As the Russia-Ukraine conflict rages on, with devastating effects on civilians, it can be difficult to know what you can do to help while you are at home and living your day-to-day life. Here are five practical ways that you can make a difference and support Ukraine.
Cut your consumption of oil and gas
As if the climate crisis didn’t give us enough reasons to end our dependency on fossil fuels, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the last straw. Governments are doing what they can to speed up the rollout of renewables, but we can do our part too.
According to the International Energy Agency, adjusting home thermostats by just 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit (or 1 degree Celsius) could save 10 billion cub meters of gas per year.
Support independent Ukrainian media
If we have learned anything over the past few years, it’s that misinformation can be weaponized. Thus, it’s even more important to support the reliable journalists on the ground who are putting their lives at risk to make sure we can the information we need. There are English-language news outlets like the Kyiv independent and the New Voice of Ukraine along with fact-checking sites like ukrainefacts.org that you can support financially or by sharing their stories.
Offer people temporary homes
Recently, the Biden Administration established a program that permits Americans to sponsor Ukrainian refugees and offer them temporary housing in the US under a system called humanitarian parole.
Those who reside legally in the US and can prove they are financially fit to support Ukrainian migrants can open their homes to refugees or offer direct payments to them for their necessary expenses.
Shift to a more plant-based diet
On top of the world’s dependency on Russian oil and gas, global food supplies are also dependent on grain and fertilizers from Russia to grow their wheat and barley that goes into feeding livestock. Replacing meat with plant-based proteins like beans and nuts will help ease this dependency.
Support organizations that are helping
Take a look at your shopping list and try to purchase them from businesses that are trying to help. It’s worth doing your research, especially since you are going to buy these items anyway. A lot of activity so far has been in hospitality. Airbnb has also pledged to provide short-term housing for 100,000 refugees.