Act Savings Calculator! Plug in your zip code, household size and income, and a few other details and this tool shows you all the money you can get from the Inflation Reduction Act to electrify, increase energy efficiency, and decarbonize.IRA SAVINGS CALCULATOR
Whichever option you chose, be sure you also make a commitment to electrify something. From a single-burner induction cooktop to a heat pump water heater to an EV, each machine that goes electric helps speed the clean energy transition.
If you’d like to learn more about the Inflation Reduction Act and the vital role of electrification in climate action, below are links to some additional resources:
The Electric Explainer: Key programs programs in the Inflation Reduction Act and what they mean for Americans, Rewriting America Policy Hub
The Biggest Climate Bill of your Life – But What does it DO!? 22-minute video from Hank Green (it’s long but it’s the best and most entertaining explanation of the new climate bill I’ve seen!)
Most fossil fuel energy is wasted–New analysis shows how to fix this! Power Up for Climate Solutions blog, August 28, 2020
One Billion Machines that will Electrify America 12-minute video from Saul Griffith
Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) has an easy-to-use tool you can use to email your Congressional Representatives to urge them to act on climate. Unlike many other groups, CCL allows you to opt-out of getting on their mailing list, so you can take this action without increasing your email burden!
Use the link below to contact your Congressperson and Senators and urge them to pass additional bold climate policies that will open a path toward meeting our commitment under the Paris Climate Accords.TAKE ACTION
Follow the easy instructions to email your elected officials! An email will be provided which you can send as is or personalize for even greater effectiveness. The more voters they hear from, the more likely it is that Congress will pass climate policies that truly meet the moment.
Many powerful interests are fighting to weaken and derail these efforts. YOU can help by letting Congress know you want them to pass sweeping, bold action tackling the climate crisis!
No matter how much money you have, how you save and spend is important for the climate. Below are three actions you can take to ensure that your money is supporting climate solutions.
Action ONE: Use the Bank Green tool to learn if your bank is using your money to fund climate chaos:CHECK ON YOUR BANK
Taking this action will allow you to decide whether you feel good about where you bank, or whether to consider opening a new account at a better bank.
Action TWO: Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Citi, or Bank of America are funding fossil fuel exploration, extraction, and transport. If you have a credit card from any of these banks, apply for a new credit card today, and start your switch to a climate-friendly credit card.
Find a climate friendly credit card that’s right for you!BETTER CREDIT CARDS
Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Citi, or Bank of America make big money off their credit card customers; switching cards sends a powerful message to banks that it’s time to stop funding fossil fuels once and for all. (Many of the credit cards listed at the link above offer cards with no annual fee, including Beneficial State Bank and Amalgamated Bank.)
Action THREE: If you are in a position to make donations for climate action, Giving Green provides recommendations on organizations maximizing their impact on climate. See their list and choose one or more groups to give to:
See Giving Green’s recommendations for climate donations:FIND TOP CLIMATE DONATIONS
For more information about supporting climate action with your money, see additional resources below:
Divesting from fossil fuel investments:
Here are two great ways to help elect climate champions! Below, we offer two options to promote getting more climate champions elected to federal and state offices.
Option ONE: Sign up with the Environmental Voter Project, dedicated to identifying inactive environmentalists and transforming them into consistent voters. The Environmental Voter Project provides opportunities to encourage the most climate aware people to become consistent voters in critical swing states. Their work is data-driven and has been highly impactful in recent years.
The link below will take you to their “Get Involved” page, where you can sign up to join their volunteer email list, or to help with a specific campaign.Environmental Voter Project
Option TWO: Help elect climate champions by making donations through Give Green. Give Green provides a strategic way to support candidates who will advance just solutions to the climate crisis. Their platform selects candidates committed to climate action and then allows you to give to them directly. To take action, click the button, select candidates, and make a donation in any amount.Give Green
At this critical moment, there are many ways to speed the transition to clean energy, and help protect more of this beautiful world. Please invite a friend to join Power Up for Climate Solutions so more people have access to our resources. Below is a message you can use or modify to invite someone to sign up:
I’m writing to invite you to join Power Up for Climate Solutions, (www.powerupforclimate.com) a non-profit devoted to helping people take action to contain the climate crisis. Once you sign up, you will receive climate action invitations chosen for their simplicity and impact, and blog posts about climate solutions. You will hear from them about once a month. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time! Here’s the link to join: www.powerupforclimate.com/join-us/
Most new members find us because someone they know invited them. Please help us increase our impact by inviting a friend or family member to join us!
There is one action you can take that many climate experts say is the single most effective thing you can do to help solve the climate crisis. Talk about it with your friends and family members. Talk about why you care, and what climate actions you are taking.
Why is this so important? Most Americans care about global warming, yet rarely or never talk about it. Yet humans are social creatures, so this cycle of silence discourages engagement. There is growing evidence that the more we talk about climate change, the more we realize others care, and the more we take action.
What you can say: Talking about why you care about climate change and what you are doing about it are the two great places to start. I’ve recently been talking about the electric barbecue we got because we are electrifying our home, my worries about the recent summer heat and fire seasons in Oregon, and the Banking on our Future Pledge I signed to support banks that do not invest in fossil fuel expansion.
Who to talk to: According to the most recent Yale climate opinion poll, 71% of Americans say global warming is important to them. Talk to anyone you know who is concerned about climate change, which includes most of us. As climate scientist Dr. Katherine Hayhoe has said, “The biggest challenge isn’t science denial, it’s complacency.”
Here are a few more resources to inspire you:
Why you should talk about climate change right now, Katherine Hayhoe, Gizmodo, October 13, 2021
The most important thing you can do right now to fight climate change, according to science, Joe Romm, Think Progress, July 11, 2019
The magic of talking, Power Up for Climate Solutions Blog, May 20, 2022
The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: Talk about it, TED talk, Katherine Hayhoe, December, 2018
Young people around the world have become leaders in the climate movement in recent years. They have created organizations, including the Sunrise Movement and Fridays for Future, organized global climate strikes, and spoken eloquently on behalf of a livable future. Whatever your age, you can support the Youth Climate Movement. Use one of the links below to learn more about these groups. If you want to go further, you can sign up to get updates about youth-led climate demonstrations near you or donate to help fund their work.
SUNRISE MOVEMENT WEBSITE FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE WEBSITE
The Canadian boreal forest is the largest intact forest in the world, holding immense value for the climate, Indigenous Peoples, and other species. In fact, the Canadian boreal forest is the world’s most carbon-dense forest. Yet according to NRDC’s research, more than a million acres of this irreplaceable forest are clearcut each year, much of which is used to make throw-away tissue products for the U.S. market.
There is a much better alternative! According to NRDC, “tissue products made from recycled materials are far more sustainable because they do not rely on clearcutting forests and they emit one-third the greenhouse gases as tissue products made from virgin fiber.”
Take action by switching to any of the brands listed in the A or B column of the scorecard below, or other recycled paper products. Use the scorecard to choose more climate-friendly paper products that don’t contribute to the destruction of virgin Canadian boreal forests:
To see a complete list of all brands NRDC scored, go to their Issue With Tissue scorecardLEARN MORE FROM NRDC URGE CHARMIN TO SWITCH TO RECYCLED FIBER