Who is Outrider?

Outrider believes that the global challenges we face together must be solved by working together.

Among the greatest threats to the future of humankind are nuclear weapons and global climate change. Outrider makes the bold claim that both threats can be overcome — and not just by policy makers but by people with the right tools and inspiration.

How You Can Help

Already, communities, industries, and ecosystems around the country are at risk from human-caused climate change. How can we work together to chart a different course?

With each new year, we face more danger from the warming planet. We’ve already seen rising sea levels, increased flooding, droughts, water shortages, disruptions in food supplies, diminished public health, and shifts in plant and animal habitat. But according to our best scientific projections, the worst is yet to come—unless the world takes action to drastically cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

Even as individuals, there’s a lot we can do to slow—and eventually reverse—greenhouse gas pollution.

When faced with such a vast challenge, it’s easy to feel hopeless. But there’s a lot we can do to slow—and eventually reverse—greenhouse gas pollution, even as individuals. Of course, government and industry each have major roles to play. But ordinary citizens can also make a big difference, from reducing our own impact to pushing the government for more climate-friendly policies.

There are many ways to take action and become part of a movement for a clean energy future. Where will you begin?

I

Stay informed

The first step to taking meaningful action is to understand more about climate change. Learn what’s going on—and what’s at stake. What causes climate change? Who are the big players? This website is a good place to start.

If you’re looking for a deeper dive, look for reputable organizations that are publishing meaningful information. Read up—and follow them on social media to stay connected. Here are a few we recommend:

In addition, Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming and another great resource for people who want to find solutions that lead to a brighter future. These solutions range from making cities more walkable to growing food in your backyard to investing in renewable energy. All solutions, whether collective or individual, are in place and in action in our communities, but it is up to us to accelerate the knowledge and growth of what is possible as soon as possible to reverse global warming.

Armed with the facts, you can be a savvy citizen and consumer who uses their knowledge to take meaningful action. You can also help others understand the issues. Share resources with friends and family. Become the “explainer” in your group of friends. Amplify important messages by sharing them on social media.

II

Cut down your carbon footprint

Many of our everyday activities—from driving to using electricity to buying food—result in greenhouse gas emissions. Energy production accounts for significant greenhouse gas emissions: for example, CO2 emitted from a power plant. Another source is the energy used in manufacturing goods. The energy used to grow, transport, and market our food is yet another.

OzHarvest Market, Sydney, Australia

In Sydney, Australia, OzHarvest Market gives food that would be thrown away a second chance. Food waste accounts for close to a tenth of all human-caused carbon emissions. Forty percent of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten.

Saeed Khan / AFP / Getty

We use the phrase “carbon footprint” to talk about the sum of all the greenhouse gas emissions that can be attributed to a person or household. There’s a lot we can do to make our footprint smaller, one meaningful way is to reduce your household's food waste. Did you know that if food waste was a country it would be third largest emitter of greenhouse gas? These types of individual actions add up to a significant impact—but we’ll need public policy to get the rest of the way.

Read: Food Waste: The World's Dumbest Environmental Problem

Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t have to mean turning your life upside down. Small, simple changes can have a cumulative impact. Another bonus? Many of the actions that reduce your carbon footprint also save you money and keep you healthier. Explore below to learn how you can get started.

Adding up your carbon footprint

Stop throwing away food

Food production is responsible for nearly a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions—and yet, we waste up to 50% of the food that’s grown. Start by reducing food waste at home.

Eat mostly plants

Food that comes from animals has a bigger carbon footprint than food from plants. But not all meat is created equal. Beef and lamb are much more carbon-intensive than most fish, poultry, and pork. We don’t all have to become strict vegetarians to make a difference—cutting down helps a lot!

Switch to "green" energy

Rooftop solar panels can be a great way to save money while shrinking your family’s carbon footprint—but they’re not for everyone. An easier step? Many utility companies offer solar- or wind-generated electricity for a small extra fee.

Drive less, fly less

 Walk, bike, or take public transit if you can. If you fly a lot, consider ways to cut down a bit. Air travel is a big source of greenhouse gases emissions.

Think fuel efficiency

When it’s time to replace your car, consider buying a more efficient one—not only will it help the planet, it will help save money on gas in the long term. Hybrid and electric cars are becoming more common and more affordable.

Use less energy at home

There are lots of ways to use less power and generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Heat and cool your house a little bit less. Upgrade your insulation. Use cold water in the washing machine. Switch to efficient light bulbs and appliances.

