By: Steve Genovese
If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. – Proverb
As the world faces unprecedented heat waves, wildfires, and storms during the warmest year on record for the planet, climate change is at the forefront of many people’s minds. Here in Maine, June was one of the wettest months ever, with more than 20 days of measurable rain in the 30-day month. As a sustainability writer and professional, I’ve been asked questions by friends and family near and far about what we can do to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.
What can I do?
Mitigation is the process of making climate change less harmful and severe to our communities, and we can all help.
Transitioning away from fossil fuels and reusing and recycling more of our everyday waste products are important on an individual level.
In much of Maine, there is a growing push to replace grass lawns with native and biodiverse green spaces. This is a practice any steward of the land can begin today!
Many communities, like Portland and South Portland, have active landcare management programs and ordinances that help their communities transition away from harmful practices like the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Organizations like Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and Wild Seed Project can provide community members with the necessary tools to begin implementing sustainable and resilient at-home landcare practices.
South Portland has developed an electric tool library, which houses all-electric lawn care equipment designed for home use. Rentals are free to residents, and help the community reduce carbon emissions and improve overall air quality. If your community does not have such a library, you can urge your local officials to create one.
Brunswick, Freeport, and many others are in the process of creating their own climate action plans to develop and support mitigation techniques. Some have active community volunteer groups like Freeport CAN – Climate Action Network, which is working toward our sustainable future. Community groups welcome volunteers to join and help out.
Single-handedly, no one person can reverse climate change. But working together, as a global society, we can create the change that we want to see, one community at a time. And that starts with each of us!
So talk to your friends and neighbors and discuss the ways that your community as a whole can be better prepared for the climate change impacts that you may experience together. Volunteer in your communities! The planet is our only home, so how it fares as a result of human-related climate change has a direct impact on all of us.
Where we go together, we go.