Individual Actions

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We began compiling this list in December 2019 and added some suggestions since. Some of these steps are relatively easy to take, others not so much. We need to find out how useful and effective these steps might be in order to make good recommendations. Possible effectiveness depends on the amount of public support that is engaged. Civil disobedience and other similar direct actions are not included.

# Action Drawdown Category Personal Cost/Savings Impact
1 Stop using plastic straws Materials $
2 Buy an EV Transport $$$$
3 Install solar panels Energy $$$
4 Compost waste foods, garden waste Food $
5 Engage in recycle programs Food $
6 Invest in clean energy ETF ICLN unlisted $
7 Buy ‘green’ products Materials $
8 Subscribe to digital versions of newspapers Materials $
9 Use renewable sources for heating Energy $$
10 Don’t burn wood for heating – leave the trees standing Energy $
11 Use public transport Transport $
12 Walk whenever feasible Transport $
13 Bike whenever feasible Buildings & Cities $
14 Don’t fly anywhere Transport $$
15 Take vacations nearby Transport $
16 Decommission non EV/RVs Transport $
17 Buy loose grocery goods over packaged goods Materials $
18 Grow your own vegetables whenever feasible Food $
19 Participate in allotments/community gardens for produce Food $
20 Buy local (until trucks are EV) Food $
21 Upgrade residential insulation Buildings & Cities $$$$
22 Change light bulbs to LEDs Buildings & Cities $
23 Buy clothes made with natural fibres (no acrylics, polyesters, nylon, etc.) Materials $
24 Wear out clothes before replacing. Materials $
25 Buy replacement clothes at thrift stores (while supplies last) Materials $
26 Downsize your home Buildings & Cities $$$$
27 Eat less meat Food $$
28 Don’t use single use plastic containers Materials $
29 Use reusable (e.g. glass or metal) containers Materials $
30 Use a washing line instead of a drier. Energy $
31 Teleconference instead of in person meetings Transport $$
32 Paint roofs white Energy $$
33 Cutup Credit Cards of banks that fund FFI none symbolic
34 Buy replacement fridges with non-HFC refrigerants (e.g. R600a aka iso-butane GWP=3) Materials $$

Color Key

  • Initial Cost to the individual is shown in red.
  • Any net savings enjoyed by the individual is shown in green.
  • Items in black are expected to have no net impact on costs or savings.

Some actions may only work if the effects aren’t displaced on to others. For example down sizing a home only really works if the large homes are taken out of the pool or at least left unoccupied. Similarly buying an EV to replace an internal combustion engine (ICE) car only really works if the ICE is taken off the road. The actual CO2 impact of the above have not been compiled.

Options should be evaluated on the Four E’s:

  • Engineering feasibility
  • Economic return on investment.
  • Environmental return on CO2 equivalent emissions
  • Emotional connection by the individual

If all four are go – it’s a no brainer.