Addressing Climate Change on a Local Level

Geoffrey Garver, author of Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy, joined us to share some simple ways we can all help the environment:

  1. Buy locally produced food where possible. The average piece of food in America travels 1500 miles from where it's grown to where it's eaten. All that shipping uses a lot of gasoline. Check the label and see if you're buying Washington apples or New Zealand apples.
  2. Think about the other stuff you're buying, too. A lot of the devices we use are designed to wear out in a few years, so the manufacturers will make more money when we have to replace them. You can cut down on a lot of that waste by having your gadgets repaired instead of replacing them, and by only buying new things when you really need them. If the TV still works, do you really need to get another one?  And when that TV or blender or telephone does wear out, take it to a recycling center instead of throwing it in the garbage.
  3. Take the bus or train, or carpool. Most people's biggest environmental impact comes from the transportation they use. Flying puts the most greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, so avoid it if you can.
  4. Vote! Lots of people don't bother to vote in local elections, but town and city officials are the ones who make decisions on things like bike lanes, recycling and compost programs, community gardens, and lots more. If you've got a local election coming up, take fifteen minutes and read the candidates' platforms. See what they're promising on environmental issues, and when they get elected, write to them and remind them to keep their promises!
  5. Get involved. If you don't have a lot of time, join a one-time event like the candlelight vigils that were being held a few days ago in support of a new worldwide environmental agreement. A websites like 350.org is a good place to start looking for local events. So is your neighborhood bike shop or health food store.
  6. Finally, always keep in mind what it is we're trying to save. Take a walk in the woods. Go to the beach. Find somewhere at night where you can see the stars. Reminding yourself every so often what a beautiful and fragile world we have will help you stay focused on what's really important.

For more information, visit Geoffrey's website.

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