Make a Difference!
The events of the past year throughout the world, floods, droughts, historically high temperatures, hurricanes and cyclones, melting glaciers and more, are increasing in frequency and intensity. They are a wake-up call from the planet which we can no longer afford to ignore. Climate change is here and now, not some distant time in the future. Governments certainly need to factor climate change into policies and programs and each of us must take an active role in contacting our legislative leaders at the local and national level to speak out for climate action.
As we prepare for elections the question of what a candidate is going to do relative to climate change is essential. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper, write to your Congresspersons, and speak up at town-hall meetings and political rallies. Let present and future legislators know that this is an issue they can no longer ignore. We want to know where they stand and it will influence how we vote.
There are good things happening and we need to celebrate them. Sierra Club lists the following among others:
- California now has 1 million rooftop solar systems.
- Portland, Oregon, is getting rid of its gasoline-powered leaf blowers.
- Kansas City, Missouri, makes its public transit free.
- Gibraltar bans the release of helium balloons in order to protect sea life.
- Denmark will ban PFAS chemicals from food packaging.
- Facebook signs a deal to buy 200 megawatts of power from the Aviator Wind Project in Texas, which will eventually be the largest single-site wind project in the United States.
- The US surpasses 100 gigawatts of wind capacity.
- Gas pumps are disappearing in Norway as electric cars take over.
- Goldman Sachs will not finance oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- More than 1,000 salmon return to Maine’s Penobscot River for the first time since 2011.
- With California’s drought over, king salmon rebound to near-historic numbers.
- Ethiopians plant a record 350 million trees in a day, toward an eventual goal of 4 billion.
- Bypassing the Trump administration, four major automakers strike a deal with California to increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles sold in the United States.
- Canada bans single-use plastics.
. . . . . . . . And, closer to home . . . Land has been purchased in Pierce Township, just outside I-275 east of Cincinnati for a totally Green Burial Cemetery called Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary. The 40 beautiful acres of rolling meadows and wooded forest is being prepared for burials starting the end of this year.
It is critical that we hold our legislators accountable, but it is also important that each of us take personal initiatives. We cannot change everything at once, but we can do more than we are currently doing as individuals and as communities. Think about a resolution for the New Year that incorporates one or more of the following into your life:
- Reduce the amount of disposable products and packaging you buy and look for alternatives that are designed to last longer. (Over 90% of the material used in producing consumer goods ends up as waste within six weeks.)
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it at home and work.
- Maximize the use of reusable bags and products.
- Refuse the use of straws in restaurants.
- Use soap bars instead of liquid products in plastic bottles.
- Eat a plant-based diet at least one day a week.
- Plant a tree.
- Compost as much as possible.
- Support local farmers and buy locally.
- Plant a garden this spring.
- Collect rain-water run-off and reuse for plant and landscape watering.
- Purchase “green” cleaning products and eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals.
- Follow legislation on local land use, development, water rights, etc. and engage in letter writing campaigns and visits to political leaders.
- Buy Fair-Trade products.
- Turn off the lights when leaving a room.
- Join an environmental organization. (Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, a local organization, etc.)
- Educate yourself about what is happening in your community as well as nationally and internationally.
- Talk with neighbors about positive changes you can make in your neighborhood.
- Reduce junk mail by taking one or more of the following actions:
- Call 1-888-5 (OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688 or go to optoutpresecreen.com)
- Opt out of entire categories of mail or mail from specific marketers:
- Go to https://dmachoice.theedma.org/register.php – there is a $2 processing fee, but the op-out is good for 10 years.
- Unsubscribe from Valpak mailers at https://www.valpak.com/coupons/show/mailinglistssuppression
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you are doing so we can share ideas. Together we can make a difference!