What's most remarkable is that we can do SO MUCH to reduce the effects, but as a general public, we just don't care. It's time to care. It's time to educate ourselves on what exactly is happening and how to change it. We fixed the hole in the ozone layer, we can change this too! We just have to choose to. Politicians are essentially just salesmen, and they will sell us what we ask for. If the voters are saying "We want policy changes made to fix this", it will happen. We need to vote for leaders who care about the future, we need to write letters, we need to make conscious buying decisions. In the business world, we vote with our wallets. Vote for environmentally responsible businesses and products.
Most of you reading my blog are in the 20-30 year old range. We will soon be entering into the time of our leadership. It is also the time that many of us are raising and educating the new generation. Will we create a volatile environment that our great-grandchildren may not survive? Or will we change our habits and take charge of this crisis? We need to not only tell them but show them our responsible actions, and they will follow in our footsteps. Now is the time to change the world for the better. If enough people care, it will happen.
I realize this is a bit of a rant, but when you see this movie, you'll want to rant too. Everyone, please watch this movie. Then go to these websites and see what you can do to help. Also, below the links I listed some very simple starter ideas on what we can do.
(free and often money saving)
- Buy Less Stuff!!! This one is major. Everything we buy has to be manufactured, shipped, and displayed in the store; and then we drive to the store to buy it, then someday it'll be thrown out. Stop shopping as entertainment and start only buying what you truly need.
- Buy secondhand when you do need something. It's already gone through the process of being made and shipped. 10 Things You Shouldn't Buy New.
- When you need new clothes, buy classic, quality pieces, preferably from a responsible manufacturer.
- If you're just going down the street, walk. Save the world, gas money, and your figure. ;-)
- Don't circle the parking lot looking for the "best spot". Just park and walk the few extra feet. Think of the cumulative effect of all the people across America circling parking lots. Every little bit adds up.
Turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving — every minute the water flows wastes up to 2 1/2 gallons, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Run full loads in washing machines and dishwashers. Water plants in the early morning to ensure that the water goes into the ground instead of evaporating. And use a bucket to wash the car, hosing it off for a quick rinse, to save 90 gallons of water per wash. For more conservation tips, go to the California Urban Water Conservation Council site, at www.h2ouse.org. Savings: $189 a year, or nearly 40 percent off the average U.S. household’s annual water bill of $476, according to a 2003 study prepared for the National Rural Water Association.
- Freecycle the things you don't need any more rather than throw them out.
- Buy recycled toilet paper and use cloth napkins (more elegant, anyway)
- Bundle up/ strip down rather than adjust the thermostat.
- Wash your laundry in cold water, and line dry whenever possible (your clothes will also last much longer). When you line dry, hang your clothes inside out so the sun won't fade the colors.
- Unplug all electronics you're not using at the moment. They often use almost as much energy when off than they do when in use. An easy way to do this is to plug it all into a power strip you can switch off, or even set up your outlets to turn on/off with a light switch.
- Join the do not mail list, and even call the catalogs you receive and get off their mailing list. Junk mail is more than just annoying, it uses lots resources to get to your mailbox.
- Turn off the TV and enjoy spending quality time with your family instead.
- When traveling to another state, consider taking the train. Same price as flying and takes more time, but greener, more fun, you get to see beautiful scenery as you travel, and it's great one-on-one time with your travel buddy.
(Invest less than $10 - and often save much more)
- Buy locally grown food whenever possible. On average, food travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles from the farm to your fridge. A farmer's market is a great way to do this, and if you go at the end of the day you'll get a lot for your money 'cuz they don't want to pack it back up and bring it home.
- Install outlet sealers on exterior facing walls. It'll cost $2 for an eight pack at Home Depot/ Lowe's and you just need a screwdriver and ten minutes. Outlets and light switches are one of the leakiest spots in exterior walls and these little guys can go a long way in keeping in precious heat or A/C. Also, of course, weatherstripping doors and windows goes a long way too.
- Buy (and actually remember to use, haha) reusable grocery bags. The ones at Whole Foods are $1 each and are 1000% more pleasant to use than plastic bags. Five trillion (geez!) plastic bags enter the market every year, and most of them end up in landfills, not to mention the energy and resources used to make and ship the bags in the first place.
- Use a reusable lexan/ nalgene water bottle rather than disposable water bottles.
If you're remodeling your home, there are tons of options too. I can give you guys an idea list or links if anyone is interested. :-)
I'd love to hear everyone else's great ideas and suggested links, too. Now let's go save the world!