Put your Environmentalism where your Mouth is
Really care about the Earth and our environment? Tired of talking or finding "micro-solutions" to the problem? Here are 10 "big picture" things you can do to help in much more productive ways
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- Use your feet - consider walking distance to be anything under a mile, and you'll find yourself driving a heck of a lot less.
- Work from home - if you have to choose between 2 job offers (or 2 business ventures), and one affords you the luxury of telecommuting, consider that more important than the compensation, especially if the money is close. Answer this honestly: who has a larger "carbon footprint": the guy with the SUV who drives it only on Saturdays for a few miles of leisure, or the guy with the Prius who drives it 50 miles round-trip every weekday to go to work? Hint: the answer is not the SUV driver.
- Plan car trips, even if you are driving short distances. There's no sense in constantly coming home and then leaving again just to drive a few miles, when you can just spend a few minutes thinking ahead to avoid this. You can easily cut your driving in half just by doing this simple thing in most cases.
- Stop eating animals, unless you hunt/fish them yourself - according to the UN, "Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to todays most serious environmental problems." In fact, according to the same study, rearing cattle alone produces (relatively) more greenhouse gases than driving cars. This is not some lobby for the auto-makers or "big oil" - this is the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who claims this.
- Open the windows - if you keep your home's thermostat at 72 degrees whether it's summer or winter, you are wasting an insane amount of energy. Try setting the A/C at 75 or 76 in the summer, and the heat at 65 in the winter. You may have to use more (or less) blankets, wear a sweater, etc., but you will not only be saving the planet, you will also be saving a ton of money on your energy bill. Plus, if you do open the windows, that bit of fresh air is generally good for you too.
- Learn to turn things off when you are not using them - this includes TV sets, computers, radios/stereos, and especially lights (especially if not fluorescent). If you're not in the room, your favorite TV characters will not mind if you turn them off. Remember that electricity has to come from somewhere, and often times generating it produces greenhouse gases or other waste.
- Buy local produce and meats whenever possible - shipping products from halfway around the world has a huge impact on the environment. If you really care about the Earth, you shouldn't mind paying a bit more for stuff that is grown or produced locally if you can and
- Eat produce that is in season - this goes hand in hand with buying locally, because things that are in season tend to be available from nearby growers. This may mean trying new things rather than eating the same things year round - do not fear this, it's good for you!
- Make a plan to live and work in a major city or urban area as soon as possible, if you don't already. Having done this myself, I can assure you that giving up a little space is more than worth it when you can pretty much walk anywhere, or even use public transport when needed. This doesn't HAVE to mean New York City - I live in downtown Atlanta, and I barely use the car. If you really care about the Earth, you can do without the huge house and huge yard that you probably don't really need anyway.
- Stop preaching, start doing, or to quote the King himself, "A little less conversation, a little more action." You can tell others until you are blue in the face that they are environmentally bankrupt, but until you actually address your own "carbon footprint", you just sound like a loony hypocrite. Besides, people actually do things when they buy into it themselves, not just because they are told to do them. Leading by example is the most convincing thing you can do, especially when trying to convince people who are close to you (family, friends, etc.) When they realize that you stopped eating "Steak-um" and actually survived, they may consider doing it themselves.
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Posted in Organic Products Post Date 12/30/2016