In April 2023, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy published its first edition of a new publication, Making a Difference: Practical Actions That Individuals Can Take To Reduce Their Impact on the Climate.”
In passing the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the United States Congress made the largest investment in clean energy ever.
This historic legislation is projected to invest almost $370 billion in clean energy — solar, wind, battery storage, geothermal, etc. — over the next ten years. As historic as the IRA is, and it has the potential to be transformational, it does not require individuals to make their homes energy efficient or require utilities to switch from using coal to renewables. The IRA does provide generous incentives or carrots, but few requirements or sticks. So, if the IRA is going to achieve its objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to meet the U.S. commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement, each of us will need to take action.
This booklet suggests ways that individuals can take advantage of the benefits in the IRA as well as other measures that individuals can take to reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming. As important as individual responsibility is, it is not the only means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In the section entitled Be Involved, we make recommendations on how individuals can support policy changes to reduce greenhouse gases.
Here is our list of practical actions that individuals can take to help preserve the Earth’s climate. It is not an exhaustive list, but a starting place for action.