Buy FSC-certified wood

If you’re building or renovating, look for wood that’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC. Healthy lands and forests are critical for keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

Stop throwing away food

Food production is responsible for nearly a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions—and yet, we waste up to 50% of the food that’s grown. Start by reducing food waste at home.

Eat mostly plants

Food that comes from animals has a bigger carbon footprint than food from plants. But not all meat is created equal. Beef and lamb are much more carbon-intensive than most fish, poultry, and pork. We don’t all have to become strict vegetarians to make a difference—cutting down helps a lot!

Switch to "green" energy

Rooftop solar panels can be a great way to save money while shrinking your family’s carbon footprint—but they’re not for everyone. An easier step? Many utility companies offer solar- or wind-generated electricity for a small extra fee.

Drive less, fly less

 Walk, bike, or take public transit if you can. If you fly a lot, consider ways to cut down a bit. Air travel is a big source of greenhouse gases emissions.

Think fuel efficiency

When it’s time to replace your car, consider buying a more efficient one—not only will it help the planet, it will help save money on gas in the long term. Hybrid and electric cars are becoming more common and more affordable.

Use less energy at home

There are lots of ways to use less power and generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Heat and cool your house a little bit less. Upgrade your insulation. Use cold water in the washing machine. Switch to efficient light bulbs and appliances.

Buy FSC-certified wood

If you’re building or renovating, look for wood that’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC. Healthy lands and forests are critical for keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

If you want to calculate your personal or household carbon footprint and learn about more ways to shrink it, these calculators can help:

III

Pressure your politicians

Individual contributions matter, but it will take unified action to stop the climate crisis. Politicians must enact policies to prevent catastrophic warming—and public pressure can help make sure they do.

Politicians must enact policies to prevent catastrophic warming—and public pressure can help make sure they do.

We need sound public policies that accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources, curb greenhouse gas emissions across the board, and support sensible land use.

These policies should include stronger federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, research and development investments in clean energy technology, and—most importantly—a price on "carbon pollution". Without this powerful economic incentive, real change is unlikely.

Wind turbines punctuate farmland.

Wind turbines punctuate farmland. By 2020, onshore wind energy is expected to be cheaper than coal, and comparable to natural gas. The wind industry currently employs over 100,000 workers and is growing fast.

Chuanchai Pundej / Getty

Citizen action goes a long way in shaping policy. Make your voice heard!

First of all—VOTE!

Voting is the most powerful way to express your views in a democratic system. On the local, state and national level, choose candidates that support taking action on climate change. Ask your candidates about their positions to let them know this is an issue that matters.

Speak up

Your elected officials have a responsibility to listen to their constituents—that includes you. Let them know that action on climate change and clean energy solutions needs to be a priority. Send emails and make phone calls. Attend a town hall meeting to express your concern and urge them to action.

 

High School Students Persuade Congressman

The Citizens’ Climate Lobby is an incredible resource for people who want to get involved in policy. This bipartisan group channels individual passion for climate solutions into political action on a national scale. Their volunteers—who come from all over the country and both sides of the political aisle—learn to connect with elected officials, communicate with the media, and foster conversations within their communities. Joining is an easy way to make a difference.

Connect with local institutions

Political action happens on all levels of government. Today, many states, cities, and institutions have committed to dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions to address the climate crisis—even if the federal government has not. #WeAreStilIn is a coalition of local governments and institutions that have committed to taking action on climate. Find out what your community is doing and how you can help.

State and federal government

Energy policies vary widely from state to state. State government has a lot of sway over where your energy comes from and what its greenhouse gas impact is. Learn about your state’s energy policy here. Don’t like what you see? Contact your governor and legislative representatives to advocate for clean energy solutions.

The most meaningful change must come from the top. We need a federal plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

But the most meaningful change must come from the top. We need a federal plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Join tens of thousands of others in signing a pledge to demand action. With a firm national and international commitment, we can stop—and maybe reverse—climate change.

IV

Engage your community

If you’re passionate about helping solve the climate crisis, getting others onboard is critical. Your own community is a great place to start. Seek out like-minded folks in your area who might already be taking action—or start your own networks. The Climate Reality Leadership Corps can help you learn on-the-ground strategies for engaging the people around you and inspiring action.

One easy way to start? Share this page on Facebook or Twitter. Your passion can help fuel a movement!

a community meeting in Livingston, Montana

Residents of Livingston, Montana attend a community meeting to discuss a recent disease outbreak that decimated local fish populations. The outbreak is thought to have been caused by climate change.

William Campbell / Getty

Climate Science 101

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