What can I do??
Here are 5 actions that you can take to make an impact on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change:
CALL YOUR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS,
and hold them to account! -
Combatting Climate Change can not be done by individual actions alone. Governments at all levels need to be aggressive about reversing the ever upward flow of greenhouse gases. Thank your Kalamazoo County, City, and Township governments who have declared Climate Emergencies and are working on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions locally. But the State and Federal Governments have been indecisive. Make your representatives declare themselves, and if they don’t come up to snuff, vote them out.
CHANGE YOUR DIET! -
The average American diet puts 2 ½ metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, more than 2 ½ times as much as a vegan diet. Much of this comes from the raising of red meat on industrialized farms, fed by grain grown in intentionally burned and denuded rainforests. So reduce your red meat consumption, and what you do eat, buy from a local farmer who uses regenerative farming methods.
STOP CONSUMING SO MUCH STUFF! -
The average American has a carbon footprint of over 28 metric tons of carbon equivalent a year, while the average Chinese person’s is 3.4 tons. Yes, We, you and I - are the 1 percent! No pointing fingers, we’re the ones.
So many ways to reduce your footprint:
less driving and flying;
more sane Christmas giving;
use LED light bulbs;
turn off your buy-it-now option at Amazon, and hit pause;
buy local and cut out the transportation costs and middlemen;
slow down your life, and your driving speed;
live in the moment and drink in all the beauty that is yours for nothing.
The list goes on.
GO SOLAR and SHUT OFF THE GAS! -
Every time you run your air conditioner, clothes dryer, or furnace you are putting greenhouse gases into the air, and supporting the fossil fuel industry - encouraging them to drill, dig, strip, frack, and burn, in a way that devastates the environment, mostly in a marginalized person’s back yard. If solar doesn’t work for your home, you can buy renewable energy credits from a company like Arcadia Power, to displace the energy you use. But get off the carbon diet.
PLANT TREES - LOTS OF THEM! -
Trees are our planet’s lungs. One is good - 8 Billion is better. You can get a lot of mileage by finding a favorite NGO like 8BillionTrees.com or the Arbor Day Foundation - for a buck or two they’ll put a tree in the ground for you in a place that is experiencing rapid deforestation, loss of habitat and species extinction. Try making this part of your Christmas shopping and give your whole family a better future without consuming anything. Trees eat carbon and give back oxygen / they cool the earth by evaporation from their leaves and shading the ground / and they provide habitat for hundreds of species, not the least of which are endangered pollinators.
And REMEMBER, every little bit helps. If you go meatless one day a week, plant a tree, dry your clothes on the line occasionally or walk instead of drive on an errand, you are helping in the fight.