MCC believes that climate change is an urgent issue and sees our work around climate change as critically important.
Climate change doesn’t affect everyone equally. Climate change disproportionately affects communities who are already vulnerable as a result of poverty, limited access to resources or discrimination. MCC has addressed a wide variety of injustices over the last 100 years, with special concern for those who are vulnerable and oppressed. We now see an urgent need to stand with those communities and address the issue of climate change.
Around the world, MCC’s partners urge us to tell others how climate change is affecting their lives. For these global neighbours, climate change means many things – fewer harvests, loss of livestock, stress on water resources, reduced income, food insecurity and the need to migrate to find employment. We want to hear and amplify these voices.
(Top photo: Purchases from MCC Thrift shops like ReUzit on State in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, keep items out of landfills, while raising funds for MCC's work around the world. MCC photo/Brenda Burkholder)
You can help! Here are four simple ways you can take action:
1. Talk about climate change
Talking about climate change with your friends and family is one of the most effective ways to change social norms and influence public attitudes. By including climate change in your everyday conversations, you’ll start to see changes in all areas of life, including the political realm. There is hope!
And you’ll be following the lead of students like Nour Mohamad in Jordan. In a land where water is scarce, she and other students in an environmental club, established as part of an MCC-supported project, talk to friends, classmates and family about the need to conserve.
Nour Mohamad is part of an environmental club established through a project of MCC and Madaba for Supporting Development (MSD). Photo courtesy of MSD
2. Get involved
Support the climate issues you care about. You can donate funds to MCC’s food and agricultural projects, shop sustainably at an MCC Thrift shop, or organize public awareness events in your church or community.
When you give, you join donors like Lewis and Carrie Unruh, a Kansas farming family. The Unruhs, who have worked for years to reduce soil erosion on their own land, support MCC through their church, Tabor Mennonite in Goessel, Kansas, and through the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale.
“I never had an opportunity because of the farm to go and do service anywhere, but there are things I can do locally,” Lewis says. “Giving to MCC is one of those things I can do.”
MCC donors Lewis and Carrie Unruh have worked for years to reduce soil erosion on their farm in Kansas. MCC photo/Maynard Knepp
3. Make the change
Small changes in your personal lifestyle can make a big difference in what’s happening to the environment – things like recycling, riding public transit or cycling. When we see ourselves as part of the solution, we can serve as an example to others.
Need inspiration for steps you can take in your own life? Start with digging into the stories of people like Jane Hartzler, who volunteers at an MCC Thrift shop in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, work she views as “saving the planet by recycling.”
You can also sign up for the MCC Thrifty 50 Challenge to get one practical challenge sent to your inbox every week as part of our 50th anniversary celebration for MCC Thrift. With each challenge you complete, you’ll be more equipped to care for our planet and will feel better about your eco-footprint. You’ll also get:
- Entry into a weekly draw for a $25 MCC Thrift gift card
- Access to previous week’s challenges in case you miss one
- A bonus gift - a guide to eco-friendly decluttering
Jane Hartzler is a volunteer at Reuzit on State, an MCC Thrift shop in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. MCC photo/Brenda Burkholder
4. Take advocacy action
As Christians, we are called to speak with and on behalf of vulnerable people (see, for example, Exodus 1, Exodus 5–12, Esther 4–8). Being an advocate is an act of hope and love. A personal letter or signature on a petition tells lawmakers you care about the impacts of climate change.
Being an advocate for climate change action holds governments accountable for policies that can positively or negatively impact our climate and the people we care about. Learn more at washington.mcc.org.
Want to think big? In a 2021 cross-country bicycle ride, a core team of 18 young adults cycled 3,737 miles, raising awareness about climate change.
The cyclists made their way from Seattle, Washington, to Washington, D.C., learning about the impacts of climate change on different communities along the way and sharing through riders’ blogs, social media and town halls with people across the country.
The riders also drew attention to climate change resources on the website of the ride organizer, the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions — a partnership of MCC, Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College.
With support from MCC's Washington Office, riders met with their elected officials, asking them to support domestic climate policy that emphasizes environmental justice and sharing stories of the impacts of climate change they'd seen over the course of their bike trip.
Participants in the cross-country climate ride arrive in Washington, D.C. in July 2021. MCC photo/Laura Pauls-Thomas