America was founded by people standing up for what they believe in, and that characteristic continues to define us today. So even though there were many heavy hearts on June 1st when the President pulled America out of the Paris Climate Accord, there are reasons to be hopeful.

State and city governments, private companies and organizations nationwide are expressing with words and actions their commitment to the ideals of the Accord.

The governors of Massachusetts and Rhode Island — Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Gina Raimondo – have joined a multi-state alliance pledging allegiance to the tenets of the Accord. Farther afield, Hawaii went further, passing a law last week that commits the state to the goals of the Accord.

Private businesses are also stepping up, like W.S. Badger Co. in Gilsum, New Hampshire. The company signed onto an open letter from advocacy group We Are Still In, pledging to pursue the Paris Accord’s targets. More than 1,000 mayors, states,  universities and businesses have signed the letter so far.

Assuming you’re not an institution or an organization, what can you do? Solar is one easy and BIG way you can make a difference. (Solar, by the way, is strongly supported by Americans regardless of political party.) A typical 7,500-watt solar electric system prevents the emission of 13,700 pounds of CO2 a year. That’s like taking 1.3 cars off the road (cars are big polluters!), or the carbon absorption of 5 acres of trees.

Little things count, too: recycling at the office, using a reusable cup at Dunkin’ Donuts, or recycling plastic bags at the grocery store.

We don’t need to wait for Washington to lead on this issue. There’s a reason the saying “Think globally, act locally” has stuck around so long. It makes sense! All change starts with someone wanting to make a difference. Your contribution can start a movement.

You can reduce your impact on the environment.  Just choose to act.


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