What We Can Do!
Joining the Voice of the Streets, voting for politicians who accept the science of the climate breakdown, species extinction and other crises are a start, but we can do far more. While it is inconvenient to go to another room merely to recycle the small plastic safety seal inside the half and half cream for our morning coffee, convenience must yield. Like the country’s Founding Fathers who understood the science and racist-based myth that there were inferior races, we grew up accepting convenience as a given, akin to a birth right. Living in a corporate, capitalist, consolidated, consumptive, convenient culture, the necessary change is going to be, well, inconvenient. We’re accustomed to consuming whatever we can afford, whenever we want. This era is over.
As to each of us, as someone said: “All we can do is all we can” by creating a personal policy agenda to do our part. In addition to pursuing habit restoration urged throughout this website, each of us can reduce our carbon footprint by making a list of the commitments we’ll pledge to follow. There are literally hundreds of ways for each of us to reduce our carbon footprint: fly less, eliminate the use of straws, ride your bike or walk, refuse plastic bags, eat less meat and dairy, eliminate pets, lower cooling and heating, do not use Christmas lights, don’t vote for denialists, carpool, have fewer children, avoid vehicular idling, avoid long showers, turn out lights when leaving the room, stop purchasing goods made in China, stop wasting paper and food, stop eating out of season foods, use solar panels, unplug your phone charger after use, wash with cold water, install local yard plants, garden, buy laptops instead of desktop computers, use white rather than black trash bags, filter your water and never buy bottled water, buy local, purchase less, mend your cloths, replace light bulbs with CFL bulbs, go organic, close house curtains, use rechargeable batteries, drive a hybrid, purchase energy efficient appliances, read the newspaper online, install ceiling fans and use air conditioning less, plant trees to sequester carbon, replace your dryer with a clothes line, choose smaller houses and cars, never speed, obsess over every drop of water, insulate your home, support a local farm, reduce food waste, exchange lawn mowers and such with neighbors, compost, make sure tires are properly inflated, bring your own shopping bags, use a push mower, use a broom instead of a leaf blower, find an alternative investment like biochar, buy vintage or pre-owned cloths, refuse single use coffee cups and carry your own multiple-use cup, lobby city councils and county boards to outlaw straws and plastic bags, urge a 50-cent or greater deposit on all glass bottles and include glass in recycling, purchase only products in glass or recyclable containers, give food-producing animals to the poor in lieu of consumer goods to loved ones. Think “compostable or recyclable.” Think redesign of all single-use products like coffee cups and food containers and try to go plastic-free altogether. Emphasize aluminum metal and the use of exclusively natural fibers wherever possible; abandon synthetics and single-use products, zero waste, redesigned clothing, save bulk mail envelopes for scratch paper, replace your lawn with a climate garden. Allow me to repeat the
“Capitalism, Corporations, Consolidation, Consumption & Convenience.”