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  • Writer's pictureKrista Kurth, Ph.D.

My Top Ten Climate Actions for 2024

Updated: Jan 13

What actions will you take this year?

A blank note book resting on a keyboard with To Do written on top of the page
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Have you been wondering where to focus your climate action in the new year?

I have. As 2023 ends and 2024 begins, I am aware we need to move faster on climate action to make sure the world transitions rapidly away from fossil fuels and triples renewable energy by 2030 as leaders agreed upon at COP28 in December.

While I am not a world leader able to change policies and finance the transition to a clean energy economy, I am a dedicated climate advocate committed to doing whatever I can to change my life, influence others in acting, and holding governments and business accountable. My individual actions may seem relatively small in the light of the monumental task before us, but research shows that what we each do provides powerful cues for others to take action. When we become mirrors for others to see what they can do too, our actions become contagious.

I’ve put together a Top Ten list for myself to guide where I spend my time, energy, and money. I’m sharing it here with you in the hopes it will inspire you to up your climate action in 2024. Look and see which ones resonate with you. You don’t have to do them all, nor all at once. You have an entire year to act. And if they inspire you, commit to doing at least one action that stretches you a bit.

I have chosen a mix of climate actions that according to research (like this IPSOS report and this Lund University study, as well as information from previous blogs I’ve written, Regeneration, WRI, Project Drawdown, and Bill McKibben) have an impact. Some of them are simple to implement, others are more complex, but all are important. They involve reducing emissions, accelerating scalable solutions, and supporting collective climate action.

My 2024 Top Ten Climate Action List Countdown

10. Eat More Plant-Based Foods and Waste Less.

According to the IPCC, plant-based diets provide a triple benefit for the environment, climate change, and human health. And reducing food waste is one of the top solutions for climate change.

  • I already eat some plant-based meals. In 2024, plan on adding 2 more each week.

  • I also plan on producing even less food waste from the food I make by freezing leftovers before they go bad. If you want to learn more about how you can reduce food waste, go to Stop Food Waste.

  • I will also continue to compost the food that I need to throw away. I am fortunate that I live in a city that offers curbside community composting. You can see if there is a service like this in your neighborhood by checking out the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. If not, then get an inexpensive compost bin for your backyard (some cities offer them for free). The EPA and many other sites offer tips on composting at home.

9. Spend More Time in Nature

This action is crucial for me — for my sanity, health, and for remembering I am a part of the ecosystem of nature itself. I need daily reminders of my connection to nature. For instance, how the trees are breathing with me. What they send out (oxygen), I breathe in, and what I breathe out (carbon dioxide), they take in. We all need to cultivate a deep intimacy with our world, a recognition of our essential interconnectedness with, and a calling to care for, the larger ecosystem of life. To learn more about this, read this article. In 2024, I will:

  • Take regular walks in nature.

  • Meditate in nature. If you want to join me, you can use the meditation in this post to help you connect with your love for the earth.

  • Cultivate gratitude for the earth. Learn more about how to do that in this post.

  • Spend time outdoors with my grandchildren and connect them with nature. Learn more about connecting with nature in this article, and learn more about teaching younger children about climate change here. 

a forest of trees with light shining through
Photo by Maxim Hopman in Unsplash

8. Drive and Fly Less

Since transportation accounts for about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, I am committed to reducing the amount of GHG’s I contribute individually, as well as supporting the scaling up of transportation solutions by:

  • Decreasing single-car trips. Since I work from home and drive an electric vehicle powered by solar energy, I already don’t drive a lot. However, whenever I don’t need to pick up much, I plan on walking to the grocery store and library a mile away from my house. If you commute to work, I encourage you to use public transportation as much as possible, or carpool, walk, ride a bike, and/or work from home more often.

  • Supporting the transition to electric vehicles by writing to my local representatives, asking them to transition the school and municipal bus fleets to electric vehicles. WRI has information on how to help cities adopt electric buses. Sign petitions asking companies, like Amazon, to speed up their purchase of electric delivery vehicles.

  • Decreasing my air travel. I decided in 2023 not to take any transatlantic flights. I plan on extending that commitment into 2024. I encourage you to reduce your air travel to only necessary trips.

