What can I do to stop climate change? A black female nurse looking out a window, deep in thought

Be an active citizen 6 ways to do your bit

The climate emergency won't just blow over.

And governments like our own won't act unless we put pressure on them.

As well as making changes in our individual lives, we need to exercise our democratic rights and support environmental causes. 

Here are 6 ways we can all make a difference.

1. Be political

Even if politicians annoy us, most want to act in the best interests of their constituents. They can only do this if they know what their constituents think.

Exercise your right to play a part in your democracy. Write to your councillor or MP on issues that affect the environment. Even better, arrange to see them in person.

Politicians have the power to ensure electricity is clean and green, that retailers can’t sell planet-wrecking products, and that your taxes aren't spent on polluting infrastructure.

Together we can help them make the right choices.

2. Join a Climate Action group

What we do in the next few years will determine the future of our world. We know the solutions to climate chaos and there's still time to act – just. But we need to work together if we're to convince our government to act.

Climate action groups are made up of people like you and together they’ll bring about big systemic change.

Join the network and kick-start climate action in your community.

Take Climate action

Get active in your local area

Find a local group

3. Get your hands dirty

For nearly 50 years, Friends of the Earth has recognised that changing politics is as vital as taking practical action. And we still like to get our hands dirty.

Ever planted a tree and seen it grow? Or scattered seeds that have blossomed into bee-friendly plants? It's satisfying.

Government cuts have left councils with precious little resources to support nature. While government must still be held to account, we can also play an important role in looking after our green spaces.

Get involved with your local “Friends of Parks” group, or help plant trees and lay hedges with a conservation group. If you have a garden or patio, make some space for wildlife.

Our top tip? Learn how to make your street 10 times greener.

4. Support a conservation group

Habitats and wild species work in harmony to provide us with clean air, pure water and nutritious food.

Some parts of the Earth have a much greater variety of wildlife than others. It's vital we protect these biodiversity hotspots from threats like oil drilling, factory farming and climate change.

Conservation International has identified the 36 most threatened biodiversity hotspots, which hold more than 50% of the Earth’s biodiversity.

You can help by financially supporting groups active in these areas – like members of Friends of the Earth International.

You can also avoid or cut down on products that cause deforestation. Find out how to reduce your environmental impact by becoming an ethical consumer.

5. Join Friends of the Earth

A small number of concerned citizens founded Friends of the Earth in 1971. Since then, we've become the biggest network of environmental groups across the world.

Big wins like doorstep recycling, GM-free food and the Climate Change Act have our name written all over them. We've also made a splash for nature – protecting whales, bees and trees.

With your voice – all your voices – we can make things happen. Support our actions by signing up for email alerts. Share our actions, to inspire your friends.

A regular donation helps us plan further ahead, knowing we'll have the means to campaign on the causes you care about.

Sign up to receive our alerts

6. Make your actions visible

It isn’t just colds that are contagious, actions are too. For example, researchers have identified that new solar panels on one home lead people living nearby to install their own panels.

Humans are copycats and we're much more likely to copy behaviours from people similar to ourselves.

Telling others what you're doing to help the environment actually does make a difference. And giving feedback to brands you buy will also help.

People like getting ideas and tips from friends so don’t be bashful when you’re doing your bit for the planet. Feeling social? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.