Hello, fellow Earth dwellers. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already aware of the pickle we’re in. Our beloved planet is in need of some serious help and quick.

But let’s not despair; instead, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. Because guess what? We’ve all got a part to play in this unique opportunity we’ve been given to change the course of history.

Yes, the big boys – corporations and governments – bear a lot of responsibility for tackling climate change head-on. But we’re not off the hook either.

Individually, we can do a lot to have impactful conversations and change the narrative about the extractive and exploitative industries fueling the climate chaos raging around the world.

From 1-minute social media advocacy to lifelong sustainability commitments, here’s how you can make your spare time count, even if you don’t have a lot of time to spare.

1. The 1-Minute Activist: Social Media Advocacy

You’ve got a minute? Great! We live in a digital age where a single tweet or Instagram post can reach thousands. Use that power.

Follow climate activists and organizations on the social media apps you already spend time on and share their posts and videos. Share impactful climate facts, graphs and information, opinions and op-eds, quotes, video clips, eco-friendly tips, or climate-related news stories on your feed.

Remember to keep it real, sharing both good and bad news as well as ways for your followers to take action.

Struggling to find motivation to share? Climate grief and climate anxiety is often a barrier to advocating for the climate. If you ever feel this way, know that you aren’t alone and that there are millions of people out there who feel the same way. Check out some eco-anxiety and climate grief resources to begin to work through these feelings and come out on the other side.

2. The 5-Minute Activist: Signing Petitions

Five minutes to spare? Perfect! Online petitions can be game-changers, influencing policy on local and national levels. Here’s how to find some petitions to sign:

  • Look for verified platforms like Change.org, and lend your digital signature to a cause you believe in.
  • Follow national and local environmental organizations in your area on social media – they’ll post about petitions sometimes.
  • Sign up for email updates from local and national environmental organizations. These orgs frequently share opportunities for petition signing online through their email newsletters.

3. The 15-Minute Activist: Educating Yourself

Got a 15-minute break? Use it to stay informed. Check out reputable sources for the latest science-backed updates on climate change. Utilize critical media literacy skills as you peruse information online. Knowledge is power, my friends!

No time to read? Utilize your local library to check out audiobooks online. Most libraries have a plethora of audiobooks on the climate crisis available at any given point. Listen to the book in short intervals, on your commute, while you’re cooking or cleaning, or whenever you want.

Watching videos works, too. There are so many incredible video creators out there who are passionate about sharing information about the climate crisis and some of the solutions available and actions to take.

Follow accounts on social media who talk about the climate crisis, too. This is a great way to vary the perspectives you’re absorbing and support frontline community efforts. Look for accounts run by frontline community members, Indigenous activists, local community groups and orgs, and embrace those opportunities to listen to individuals who have been advocating for change for decades.

4. The 30-Minute Activist: Write Letters or Emails

Email account pulled up on a web browser

Sending emails to legislators on a laptop

Half an hour to make a difference? Let’s do it! Your elected officials need to hear from you.

Write an email or letter expressing your concerns about the climate crisis and demand action. Personalize it, make it heartfelt – remember, you’re not just a voter, you’re a human being affected by their decisions.

If you’re in Colorado, find your legislators and their contact information with this link.

5. The 1-Hour Activist: Attend a Webinar or Virtual Meeting

An hour to invest? Webinars and virtual meetings are great platforms to learn more and engage in discussions about climate change.

Plus, if you find an opportunity to jump into a live session, you’ll get to meet like-minded folks who are just as passionate about saving the planet as you are.

350 Colorado committees host virtual meetings, usually on a biweekly basis! Whether you’re interested in regenerative agriculture, divestment work, organizing against fracking in Colorado, or holding Suncor accountable, there’s probably something for you. Check out our list of committees and consider signing up for one here.

If it’s difficult for you to show up for meetings and webinars at specific times, you can also find pre-recorded videos of past webinars, plenty of which have tons of great information.

Here’s a session that our Youth Action Committee put on earlier this year, all about how to support youth in activism and why it’s critical to the climate movement to listen to and involve youth in leadership and supporting roles.

6. The 2-Hour Activist: Participate in a Local Cleanup, Event, or Swap

If you can spare a couple of hours, why not get your hands dirty, literally?

Join a local cleanup event or organize one in your community. It’s immediate action against pollution and a great way to connect with fellow climate warriors.

Attending swaps is another great option. This is where waste-conscious folks come together to swap items they aren’t using anymore for something they will be able to make use of. General swaps, clothing swaps, household item swaps, and seed swaps are especially common.

Participating in a pre-planned event is a fun way to spend some extra time and meet others who care deeply about the same issues you do.

7. The Half-Day Activist: Plant a Tree or Start a Garden

If you’ve got half a day, use it to make our world greener. Planting trees or starting a small pollinator garden in your backyard not only reduces your carbon footprint but also reconnects you with Mother Earth.

If you don’t have a backyard or space to plant anything, consider a windowsill garden. Alternatively, check out community gardens in your area. You could also ask a friend or family member if they’d be willing to give you some space to plant in their yard. Or, make a post in a local group on social media to ask if anyone near you would allow you to plant flowers and native plants on their property.

8. The Full-Day Activist: Join a Protest or March

Crowd marching at Denver Global Climate March

Crowd holding signs at Denver Global Climate March

Got an entire day? Join the crowd!

Participating in a peaceful protest or climate march is a powerful way to take a stand and demand action from our leaders. Remember to stay safe and respectful – we’re all in this together.

Follow local environmental organizations on social media or sign up to their email newsletter to get notifications when marches and rallies are happening near you.

9. The Long-Term Activist: Volunteer Regularly

If you’re ready for a longer commitment, consider volunteering for a local environmental organization.

Regularly dedicating your time can make a significant impact, and it provides an opportunity to learn new skills and meet people who share your passion for the environment.

350 Colorado has volunteer opportunities available year-round, whether you want to join us in-person or help out remotely.

10. The Lifelong Activist: Make Sustainable Lifestyle Changes

Ready to go the whole nine yards? Embrace sustainable living. From reducing waste and consuming responsibly, to choosing public transport or biking over driving, every little change adds up over time.

It’s true that individuals aren’t responsible for the climate crisis. That being said, your lifestyle changes will begin hundreds of conversations, influence people in your circle to get involved, and you might find they help you to slow down and live more intentionally.

In conclusion, combating the climate crisis requires collective effort. While corporations and governments play a major role, our individual actions are equally crucial. So, choose your battle, big or small, and let’s change the collective narrative and do better. Do what you can, when you can!