How To!

How To Save the Planet (And Still Use a Plastic Straw)

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, convert your “green guilt” into group action.

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Episode Notes

Caleb tries to be good to the planet by recycling, biking to work and living a minimalist lifestyle in his small Ohio town. But he still feels guilty about using disposable diapers and buying a minivan for his growing family. How can he fight climate change without driving himself crazy? In this episode of How To!, Emma Marris, an environmental writer and author of Rambunctious Garden, warns us not to fall into the trap of individual guilt. In other words, don’t feel too bad about using that plastic straw. Emma says that’s what the fossil fuel industry wants. Instead, reallocate your time and energy toward collective action that works to make large-scale systems more eco-friendly.

What are your toughest challenges during the pandemic? And what have you found is working for you? Leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001. We’re collecting your problems and solutions for our recurring Quarantine Q&A.

Podcast production by Derek John and Rachael Allen.

About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit) takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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