Climate change is an overwhelming, complex, and interconnected issue. Fortunately, we already know what we need to do to reduce global warming and we already have many of the tools and solutions we need. What is essential are more people who are committed to making sure those solutions are put into practice.
Most of us are familiar with suggested climate solutions: eliminate single use plastics, reduce gasoline mileage through fewer trips or more efficient cars, and incorporate more of a plant-based diet. Here’s five things you can do at home that you may not have thought about before.
For more ideas and information, check out the Climate Action Guide in the Fall 2019 issue of the Audubon magazine.
1. Learn more about our challenges. Each region will face different impacts. Learn more by going online to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Visualizer tool to see which species are impacted in your zip code.
While rising sea levels may be further from our state, New Mexico will be the front line of a variety of other climate threats such as droughts, fire, and heat waves. Knowing which birds are experiencing the most impact from climate change helps us to pinpoint where we need to focus our conservation efforts.
2. Reduce water consumption. Water is life in the arid Southwest. Decreased water availability in the Rio Grande has put a strain on riparian ecosystems and the people and wildlife who depend on them. Reduce your water usage at home and work, and advocate for smart water policy in your community. Help Audubon NM keep water in the river for wildlife. For more about our work on the Rio Grande, go here.
3. Plant native plants and advocate for natural solutions that will help adapt our communities and landscapes to climate change. Native plants are adapted to drier conditions, and provide food and shelter for birds as wild habitat becomes scarcer.
TIP: Use Audubon’s online Native Plant Database to identify which species are best for your region.
TIP: Check out the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program for information specific to the Middle Rio Grande, including a plant list, and other tips for supporting wildlife.
4. Ask elected leaders to be climate and conservation champions. Urge them to do more than vote in favor—be a clean energy and natural solution leader by supporting ETA implementation, regulating methane emissions, and enacting community solar legislation.
TIP: Support the Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act by signing the petition online.
5. Support organizations that are addressing climate across New Mexico. Audubon New Mexico collaborates with a variety of local, state, and national organizations, agencies, tribes, and municipalities to devise climate solutions based in science. From native communities, to youth activists, to ranchers and retirees, we will need everyone to address the challenges of climate change. Volunteer, make a donation, or publicize their successes within your own community. Do what you are able and capable of, and support the work of others who are on the front lines. Together, we can, and must take action on climate.