November 22, 2023

Five Tips for having Climate Conversations this Holiday Season

Climate Conversation Guide

About two-thirds of Americans are concerned about climate change, yet most of us rarely discuss it. Solving this crisis is going to take everyone, and a key place to start is to talk about this global and local challenge more!  


The holidays can be a wonderful opportunity to have a conversation, as we gather with family or friends – around the dinner table or fireplace. Here are five tips to help you get the conversation started. And who knows, it may surprise you how it goes.  

  • Name your shared values. We all want a safe, healthy future for the people we love.  We want to breathe clean air and drink clean water.  Finding common ground is a great place to start. 
  • Share about the choices you make, whether it's buying greener products; driving less; or supporting elected officials that promote clean energy and climate action. Share how these choices connect to the changes you want to see. To make progress, we’ll need lots of people to act, and acting together is powerful. 
  • Practice active listening. Successful conversations are two-way. Listen and respond to their concerns. Ask questions about their feelings. Find points of agreement, like how we’ve all seen hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and droughts getting worse.
  • Don’t forget the good climate news, too! 
  • Climate conversations don’t have to be all doom and gloom. There’s good news to share, as well. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, more than 270 new clean energy projects have begun, benefiting nearly every state. Plus there are thousands of dollars in savings for nearly every family to make cleaner choices for your home. Learn more about these projects and the more than 160,000 jobs they’ve created in Climate Power’s report: One Year of Our Clean Energy Boom.
  • Connect with others before or after. These conversations can be hard, so make a plan to connect with a friend or like-minded family member to debrief and take a deep breath. Then reward yourself with a slice of pumpkin pie!  

In short, remember to lead with active listening, emphasize shared values, and do the best you can. 

These types of conversations can be draining, too! The Climate Mental Health Network has some great tips and methods to deal with the various emotions that come with talking about the climate crisis.