Worried about climate change? You can make a difference — here’s how

Scene depicted a road splitting into two ways with compost, a gardening can and California Poppy surrounding the paths.

For many of us, the specter of climate change can feel overwhelming. The issues are multifaceted, making it difficult to know what changes need to be made and how we can help.

This resource guide includes opportunities for education, volunteering, activism and more. There are options for plant lovers, beachgoers who want a clean landscape, and people who are fighting food waste. If you’re wondering if individual actions matter, you’ll find the answers here.



Potted flower reading a book.


NASA’s climate page provides a wealth of resources for anyone who wants more information about our environment, including explanations of the mechanisms of climate change.

The Climate Reality Project


The Los Angeles chapter of the Climate Reality Project offers educational presentations on climate change and suggestions for involvement opportunities.

Skeptical Science

Rounding up news and research, this website has been combatting arguments against climate change since 2007.



Heal the Bay

Based in Santa Monica, Heal the Bay hosts regular beach cleanups and works on a number of issues with the mission of keeping rivers and the ocean in Los Angeles clean and healthy. According to the website, upcoming events include an in-person volunteer orientation at the Heal the Bay Aquarium on Sept. 14 and a coastal cleanup day on Sept 23. (310) 451-1500,


Los Angeles Waterkeeper

Los Angeles Waterkeeper relies on a mix of legal action, community work and volunteering to advocate for cleaner and safer water. You can sign up to volunteer at one of their upcoming events or join specific volunteer teams, such as the Community Water Watch group, which monitors toxic runoff water during rainstorms. (310) 394-6162,

Surfrider Foundation

This San Clemente-based organization with a national reach is dedicated to protecting the ocean and beaches. Upcoming events include a Santa Monica public beach cleanup on Sept. 24 and a Venice Pier public beach cleanup on Oct. 29.

Ballona Wetlands.
Upcoming events organized by Friends of Ballona Wetlands include freshwater marsh tours on Sept. 2 and 24, and a coastal cleanup day on Sept. 23.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)


Friends of Ballona Wetlands

This organization is dedicated to conserving the Ballona Wetlands and offers a variety of activities, including children’s summer camps and a Moonlight on the Marsh dinner and fundraiser. Upcoming events include freshwater marsh tours on Sept. 2 and 24, and a coastal cleanup day on Sept. 23. (310) 306-5994,



Hand holding a sprout growing from dirt.

City Plants

City Plants works with other community organizations and nonprofits to get trees planted and cared for. Los Angeles residents can request free trees through City Plants for their yard, as well as for a local school or business.

South Bay Parkland Conservancy

The South Bay Parkland Conservancy ensures open spaces and parks are accessible to Californians of future generations. Some of its projects include the Esplanade Bluff Restoration, an effort to restore a wildlife-friendly corridor between the Ballona Wetlands and the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and the Redondo Beach Community Garden, which allows residents of the area to come together to create a sustainable food source. The organization also offers volunteer opportunities. Upcoming events include a nature walk for children and families at Hopkins Wilderness Park on Sept. 10

Friends of the Desert Mountains


This organization works to protect the Coachella Valley through education and preservation. It offers night sky viewing and volunteering possibilities. Those interested in volunteering with the organization can fill out their application. Upcoming events include sky viewing on Sept. 9 and 23 and “monument night adventures” on Sept. 9 and 23. (760) 568-9918,



FoodCycle LA

FoodCycle LA directs unused food to communities that need it through its various partnerships with grocery retailers and community service organizations. Those interested in getting involved can donate food and volunteer. (323) 897-9696,

EPA Excess Food Map

This map from the Environmental Protection Agency provides a database of places around the country that accept donations of excess food, including food banks and composting facilities. (213) 244-1813,


Falling Fruit

Falling Fruit’s worldwide, crowd-sourced map hosts information on where individuals can find free produce from local plants. The map also gathers information about the quality of food from different sites.

Two people smile in a textile business.
Founded in 2017, Suay Sew Shop is a sustainable sewing and production company, producing a range of items through the upcycling of donated textiles.
(James Michael Juarez / For The Times)



LA City Sanitation Department

For those looking to understand the proper procedures for composting and recycling, the LA City Sanitation Department provides information on how to dispose of a variety of materials in a sustainable manner. (800) 773-2489,


LA Compost

LA Compost oversees community compost hubs and co-ops where members can deposit their organic waste. Membership is free.

Suay Sew Shop

Suay Sew Shop accepts both clothing and textile donations to upcycle into new products. (323) 928-2424,

Pile of compost with an eggshell, banana peel, and worm.

Homeboy Industries Electronics Recycling Program

Homeboy Recycling offers safe recycling of electronics with the help of their team. Items can be dropped off at their office in Commerce or pickup services can be arranged. (323) 222-3322,



Natural Resources Defense Council

The NRDC is a nonprofit organization devoted to “safeguard the earth” with a focus on climate change, communities, energy, food, health, oceans and water. The group works in both the litigation and advocacy spheres, as well as other avenues, to advocate for a cleaner environment that is equitable to all. (310) 434-2300,

The Nature Conservancy


Working across the United States and internationally, the Nature Conservancy aims to identify and preserve land for conservation. Use their website’s carbon footprint calculator to find ways to reduce the environmental impact of your daily activities. (213) 327-0104,

A person lifts compost from a bin.
Jonathan Galindez explains different stages of compost at the L.A. Compost hub in South Los Angeles.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

California Climate Action Corps

This joint venture between the state government and AmeriCorps hosts volunteer opportunities for both individuals and groups. The program also offers a paid 11-month fellowship for individuals who want to pursue climate activism and volunteer work full-time. (916) 323-7646,

LA County Youth Climate Commission


The LA County Youth Climate Commission comprises 25 young adults who work with the County government on climate action. The commission’s meeting notes and agendas are published online.

Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Climate Action Team

The LA and OC chapter of this wide-reaching environmental organization, which is under new leadership after several tumultuous years, is home to a team working to make the transition away from fossil fuels attainable. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month. Join the group’s Slack Workspace for more details and events. (213) 387-4287,




Check out the NAACP’s website to learn how climate change unequally impacts people of color and what you can do. (323) 533-5515,


Asian Pacific Environmental Network

This Oakland-based organization — which also works out of L.A. — fights climate change with a focus on Asian immigrants and refugees. Initiatives include fighting corporate polluters and creating affordable housing for all. (510) 834-8920,

Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples

Working in Los Angeles — the home of the Tongva people — the Sacred Places Institute both preserves sacred sites and advocates for environmental justice. (310) 678-1747,



Illustration of the California Poppy.

California Climate Action

Learn how to get state funding for making environmentally friendly choices.

State Parks Volunteer Calendar

Sign up to volunteer at one of California’s many state parks. Events include a variety of park restoration efforts, from pulling weeds to transporting plants. (415) 262-4400,