We can make a difference…

I was inspired by my 9-year-old daughter this week, who after participating in the People’s Climate March in NYC on Sunday, made lists of things her school and church can do to help stop global warming. One of our friends who was there is sharing her list and others with Representative Joe Pitts in a meeting tomorrow. If my 9-year-old can make a list, so can I! To me, choices around economic development and poverty alleviation run hand in hand with environmental stewardship. Our choices and actions matter! I was amazed by the power of 400,000 people marching in Manhattan, with millions more around the world, standing up for macro AND micro policies and practices that help people AND planet.

1. live close to work so walking and biking or public transit are the best options

2. have only one family car if necessary and make sure it is a hybrid or electric vehicle

3. insulate and weatherproof 100-year old house and use high efficiency wood stove

4. grow some of our own food

5. shop locally

6. compost – keep biodegradable things out of the landfill where they turn into methane – 25x worse than CO2

7. recycle EVERYTHING and put as little as possible into landfill at work and at home

8. avoid flying as much as possible

9. when furnace and water heater need to be replaced – explore solar hot water + high efficiency boilers

10. switch electric source to renewables on PPL bill (easy to do since deregulation!)

11. consume less – purchase used items or high quality new items and have fewer things

12. align vocational goals with sustainability – choose careers that make a difference in the world and support others in doing the same

13. support businesses that do business differently – that support social and environmental impact

14. vote for elected officials who share these beliefs over fossil fuel interests and who enact policies in the interest of the PUBLIC GOOD

15. divest from the stock market and invest locally instead; public companies first and foremost goals are quick PROFIT, which most often in the context of quarterly reporting and stock price values, comes at a high environmental or social cost

16. don’t wash clothing as frequently to save on water and electric usage and air dry it

17. reduce household electricity use every day

18. explore solar panels to provide household electricity

19. educate children about how their choices affect the climate