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Here's how to talk about our changing climate with family and friends during the holidays

Knowing how to talk about climate change with family and friends isn't always easy — here are some topics to get you started.

Climate change stories, How to talk about climate change

Everyone has holiday traditions. In many families, this includes some combination of coming together, gathering over a table of food, and tackling some way-too-spicy conversation topics.

But instead of arguing over current events or the actual best Thanksgiving side, why not make the conversation both positive and productive? Below, we've gathered the best news, the craziest developments, and the most exciting changes that are making our planet a better, cooler place. 

Here are 15 stories we're pumped to tell our families about, ranked in order of how advanced the meal needs to get before we're bringing them up. First, the appetizers:

Appetizers (0-1 glasses of wine deep)


Buyback Programs:

Buyback Programs:

"Did you know you can get money back for your worn sneakers? Or even your old underwear? I'm thinking of arranging a drive if anyone wants in!"


Cutting Bills:

Cutting Bills, How to talk about climate change

"I've been lowering my water and energy bills by unplugging my energy vampires every night. Plus, apparently it's more cost-effective to use a dishwasher instead of hand washing? I feel like I'm getting paid to be lazy." 


EV Charging:

EV Charging,How to talk about climate change

"Electric vehicle chargers aren't always easy to find, but now stations are coming to major stores like Starbucks, Walmart, and IKEA." 


Food swaps:

Food swaps

"I'm not about to give up meat (*said while digging into a turkey leg*), but I have been trying to be more 'plant-forward' to improve my health. The new thing is to say I'm becoming a "reducetarian." Plus, it makes me way more creative in the kitchen!"


Plastic-Free Living:

Plastic-Free Living

"Remind me to send you the link for these dishwasher pods I love. They take up so much less space than my old ones, and they leave my dishes spotless. Plus they're more sustainable." 

Main Course (2-3 glasses of wine deep)


Community Solar:

Community Solar

"Community solar can make a huge dent in your monthly energy bill. And get this … you don't even have to see the solar panels to benefit from them."


Insect-Based Dog Food:

Insect-Based Dog Food

"I read that this crazy insect bug food is supposed to be really good for your dog's stomach and can even help with their allergies."


Firefighting Drones:

Firefighting Drones

"OK, this is a job I'm glad the machines are taking from us. Did you know they're using drones to detect and fight fires? Then even more drones come in and replant the trees."


IRA Savings:

IRA Savings

"Have you looked into how much the Inflation Reduction Act could save you? I just did, and apparently, I can save over $17,000!"


Climate Action:

Climate Action

"I promise this doesn't break the 'no politics at the table' rule. I read demand for climate action is actually way more popular and less partisan than most people think, apparently. Actually, most parents wish that schools taught more about climate change."

Dessert (several glasses deep)


Electric School Buses:

Electric School Buses

"Diesel school buses are a nightmare for kids' lungs, but electric buses are up and coming. I heard a wild stat: We can prevent 6,300 premature deaths and more than 93,000 asthma attacks by making the switch."


Induction Ovens:

Induction Ovens

"Did you know that induction stoves can boil water over three times faster than a traditional gas stove? Sorry, I guess I should've shared that before we started cooking."


Great Pacific Garbage Patch:

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

"Have you seen the crazy contraptions they're using to pull trash out of the ocean? These things can haul in 40,000 pounds of trash in a single day."


Solar Cars:

Solar Cars,How to talk about climate change

"Companies are starting to build solar cars that can drive 60 miles a day with no energy costs. That's a whole commute to work for free! I read one even just completed a 620-mile test across the Sahara Desert and can drive up to 440 miles without having to stop to recharge."


Ozone Layer:

Ozone Layer, How to talk about climate change

"When was the last time you heard about the ozone layer? Years, right? Well, there's a good reason for that — we've actually been doing a great job at fixing it. Policy change really can make a huge difference."

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