Celebrate locally! Durham’s Earth Day Festival is on Sunday, April 23 from 12:00 to 5:00 PM at Durham Central Park. Raleigh’s community Earth Day event will be on Friday, April 21 from 5:00 to 10:00 PM at Dix Park. Orange County has several events planned, including Earth Day Celebration Carrboro, taking place on Saturday, April 22 from 3:30 to 6:00 PM in the Carrboro Town Commons.
Climate change is a huge issue and can make a lot of folks feel helpless.
So–What can you do?
While there’s no quick fix, you can always educate, advocate, and adapt (in addition to the traditional reduce, reuse, recycle).
Keep reading to find out more!
Educate [yourself and others]!
Learning about both global and local issues related to climate change can be a first step, but knowing is as important as doing (both matter, though!).
There are loads of resources available–books, websites, podcasts, documentaries, news sites. While you can and should “do your own research,” starting from a basic understanding of how we know climate change is real and what exactly is meant by that phrase can be helpful.
The Wynn Collection at the Main Campus Library (located upstairs near the open computer lab along the railing) has climate and ecology as one of its collection goals, but all the Durham Tech campus libraries and our Dogwood Digital Library (available through the Libby app) all have excellent resources through a variety of print books, ebooks, and audiobooks.
Seeing the scope of the climate challenges we face can be a little demoralizing, so bolster yourself with some climate good news, such as The Daily Climate’s Good News page. I also like posts from Zahra Biabani (@zahranurbiabani), who just published a book–Climate Optimism, and Appalachian climate scientist Alaina Wood (@itsthegarbagequeen) on Instagram.
If you’re not sure how to start advocating for climate justice or systemic changes, you can do small things like signing petitions through EarthDay.org.
Effective public advocacy goes beyond virtual petitions though. Finding your advocacy voice can involve a lot of trial and error. It can be helpful to try out climate advocacy groups to see if one fits your personality and system of beliefs best. You can always start by participating in an Hour of Action with Climate Changemakers, a nonpartisan climate advocacy group.
There are lots of local groups in the Triangle, too, representing a variety of personal and political viewpoints:
- Durham Environmental Coalition
- North Carolina Environmental Justice Network
- NC WARN
- Triangle Land Conservancy
- and a list of Sustainable Communities nonprofit partners from the Triangle Community Foundation
Adapt! While individual actions alone will not fix the climate crisis, there are individual actions that can make a difference as we adapt our lives to more planet-friendly behaviors.
I’m personally trying to be more mindful of the plastic I use and, where I can, am making permanent changes that will help me do my very small part. (The jury’s still out on how I feel about compostable bags for my kitty litter, but that’s part of a larger issue related to pets and the environment, too. SIGH.) I did find it hopeful and helpful to see how some local companies are utilizing recycled plastic, while still acknowledging that there are still a lot of continued challenges around plastic recycling. I’m crossing my fingers that the plastic-eating fungi will somehow magically save us from ourselves.
At Durham Tech, if you’re interested in learning together, the Library currently has two books focused on climate and the environment for our book club reading circles. Interested in setting up your own reading group around one of these books? Contact Meredith Lewis (lewisma @ durhamtech .edu) for more information.