When we Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, we naturally reduce our carbon footprint. As a side benefit, we use less energy and natural resources to produce products and keep more money in our pocket. As we reduce, we only buy what we need and avoid expensive single-use, disposable and over-packaged products that crowd our store shelves. We reuse items until we don’t need them, and then pass them on to a friend or thrift shop.
When a product has no more value in its current form, we recycle. Additionally, we all benefit from avoiding products that cause harm to the earth such as Styrofoam, herbicides, pesticides, and preservatives. If we don’t buy these products, they will quit producing them. Don’t let anyone convince you our economy depends on mass production and consumption.
Lifestyle tweaks – Besides Reduce Reuse Recyling, consider walking/cycling/carpooling; Turn off lights when not in the room; Conserve water; Use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products; Adjust thermostat a bit.
Purchasing tweaks – Buy recycled products and avoid single use/disposable products. With energy intensive bottled water, water is flown to the factory, energy is used to produce its packaging, and then the bottles are transported to the store.
Housing tweaks – Energy and water efficient appliances; Programmable thermostat; Source to heat and/or solar energy sources; Add insulation and weatherize; On-demand water heater; Replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, or better yet LED lights; Rainwater catchment, Plant drought tolerant plants; Second-hand furnishings; Water filtering system.
Food tweaks – Buy local produce; Frequent the Farmer’s Market; Buy in season; Plant a garden; Compost; Eat lower on the food chain.
Invest in our future – Evaluate your investments and banking to assure you aren’t supporting carbon emissions; Invest in green energy and divest from fossil fuel companies; Consider purchasing carbon offsets from accredited companies – they invest in renewable energy products or plant trees; Donate to environmental organizations
Meanwhile, we need to elect leaders who will help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and increase our use of clean, renewable energy. We need fuel efficient transportation emitting less carbon pollution and better regulated power plants. We need to increase our energy efficiency, and fund reforestation. The EPA needs to more aggressively enforce our Clean Energy Act and we need leaders who will put our interests over the lobbyists. In turn we will create jobs, save money, cut pollution, and increase food and water stability. Win-Win.