Well, the UN report on Global Warming was just released in Paris on Friday, and the scientists say that there is a 90% chance that human activity is causing climate change. As David Suzuki said in a radio interview the other day, we all buy insurance to protect us in case of injury, fire or burglary and the chances of those things happening are usually far less than 90%! So the time for debate is over. Global warming is a reality, and we must do something about it now in order to preserve a bright future for the next generations. If you have not yet viewed Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, buy it or rent it and learn what the world will look like when the ocean rises to the extent predicted, and how many coastal cities will be partially or completely under water. Three of the biggest causes of global warming are the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and intensive agricultural practices, which have big impacts on our personal health as well, and as a global community we must learn to live differently.
So, what can we as individuals do? Lots. So let’s get to it!
- We can choose not to support industrial agriculture and factory farming.
We can support sustainable farming by buying organic produce, free-range
eggs and chicken, and pasture-fed meats and dairy.
- We can buy local whenever possible so less fossil fuels are used to
transport our food and goods.
- We can choose not to eat red meat at least one day a week.
- We can choose products with as little packaging as possible.
- We can bring our own bags when we shop.
- We can walk, bike or use rapid transit rather than drive whenever
- We can get rid of the car and join a car coop for those occasions when a
car is really really necessary.
- We can convert our car to run on bio-diesel, or possibly purchase a
- We can make sure our tires are properly inflated – under-inflated tires
- We can turn off the car rather than idle it.
- We can check the air filter on the car monthly and replace it when
- We can buy carbon credits to offset the emissions caused by driving and
flying from Terrapass or Native
Energy. It is extremely affordable so let’s do it!
- We can turn out the lights when leaving the room.
- We can caulk and weather-strip the doors and windows, and ensure the
walls and ceilings are insulated.
- We can turn down the thermostat.
- We can exchange the light bulbs for energy-efficient ones.
- We can unplug electronics and battery chargers when not in use.
- We can choose energy-efficient home appliances.
- We can run the dishwasher only when it is full.
- We can keep our shower time short.
- We can install a low-flow showerhead and toilet.
- We can use cold or warm rather than hot water to wash our clothing.
- We can use a clothesline to dry our clothes instead of a dryer.
- We can donate old clothing rather than throwing them out.
- We can use 100% recycled paper, and not print a copy of everything.
- We can reduce, re-use and recycle, and compost our food waste.
- We can plant a tree. Or two. Or a hundred.
- We can tell our government representative that global warming is the
most important issue there is, and demand government action.
- We can encourage our friends and family to do the above as well!
Choose local and save the world!
Worm composting to eat your garbage and feed your garden
Clean water for streams by Karen Munro M. Sc. Environmental Scientist
Urban growth and affects on streams by Karen Munro M. Sc. Environmental Scientist