The United States of America will leave the Paris Climate Agreement. The decision angered me, and once again I felt helpless, and I know a lot of you, on both sides of the aisle, feel exactly the way I do.
Climate Change is real, it is already happening and saving our planet should be our main focus. No matter what is written or signed, in the end, it’s up to all of us to make a difference – not just as a country. Change starts small.
Each one of us, we might seem small and little, but just like the monarch butterfly, there are so many of us, and together our weight will matter.
- Warming up the car in the wintertime -That’s a bad American habit. It’s a leftover practice from way back then when carbureted engines dominated the roads. Warming up your car for 10-15 minutes does not just harm the environment, it actually harms the engine of your vehicle by stripping oil away from the engine’s cylinders and pistons. Bundle up, it’s cold outside. The car will warm up faster when you drive anyway.
- Clean Energy – Switch your account to clean, renewable power if you can. Invest and install solar panels if you live in your own house, it’s a great investment and will increase the value of your home, and save you a lot of money in the long run.
- Be Energy efficient – Switch off the lights and unplug electronics when they are not in use. Buy appliances with the Energy-Star-Label and change light bulbs to LED’s or compact fluorescents.
- Get off the protein horse– we eat too much meat. One meatless meal a day will make a big difference. The global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains, and ships combined. The average meat consumption in America is over 322 grams (.71 lbs) per person per day, compared to the global average of 115 grams (.25 lbs) per capita a day.
- Think about getting a hybrid car or an electric car – or at least look into it and learn about it. Knowledge does make a difference!
- Stop wasting! We produce too much waste. Every time I come home from the grocery store I fill up our trash can with packing material -what a waste that is. Imagine, we all would take a container to the deli section and would use it to buy our lunchmeats and cheeses. Ok, that’s too much to ask, but at least use reusable bags instead of plastic bags.
- We need to stop cutting trees – Plant a tree instead. Use paper wisely. Go paperless whenever you can. I wrap my presents in kitchen towels –it’s two presents in one.
- Garbage buried in landfills produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Keep stuff out of landfills by composting kitchen scraps and garden trimmings, and recycling paper, plastic, metal, and glass. But most importantly, let store managers and manufacturers know you want products with minimal or recyclable packaging.
- Fly less – Drive less! Walk a little, it’s called exercise.
- Go organic! Most American farmers still spray a billion pounds of pesticides to protect crops each year. The chemical pesticides they used to kill pests, also kills off microorganisms that keep carbon contained in the soil. When the microorganisms are gone, the carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. And when those organisms are gone, the soil is no longer naturally fertile and chemical fertilizers become a necessity, not a luxury. Yummy!
- Eat locally grown food. If the food doesn’t have to travel far, there’s less carbon dioxide from the trucks that ship it. Eat fruits and vegetables in season. Again, that saves the enormous transportation costs. Plant your own vegetable garden. It’s fun!