Personal and Interpersonal Actions: Overview

What we eat, what we wear, and how we deal with each other: all of these are areas in which our habits can cause us to contribute to climate change—and areas in which we have the power to make a difference.

What we eat can add to the 12% of US greenhouse gas emissions that come from agriculture—or it can be grown and transported in more energy-efficient ways that better connect us to the ecosystem and the seasons where we live. What we wear can be responsive to the seasons, too, and we can get, keep, and pass along our clothes in ways that don’t require as much fuel-intensive manufacturing or transportation. We can get our exercise in ways that bring us into contact with the land, air, water, and other members of our ecosystems. And we can find ways to do these things that are consistent with our income, our health, and our needs.

Humans rely on our relationships with each other, with other living beings, and with the natural systems of land, air and water. We often think of ourselves as isolated individuals—an idea that the dominant culture encourages—but none of us can survive without the presences and actions of many others. Our wealth of open spaces and ecosystems cares for us, and we can do a lot to care for them.

The small choices we make each day help us see how much we can accomplish in our households and our communities. The more we do them along with others, the more of a difference they make. They remind us of our connection to a culture and an ecosystem. The strength of those relationships enables us to get things done.