Take Action! Climate Change and the Food System

Learn how you can transform the food system to end climate change

Take Action!

From changing our food choices, to organizing our communities, to impacting local, national, and global policies, there’s a lot we can do to change the food system and cool the planet!  Check out these ideas below, and let us know if you have more to add [email protected].

Eat a Low-Carbon Diet!

Every day we make choices about the food we eat.  Here are some tips for making food choices that support a climate-friendly food system:

•Go local and organic: Visit your local farmers’ market or join a local CSA or coop to get foods that are not only healthy for you, but for the planet too.

•Put plants on your plate:  Learn ways to eat less meat and liven up your diet with plant-based dishes at Meatless Monday.  Avoid products from greenhouse gas-producing factory farms by finding sustainably raised animal products from local family farms through the Eat Well Guide.

• Eat –and cook—whole foods: Cut down on energy-consuming food packaging and processing while eating more healthfully. Exchange tips and meals with your family, friends, and neighbors.

Grow your own: Eat as local as it gets – grow some of your own food, from herbs on your windowsill, to crops in your yard or nearest community garden.  Visit Kitchen Gardeners, Food Not Lawns International and the Cool Food Campaign Garden Guide for inspiration.
Get your Community to Reduce its Footprint! 

Communities all over the world are feeding themselves while fighting climate change.  Help your community to become part of the solution!

Grow together: Start a community garden or farm, or become active in one that already exists.   Sign the Climate-Friendly Gardening Pledge to make a commitment to use climate-friendly gardening methods.  Work with your neighbors to improve community access to land and water.

Share the harvest: Initiate or support a local marketCSA, or other local food project.  Not sure what your community needs? Connect with your food policy council if you have one, or help lead a community food assessment.

Transform your school or workplace: Get your school or workplace to source food from local and regional farms. Check out the Real Food Challenge, a campaign mobilizing college students throughout the US to transform the food served on campus.

Green your grocer: Ask your local food retailer to source more local, sustainable products.  Check out the Healthy Corner Stores Network for ideas.

Get Political!

Educate and mobilize: Hold a teach-in on food and climate.  Show the film (link to

landing page) featured at the start of this topic.  See the Resources (link) page for materials to distribute, and use the tools over at the Cool Food Campaign.  Check out the NYC Food & Climate Summit site for inspiration.

Hold agribusiness accountable: Visit the Rainforest Action Network which posts regular alerts and updates on agribusinesses that are contributing to climate change.  Also see Harvest of Heat: Agribusiness and Climate Change by Agribusiness Action Initiatives.

Advocate locally: Get your local government to adopt a plan to cut carbon emissions that includes strengthening local and regional food systems.  If your government is already working on a sustainability plan or has one in place, advocate to make sure it includes food!  Check out these examples from Berkeley, California and New York City.

Advocate nationally: Join and support the Cool Foods Campaign and the campaigns of groups such as the Organic Consumers Association, Union of Concerned Scientists, Friends of the Earth, and others who are advocating for national policies that support sustainable agriculture as a solution to the climate crisis.

Advocate globally: Support the worldwide movement of farmers who are working to cool down the planet through sustainable family farming.  Next stop: Cancún!

Have additional ideas?  Please let us know! [email protected].