How to Fight Climate Change Right Now | Cal Parks
Published: September 20, 2021

In recent years, we’ve seen beloved places in California suffer from climate change. Parks like Big Basin Redwoods State Park and Chino Hills State Park have been severely burned by wildfires. This year, the Dixie and Caldor fires have swept through the state – impacting entire communities, families, forests, and state parks. 

As climate change worsens, wildfires in California will only become more frequent and intense. The good news: it’s not hard to take climate action. You can fight climate change just by making smart, simple environmental choices in California! And, collectively, we can have a huge impact. 

Here are a few ways you can combat climate change in California:


Be mindful about energy usage in your home. 

California has seen some extreme heat this year – and extreme temperatures mean a higher potential for blackouts. But you can help without even leaving your home. We’ve teamed up with OhmConnect to help Californians reduce energy consumption and prevent blackouts. Once you sign up, OhmConnect notifies you when it's most important to save energy in your home and then rewards you for adjusting your thermostat and powering down your electronics. Learn more and sign up for free today. 

Make thoughtful transportation choices. 

We all have places to go – it’s inevitable! Whether you’re flying for a wedding or running errands around town, it’s important to have an eco-friendly perspective. That could mean combining all your weekly errands into one trip to reduce driving time or walking or biking there instead. When it comes to flying, consider direct flights (lower emissions) or airlines that plan trips more efficiently. 

Plant native flowers and plants in your yard or garden. 

Simply put, native plants are those that occur naturally in a particular region. They are the ecological basis upon which life depends! When you plant native California species, you’re helping to nurture and sustain creatures like bees, birds, and butterflies. In contrast, invasive species such as English ivy overcrowd and outcompete native species. Simple landscaping choices really do have meaningful effects on the environment!  

Consider shopping secondhand. 

Buying secondhand items is not only affordable, but also more sustainable too. The fashion industry requires huge amounts of water to produce clothing. It’s the second most water-intensive industry in the world. Avoiding fast fashion and buying secondhand is environmentally friendly and creates a more circular economy in which items are reused and excess waste is eliminated. This applies to furniture, homewares, and other items as well! Check platforms like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for gently used items before investing in something new. 

Make smart food choices. 

What we eat matters, and there’s a lot we can do to help our planet this way. Meat production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally, with beef being the biggest offender. Reducing your meat intake – not even eliminating it – can have huge impacts on the environment. Try to eat more plant-based meals to do your part. Also, when grocery shopping, try to limit products with palm oil – another major contributor to both greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. 

Make smart choices when it comes to trash and waste, too. 

When you dispose of your items, do it in the most sustainable way possible. Make sure you are composting food waste, recycling accepted materials, and donating old electronics instead of throwing them away. And, in general, just buy less! The more we buy, the more goes to waste and ends up in landfills. 

Support wildfire relief and recovery in California.  

The 2021 California wildfire season isn’t even over, and it’s already one for the books. Climate change is fueling more intense, frequent wildfires and California State Parks Foundation is responding by taking decisive action to restore fragile habitats and rebuild state parks. Every donation will help our parks recover, regrow, and become resilient. Give today to support wildfire relief in parks. Your gift will be doubled by our friends at Edison International!  

Volunteer in parks and make a tangible impact in person. 

California State Parks Foundation’s volunteer program is an opportunity for you to get in the dirt and weeds firsthand. Our volunteers help parklands in a variety of ways like wildlife habitat restoration, beach clean-ups, invasive plant removal, trail rehabilitation, and more. We work closely with park staff to identify projects that need support, so we can effectively steward and maintain the land. Find a workday near you and see what all the excitement is about.