7. Make My Home and City More Energy Efficient

Electrifying, weatherizing, and making our homes more efficient all go a long way towards reducing greenhouse gases as we use less electricity.

  • I got a head start on this one in late 2023. Since we electrified the heating of our house over 18 years ago, this year we replaced our electric heat pump with a much more efficient model. This winter our house is warmer than before while using less electricity and costing us less in electric bills. Look into state and federal rebates and tax incentives for installing an electric heat pump in your home.

  • We also replaced our 18-year-old washer, dryer, dishwasher with more energy and water efficient models. Luckily, we planned for these expenses by putting money aside each year to cover the costs we knew we’d need to cover later. Our electric stove and fridge are only 8–10 years old, so we will wait to replace them in a few years with more efficient appliances.

  • When we first switched to all electric years ago, we got an energy audit and added insulation and better windows. One of those windows failed recently, so we replaced it with a high energy rated one. If you haven’t yet got an energy audit, do it and then weatherize your home. You can get a tax credit for home energy audits. Read more tips on how to weatherize your home here.

  • Since I have already done all the above, in 2024 I am going to reach out to our county executive and Governor about making county and state buildings energy efficient and electric. I am fortunate that I live in a county and state that have climate action plans and commitments to reduce emissions drastically this decade. I encourage you to write letters to your city and state leaders asking them to do the same. You can send information from organizations like WRI’s Ross Center on Sustainable Cities to your city leaders on ways your city can become greener.

a field of windmills with a orange sunset sky behind them
Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

6. Buy and Expand the Use of Clean Energy:

To transition away from fossil fuels, we need to speed the adoption of clean energy to provide an alternative to dirty energy.

  • I’ve been buying renewable energy for more than a decade. I first signed our house up for wind energy via our utility, but then, when community solar became available, I switched to solar by participating in a community solar project. We have too many trees where we live to install it. I encourage you to buy clean energy for your home. Read this blog on how to get renewable energy wherever you live in the U.S.

  • I will ask our county to follow through on their commitment to buy clean energy. If you want to ask your city/county to do the same, use the information provided by RMI to help you get your message out. While communicating with them, also ask them to make renewable energy affordable for low- and middle-income residents. The community solar company I use provides discounted rates to low-income participants. You can also ask your employer to purchase renewable energy for your office space.

  • Learn more about how to support renewable energy as a citizen here.

5. Harness Outrage and Cultivate Hope and Optimism

Amidst all the news of climate disaster events, it’s easy to get discouraged and think what I’m doing doesn’t really matter. However, it’s crucial we give space to our feelings and use them to keep us going. The editors of All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, told journalist Sarah Kaplan, “Even though there is so much we can’t save, the other side of that is there is so much that we still can save. So, who are we to give up? What gives us the right to give up on the planet and each other? The subtitle is the answer to ‘If not hope, then what?’ It’s truth, courage, and solutions. That’s what’s going to get us there.” To help me in 2024, I will:

  • Listen to more Outrage + Optimism podcasts. The hosts, Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinson, along with their guests, “cover the latest news from science, business, finance politics and culture every Thursday with a can-do attitude. (Their) podcast is for everyone looking to expand their understanding of the climate crisis and get inspired to take action.”

  • Engage useful exercises and support methods when I feel despair or anxiety or defeat, like these:

    • The 4 Steps to Not Losing Heart Exercise in this post.

    • The method described in this post to channel my emotions into climate action.

    • Asking myself the questions outlined in this article when challenging feelings arise.

    • Be gentle with myself and tend to my anxiety by following the guidance in this article.

    • Lean into grief with the steps provided here.

  • Cultivate hope and stubborn optimism. Christiana Figueres talks about the need for us who care about the planet to become stubborn optimists. I wrote more about it in this article.

4. Restore Natural Carbon Sinks

Stopping the burning of fossil fuels alone won’t help the world stay under 2C. We also need to remove emissions from the atmosphere. Since technological removal is still unproven at scale, I am focusing instead on supporting nature, which draws down carbon already. You can read more about the natural carbon cycle and more solutions than I list below in this post. In 2024, I will continue to:

  • Tend the trees in my community and worldwide. Since the county in which I live has a dearth of new trees, I plan on planting trees locally. I will also donate to organizations protecting and restoring forests and peatlands, like the Rainforest Alliance, the Rainforest Action Network, the Global Peatlands Initiative, and the World Wildlife Fund. Find out more ways to protect trees in this post. This year I gave several people a gift of planting trees in their honor.

