Think Global, Act Local with Billie Eilish

Talking Trash: A Conversation about Climate Change

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Billie Eilish discuss climate change and how to think globally and act locally. Learn what you can do to make your voice heard.

Last updated: September 27, 2021
7 min read

What We All Can Do To Save The Planet

By Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

When I sat down with Billie Eilish, we discussed our shared commitment to being part of climate solutions. From renewable energy to electrifying transportation, to regenerative agriculture and restoring ecosystems – there are so many solutions we have at our fingertips. From our expansive conversation, a few major themes emerged:

  1. Each person has specific and powerful ways they can contribute. Scientists, artists, activists, teachers, students, executives, farmers, lawyers, trendsetters, web developers, etc., all have a role to play.
  2. We need a cultural shift, and young people are leading the way. Raise your voice, live and vote your environmental values, and change the status quo for climate justice, sustainable fashion, and climate policy.
  3. Being informed is key, but that’s not enough – we need action!

What Can You Do?

This is the question I get asked most often. Love that so many people are asking!

For years I just said, “I don’t know, what are you good at?” Because so often the climate movement asks everyone to do the same things (march, vote, donate, spread the word — and YES, do those things!), but fails to ask us to each bring our superpowers, our magic.

And then I added, “It’s not about what you can do, it’s about what we can do.” Find your crew, your climate squad. You can’t do this alone. Join a group, volunteer with an organization, team up.

And now, after many conversations with students who were really grappling with how they can be most useful, this is my current answer, a Venn diagram. Find the overlap of:

  1. What are you good at?
  2. What is the work that needs doing?
  3. What brings you joy?

Find the epicenter of your Venn diagram and spend as many minutes there as possible. While this is the work of our lifetimes, there is really no reason it needs to be miserable – don’t leave out joy!

Talking Trash: A Conversation about Climate Change

Singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and marine biologist & climate expert, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson tune in from LA and Brooklyn to discuss how to think globally and act locally by deciding what to care about and how to channel their energy.

“You don't have to be called an activist to talk about what's right."

Billie Eilish

Knowing that every action counts, Billie is using her platform at home and while on tour to raise awareness for what we can do to fight climate change, from her music to her partnerships and arena tours. At home she makes sure all photo and video shoots are catered with local plant-based food, no plastic, no single-use cups, and ensures everything possible is recycled and composted. On tour, her team hosts an eco-village during shows where fans can learn how to get involved. She also offers plant-based catering to her crew and even asks audience members to bring their own water containers which can be refilled at the eco-villages. She asks all venues she performs in to not allow plastic straws, and ensures bins are available for recyclables. She also has made an effort to have all her merchandise made with 100% organic cotton, locally, and sustainably made–yet she’s always eager to learn more. In the case of Ayana, not only does she have a long career in science and policy, she is also co-founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for the future of coastal cities, co-founder of The All We Can Save Project, to support women leading on climate, and co-creator of How to Save a Planet, a podcast on climate solutions.

“Climate justice is making sure that everyone has an equal opportunity for a healthy and safe life.”

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

The two chatted about speaking up and staying optimistic. Ultimately, they both agreed that every action counts, and the most important thing is to keep trying.

Tips: 10 Tips for Being a Climate Justice Advocate

By Xiye Bastida

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