Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Can I Do? Here's 5 Things!

What can I do? I’m just one person. I can’t make a difference.

Luckily, there are events like Blog Action Day to illustrate what just one person from all around the globe can do – collectively. So, what is it? “The purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a discussion. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue. By doing so on the same day, the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue. “ This year’s topic: climate change.

It’s about more than talking though. If we’re going to preserve what is rapidly becoming a fragile environment, we have to do something. And you know what? I think it starts at home.

Here are some things that you can do right away. Some of these won’t cost you a cent – in fact, a few will actually save you money. Others may require a little capital outlay initially, but the ROI is more than worth it.
1. Park the car. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for every 100 gallons of gas saved, one less ton of CO2 is emitted. Consider public transportation, carpooling, biking or walking instead. These options also reduce the number of cars on the road, limiting traffic backlogs that generate even more CO2 as they idle.
2. Shut it down. Not using your computer? Log off and out. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Unplug items like small appliances, game consoles and battery chargers when they’re inactive. Plugged in, these devices continue to sap energy even when they’re turned off.
3. Stop the flow. The EPA also says that up to 41 percent of indoor water use goes right down the toilet – literally. (Roughly 8 percent more water than is used for BATHING!) If you’re doing or considering a bath remodel, make a low-flush toilet a feature. Or, for an existing commode, you can also buy tank kits that help minimize water usage. Also, repair or replace leaky faucets. That drip, drip, drip can add up quick.
4. Show your support. Patronize companies who take environmental responsibility seriously. Snub those who don’t. Let them know it and why. They aren’t likely to change existing practices until it affects their bottom line. As consumers, if enough of us voice concern, we have the power to do that.
5. Think Energy Star. Looking at new appliances or need a new water heater? Look for the Energy Star compliant models. More efficient refrigerators, ranges, water heaters, dishwashers and dryers can pay for themselves in energy cost savings.

I know that all of these things are possible because, on some level, I do or have done them! So, what can just one person do?

That is up to you.


karen said...

Great ideas,Thanks

Karen Anne said...

Here's another one I stumbled across, on a site that shows energy use for appliances.

Modern washer, warm water wash 40¢, cold water wash 4¢.

Karen Anne said...

Oh, here's a biggie - be a vegetarian, or reduce eating meat. A 100% vegetarian saves as much impact on the environment as switching from a gas guzzler to a hybrid.

The environmental costs of factory farming are huge - huge grain consumption by cattle (enough to feed three times the current U.S. population if we consumed it directly), lots of fertilizer use to grow the grain, manure polluting nearby water sources.

sewwhat? said...

I never thought of being a vegetarian as an environmental thing, but I guess you are right. I guess that is why my sister has been a vegetarian for almost 40 years. She lives a very green life.

NV said...

Karen -- Thanks! And thanks for posting on your blog! :-)

Karen Anne -- Great ideas! I'd have a hard time being 100 vegetarian though, meat and potatoes girl that I am.

sewwhat -- Definitely makes a lot of sense. Is probably a lot better for the animals, too.