  • Protect the oceans by buying sustainably caught fish (check out this guide on Oceana’s site or this WWF site), and joining campaigns organized by groups like Oceana, Environmental Defense Fund, and other non-profits listed here.

  • Support mangrove restoration. I grew up in the Bahamas and know firsthand how important these coastal wetland forests are. They protect the land from rising seas, provide a habitat for fish nurseries, and sequester more carbon than land forests. I am engaged in supporting the Mangrove Action Project, which does work in the Bahamas and worldwide. Other organizations actively working to protect mangroves include Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

3. Join My Voice with Others to Hold Businesses and Government Accountable

Collective action is one of the most impactful ways to use our time, energy, and money. Together, our voices have power.

  • In 2024, I will continue to join actions organized by local chapters of climate committed organizations, like Third Act,, and CCAN. I encourage you to join a local climate group. See this post for some lists of organizations to check out.

  • I will also continue to send daily emails to businesses and government officials using the Climate Action Now app, which makes it easy and time efficient to weigh in on important issues and campaigns and demand they commit to significant climate action. I have written via the app to my state representatives asking them to say no to fossil fuels in our area and yes to the transition to a green economy. I have also thanked the EPA for the new rules to regulate methane in the US. And I have asked grocery store chains to stop the methane leaks in their refrigerators. You can learn about other climate action apps here.

  • Heading into 2024, it is going to be even more important to hold our business and government leaders accountable. While the world agreed to transition away from fossil fuels, help vulnerable counties affected by climate disasters, and triple renewable energy by 2030, all their commitments are voluntary. We, the people, need to insist loudly they put actual plans into action now.

protestors holding up a large green banner with black letters saying End Fossil Fuels Now
Photo by Ehimeletor Akhere on Unsplash

2. Work to Phase Out Fossil Fuels

We have no chance of meeting the goal of staying below 2C if we keep burning coal, oil, and gas. We already have enough fossil fuels for the transition, so don’t need to extract any new fields. In 2024 I will:

  • Pressure the Biden Administration and Department of Energy to deny new LNG permits in the Gulf. Several of the organizations above are working on this, as well as the Sierra Club, that has a campaign you can participate in.

  • Lobby my representatives in Congress by writing letters to them or joining campaigns that ask them to remove fossil-fuel subsidies (see campaigns at IISD and Oil Change International).

  • Take part in campaigns by Keep it in the Ground, Climate Action Network International and Stop the Money Pipeline, all organizations doing work to end financing of new fossil fuel extraction.

  • Demand the BLM stop drilling in the Arctic. Learn some other ways to help end fossil fuel expansion here.

1. Elect Climate Champions

2024 is an important election year in the US and also around the world. Now that the world has agreed to transition away from fossil fuels, we urgently need elected officials at all levels of government to prioritize climate action and enact lasting legislation and policies. If officials who promise to roll back climate supportive laws and support more fossil fuel extraction are voted in, the world will reach catastrophic warming levels. We cannot risk that future. So, in 2024, I will:

  • Research candidates’ positions and voting for officials (local, state, and national) who see far-reaching action on climate as their priority. I strongly encourage you to do the same. To learn more about how to identify these leaders, read this post.

  • Continue to write letters to my current local and state representatives and pressure national representatives to take urgent climate action, since the election isn't until November. See this post for more information on how to do that.

  • I will also work with organizations like the Environmental Voter Project and League of Conservation Voters to get people registered, write postcards to voters, and turn out the vote.

How many of these actions will you take in 2024?

Don’t worry about thinking you are too small to make a difference. As Michael J. Coren, climate advice columnist for the Washington Post, said in a recent article, “It’s time to start planning for the next thousand years.” He suggests that like cathedrals, which were completed over many generations, we, as individuals and communities, need to buy into climate projects as “bold, transcendent projects for the collective good.”

The actions we take today, and this year, will make a difference even if we don’t see them play out immediately. We are planting the seedlings of trees others will sit under.

I wish you all the best in 2024 and look forward to making a difference together on climate .



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