"Even though 7 in 10 Americans believe climate change is happening, and 6 in 10 are at least somewhat concerned about it, two-thirds of Americans rarely, if ever, talk about climate change with the people they care about."
The quickest way to start impacting our ability to deal with the climate crisis is:
START TALKING ABOUT IT.
We will continue to feel isolated and helpless until we start talking about it with each other. We need to connect to one another and share our concerns and understanding of what is happening. You don't have to be a climate scientist to know enough about the crisis to express your concerns.
What else can I do to start making an impact?
Do a home energy audit. You can reduce your carbon footprint by turning off unused lights, purchasing energy efficient appliances, or replacing old windows. Find out more from the Department of Energy Home Energy Audits page.
Eat less meat. You don't have to be completely meat and dairy free to be able to reduce your carbon footprint. Cutting your Foodprint can be more efficient at cutting down CO2 emissions than reducing your driving.
Avoid air travel when possible. The impact of air travel on climate change is huge. If you must fly, or buy carbon offsets. There are some listed here. I chose this one for myself (full disclosure: I haven't made any purchases, yet!)
Cut down on driving. Whenever possible, ride public transportation and bicycles, and walk. If possible, work from home or move closer to work. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions has a helpful Guide for Reducing your Transportation Footprint.
Educate yourself about Climate Change. There is a massive wealth of knowledge and information about climate change out there. I found some online courses, movies, and books which I recommend to help you! Get fired up! Watch this video, Forest, from Conservation International. Listen to Felix Finkbinder address the UN. Watch the trailer for Taking Root, a documentary about Wangari Maathai. Read Rainforest on fire, a long, troubling, but highly informative article from the Intercept. Join a protest, march or strike. Taking part in this type of action has so many benefits: your lend your voice to the cause, show elected officials that this issue is important, meet other like-minded people, and even potentially convince others that tackling climate change is a worthwhile endeavor.
Take steps to protect the Amazon.
Sign Greenpeace's petition asking Brazil protect the Amazon and the indigenous and traditional communities there.
From Monga Bay, cattle ranching is attributed to ~70% of deforestation, the rest is mostly from subsistence and commercial agriculture (notably palm oil and soy).
You don't have to stop eating beef completely, but sourcing it locally would have the same effect.
The World Wildlife Fund has palm oil guidelines including which foods it is used in (and why), a list of ingredient names to look out for, and how to identify products that use sustainable palm oil.
Cut down on wood and paper products. When possible, look for the Rainforest Alliance froggy, which tells you the product was sustainably sourced.
Support organizations involved in tree planting.
Join Plant for the Planet to Stop Talking and Start Planting!
Get involved with the Green Belt movement planting trees or making donations.
The Arbor Day Foundation's Time for Trees initiative (Arbor Day Foundation)- by 2022, plant 100m trees, and inspire 5 million planters.
Find a local organization like Friends of Northern Arizona Forests, which supports state forest service.
Use ecosia.org as your search engine; they plant a tree for every 45 searches you make!
Purchase carbon offsets, such as carbonfund.org, which are used towards ethical reforestation.