I have been an environmentalist my entire adult life, I even started recycling when I was in my teens. With my children launched (the youngest moves into his own apartment July 1st) I have more flexibility in my lifestyle choices. Here are things I am doing this month to reduce my carbon footprint.
~ Moved to a studio apartment in a walkable neighborhood. While my automobile is a hybrid and gets excellent gas mileage, it still spews CO2. My new apartment has two grocery stores, a hardware store, the post office, countless restaurants & coffee shops, two Fair Trade stores and a host of other delightful establishments within a few blocks of my apartment. There is a little park, right outside my window. By only driving if I am going a distance of two miles or more, I reduce CO2 emissions, improve my health and save money on fuel.
~ I am eating vegetarian again, and have signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) where I know the farmers who locally grow my organic food. If you would like to know more about how important soil quality is to reversing global warming, I strongly recommend the book Kiss the Ground by Josh Tickell.
~ I am in charge of a landscaping project at the local Quaker meeting house to convert the plantings to native species. If you would like to learn more about how important native species are to a healthy ecosystem, I recommend Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy. It is not just enough to reduce our carbon emissions, we must put the carbon back in the ground, which is best done by plants and trees and farming techniques.
~ One half of my summer wardrobe is recycled. Since I am spending so much of my time gardening, I don’t need a lot of fancy clothes. I cut the legs off my old jeans and wear old T-shirts when I’m getting dirty. As I need to replace worn items, I am buying used items and re-fashioning them. If I need something new, I will buy organic cotton or fair trade wool or linen.
~ As much as possible, I am avoiding plastic products. I have a refillable thermos cup, so I don’t need to buy drinks in single use containers when I am away from home. Rather than buy plastic wrap for my food at home, I have bought this product.
Because I am composting my food scraps and recycling everything I can, I have little trash and I can put it in a paper bag to take out to the dumpster.
~ I’m taking the train to Chicago for a seminar where I am giving a talk. By not using my car to get there, I reduce my carbon emissions and give myself time to practice my speech.
Please share in the comments what you are doing to reduce global warming. I would love to get some new ideas to implement!