what you can do about the paris agreement

The Paris Climate Agreement: What Next?

what you can do about the paris agreement

As the news rolls in tonight about Donald Trump taking the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement I’ve felt heavy-hearted, and (quite rightly so) witnessed a lot of shock, sadness and anger from people reacting to the news on Twitter.  In times like this it’s easy to feel despondent, but this is a challenge we all can rise up against.

You might be wondering what you can do to mitigate the impacts of the leader of the free world’s reckless and short-sighted decisions, but it’s a simple one:

Make Your Actions Count

Everything you do has an impact: make it count.  Make small changes in your live and encourage others to do the same.

Sounds difficult?

  • According to the National Resource Defense Council, if every family in the United States replaced just one roll of toilet paper with 100% recycled toilet paper, that could save 423,900 trees.  That’s just one toilet roll – imagine the savings if everyone made the switch on a permanent basis.
  • According to Earth Day if everyone in the United States didn’t eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.  Again, that’s just one day a week.
  • According to Strawless Ocean the United States gets through 500 million plastic drinking straws a day.  By simply refusing a straw, or carrying your own reusable straw, think of the plastic that could be avoided.

These are small changes – using recycled toilet paper, not eating meat or cheese one day a week and refusing a plastic straw but look at the potential impacts.  Huge.  Just because changes aren’t coming from the top (i.e. Donald Trump), doesn’t mean we can’t make positive environmental changes and take matters into our own hands.  As one of my friends so eloquently put it “we can all carry out small but significant acts of defiance against the orange man“.

The more people that make positive environmental changes (even if it’s just as small as replacing your loo roll for a recycled brand), and the more that people talk about the changes they’ve made, the more mainstream these become.  So share with your friends on social media about your cycle to work, your reusable water bottle, your solar panels, your homemade makes, your grow your own endeavours, your Meat Free Monday makes, your guerrilla gardening efforts.  Basically, anything that you’re doing – start talking about it.

Some people see these kind of things as a bit out there because they aren’t talked about – but let’s make carbon saving mainstream and encourage more and more people to save carbon.

If that doesn’t seem enough for you, remember that small steps quite often lead to bigger steps.  Taking part in Meat Free Monday for example, might be just the trigger for someone to make the leap to full time vegetarianism or veganism.  Cycling to work one day a week could lead to someone being a full time bike commuter.  The possibilities are endless.

Just because Trump isn’t concerned about climate change doesn’t mean we all should bury our heads in the sand: let’s rebel and take collective action in any small way we can.  Between us we can make our planet great again – and green, not orange!


  1. Hear hear!
    I’ve debated over the past few months about whether or not to resume blogging and to take my blog in a sustainable lifestyle direction. My reasons for the struggle are many, but I think you’ve convinced me to do it. You are 100% right — we need to talk more about our actions and inspire actions in others! I really resonate with the idea of making carbon-saving mainstream!

  2. As a US citizen, I really appreciate seeing support from people from other countries. This decision was made by one person and backed by only a few others (some in his administration didn’t even support it). The majority of Americans did not want to leave the Accord. We want clean energy and a low-carbon future. This one decision does not represent the majority of Americans or how they feel about climate change. We’re with the rest of the world on this one. I’m not sure if you follow more local US news, but a large group of city mayors have made a promise to work towards lower emissions and many governors are proceeding to meet the goals of the Paris Accord and the Clean Power Plan regardless of how the White House feels. That’s the good news that’s helping me remain positive during this time.

    • I read a great article about Pittsburgh, which signified that the city would still follow the Paris Agreement, and I think some other cities and regions are following suit? If so that is great news. I’m with you on the majority of Americans no wanting to leave he accord – it was clearly an ill-advised decision made by Trump. And hey – the UK voted Brexit – as a country we’re not perfect either! ;)

  3. Just what Marissa said above there, his insane action does not reflect the mass of our country.

    I cried a bit yesterday. I was so angry. I’m still angry. So my solution, instead of feeling sad and sorry, I called my power provider and changed to 100% (I was already signed up for 50% renewable energy).

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