Tomorrow will be one of the most important days of our children’s lives, when our collective voices will be heard and powerful change will shift from the wind of our words to the substance of our actions. However, as we march to make our voices heard, there is a large piece of the solution that is personal. If we really want to stop polluting and destroying our planet, we have to be smarter consumers and investors of clean energy. We must commit to understanding which approaches work, and which proposals and ideas are driven more by greed than green. And we must slough off old habits that are harming the environment, and embrace bold, new, clean choices. As the Earth Day Network pointed out in a Tweet today, “Recycling won’t cure our reliance on plastics. We need to find alternatives and devote more time to the other Rs: Refuse. Reduce. Reuse.”
Say No to Plastic and Single Use Everything
There are quite a number of ways that each one of us can Just Say No to Plastic. There is no excuse for single use. Ever. So, greet the day prepared with your own coffee mug, your personal to go container and your canvas bag or backpack for all shopping. Have a travel pack that includes your canteen, silverware and a reusable metal straw.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Smarter Electricity Choices
The grid in the U.S. (and most of the world) is still majority powered by fossil fuels.
Florida’s power is 83% natural gas, coal and petroleum. Colorado’s grid is 77% powered by the same mix.
So, every time we turn on a light switch, take an elevator, fire up the air conditioning, fuel up our gas guzzling vehicle, do a load of laundry or take a hot shower, imagine that coal miner, that fracking operation, or even that Gulf Oil Spill. That will remind us of where all of our conveniences really come from. It will add a deeper meaning to why we:
* turn off lights when we leave a room,
* putt an on/off switch on our hot water heater, so that we’re not heating water 24/7,
* turn the air conditioning/heating off when we go to work,
* take the stairs instead of the elevator, and
* walk or bike to the local market, shop, café or park, instead of driving.
There so much that each one of us can do to live more in harmony with Mother Nature, which will go a long way to cleaner air, healthier ecosystems, more robust wild and ocean life, cultivating more trees (the lungs of our planet), enjoying adventures and so much more. It’s time to look in the mirror, and understand the power of cleaning up our own life, even as we also demand solutions from our elected leaders.
As individuals, can each one of us reduce our personal carbon footprint by 30% or more by the end of next year? We can indeed, with smarter choices.
Below are a few more ways to easily and affordably break old habits and replace them with planet-friendly practices – with the added benefit that these smarter quotidian activities can add up to savings of thousands of dollars in your budget annually. (That’s a bucket list vacation every year!) If you go to EarthGratitude.org, you can download two free, picturesque ebooks with wisdom from the world’s leading experts, including HH The Dalai Lama, HRH The Prince of Wales, the Earth Day Network, Elon Musk, the NRDC, Global Green and many other sustainable organizations and VIPs.
Whether you are interested in:
* planting a garden at your child’s school,
* greenlighting micro mobility on your city streets,
* reducing food waste,
* saying no to plastic,
* saving elephants, rhinos and other endangered species,
* greening the grid,
* installing solar panels, or
* driving an electric car,
You will find very helpful tips from the experts in the Future Earth and Clean Living ebooks.
A Climate Strike is a fantastic collective experience to wake us all up – not just the politicians and powers that be. We can be the sustainable change that we wish to see. Residential solar has been around for decades, still offers 30% tax credit (through 2019), and is cheaper than ever. Electric cars are the future of automobiles. Micro mobility, including bike share, e-scooters and pedestrian-friendly walkways, is transforming our cities and solving the Last Mile challenge between public transportation and your ultimate destination.
What changes have you already made? What new trends are you willing to champion? Will you commit to reducing your own carbon footprint, at home, on the commute and at the office, by 30% by the end of next year?
We’ve got this.
I’d love to hear your success stories, including the surprising ways that helping Mother Nature afforded you treasures and unexpected delights. (If you start riding a bike to work, you’ll have the unexpected delight of a healthy, sexier body, at minimum.)
“I’m starting with the man in the
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.”
From “Man in the Mirror” by Glen Ballard and Seidah Garrett. Made popular by Michael Jackson.