I’ve finally figured it out – the more I used my telepathic powers to will gas prices into submission, the higher they have risen. So, I’ve decided to use reverse psychology – I’ll buy a bicycle and act as though I don’t give a rat’s gludius maximus, and THEN the gas prices will come down, won’t they? Of course they won’t silly…we’re dealing with a far greater entity than any of us realized. Our entire civilization and everything we hold dear is in some way or another connected to fossil fuels or, as we in the eco-friendly world like to call them, non-renewable sources of energy.
We drive, we cook, we use plastic, eh hem…sorry about that, but you get my drift. We are dependent and Big Gas knows this, the government knows this, dargone it, the whole world knows it! So when we hear those crazy hippie people calling for government sanctions against the vilest offenders of our emissions regulations; or asking for a change in the way we live our lives with regard to the environment, we listen, put on our most interested face, tilt our head (to imply that we care), and keep on doing what we’ve always done…drive, cook and use plastics. Now, no one is telling you not to drive, cook (although, if you’ve ever read any of my raw recipes posts, you know this is definitely a selling point for me), or use plastics (you may want to look into this one though). Just consider how many minor lifestyle adjustments you can employ in order to keep a forest or two around for another hundred or so years.
World opinion has so evolved on this topic that internationally, governments have implemented strategies to reduce emissions. There are even repercussions if certain countries don’t fulfill their ends of the bargain. ( A little side note – compared to some other countries, the U.S. policy on this topic pretty much sucks. It’s a Big Gas thing!). Americans, however, have shown a significant spark of support for helping our environment in ways such as: tax incentives to utility companies encouraging them to sell clean energy; tax incentives and rebates to households using energy efficient appliances; requiring that by 2010, half of all cars produced be hybrids; and requiring car manufacturers to meet higher gas-efficiency standards. This, however, is for large corporations. What can the regular Joe Schmoe do? What are our options?
Okay, so I’ve been yanked off the proverbial soap box with a proverbial hook – thanks guys, no really. Here are a few ways to do your part to keep emissions down and the earth’s heart rate up…and, as always, if you think of anything else I might have missed (and that’s highly possible), please leave me a comment telling us all what you think we can do to help out.
- Sign up with 41pounds.org – you know that little flier that comes in the middle of all those other fliers for items you don’t want from companies you’ve never heard of? Well, 41pounds.org makes sure your mailbox stays free and clear of those pesky mailers. How so? Well for $41, this nonprofit services stops 80-95% of unwanted junk mail and catalogs for up to five years. And how do they do that??? Go to their website and find out for yourself – 41pounds.org
- Maintain that old jelopy (car) – Can somebody say ‘tune-up’? How about keep those tires well inflated? These are sure fire ways of getting your car to join in the fun.
- Ride your bicycle– And you thought I was kidding! First of all, just think about how much $ you would save on gas – that’s another car note in itself! Next think about how much you’d save in maintenance. You can live without a car and so can your kids. This may be an awesome opportunity for the fam to get some much needed exercise. Check out How to Live Well Without Owning A Car by Chris Balish.
- Buy a hybrid or a smart car – Yes I know the ‘aesthetics’ don’t even begin to compare to, well, just about anything on the non-hybrid, non-smart car market. And, yes, I know you’ve got a large posse who likes to ride wide legged with arms out-stretched…tell them to get their own cars because you’ve got to help save the environment! Do you realize the impact owning one of these cars can have on your wallet…not to mention your, wallet. And did I mention the impact it can have on your wallet? Just wanted to drive that point home.
- Carpool – Okay, your posse can ride. In fact, pick up as many as can legally fit in your vehicle and get going. Carpooling reduces emissions significantly by taking at least one other vehicle off the street.
- Public Transportation – Get on the bus, train or whatever your city has to transport a large group of people from one place to the next. Some employers even provide transportation allowances as incentives.
- Telecommute– YeeeeHaaaa!!!! This, by far, is my super favorite of all the options. Not because I won’t have to get up, get dressed, get in the car, get in traffic, get in the office (late)…not at all, it’s only because I know this one little gesture will help save the environment. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
- Turn off the lights– Could it have been a foretelling of things to come when Teddy Pendergrass sang this song? Probably not, but it does speak to a great waste that goes on in homes everywhere – keeping lights on unnecessarily. So just do what Teddy said and, “Turn ’em off!”
- Donate your junk– There are more than enough charities that’ll take your crap. Not your bad attitude crap, but your unwanted items, especially electronics. Check out recyclingforcharities.com where you can donate old cell phones, PDA’s, digital cameras, you name it.
- Buy local – Do your best to keep your travel to and from the grocery store short. Also, try not to have purchases shipped, if you can get it, go get it…on your bicycle.
- Eat less or no meat – V/V powers unite! Just kidding, but really…eating meat produces 3000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. At least consider it.
Reducing emissions is a job for all of us. It is important that we do our best to reduce our carbon footprint and try to keep this earth around for our decendants. Do what you can to implement these suggestions into your daily life. If you’d like more suggestions, check out carbonfund.org. If you have suggestions of your own, please leave a comment…you can never do too much.