Inspired By Live Earth
This week here at Live Earth we got an email from Meghan L. in Cardiff by the Sea, CA. Below you'll find some of what she is doing personally to solve the climate crisis. Meghan's ideas are exactly the kinds of change that we want to inspire in everyone who participated in Live Earth. Simple changes add up. What have you done because you were inspired by Live Earth? Send us your stories and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org - we'll post the best of your ideas and suggestions here on our "Going Green"blog. Thanks for everything you're doing to help solve the climate crisis - tell everyone your best tip!
Here's Meghan's email:
After watching much of the Live Earth concert event on Saturday, I felt inspired to try and do a little more to help the environment and climate issues. I wanted to share what I'm doing in order to keep myself on track (you know when you start telling other people you are doing something you feel more accountable to actually do it!), and to possibly inspire you to take any little steps yourselves.
If you are wondering what Live Earth is, here is their blurb: Live Earth is a 24-hour, 7-continent concert series taking place on 7/7/07 that will bring together more than 100 music artists and 2 billion people to trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis. Check out their site: www.liveearth.org. The site has a LOT of really good info, short films, lists of easy, actionable things you can do (look at the Climate Crisis Tools) , resource lists, and massive amounts of statistics and info to make anyone want to do something!
Answer their call by making a simple pledge to combat climate crisis right here.
Also, you can watch the video clips by artist at www.liveearth.msn.com. The big favorite performance here was Madonna, but there are tons of great ones.
You can also sign Al Gore's pledge, which calls for a 90% cut in global warming pollution at www.algore.com/pledge.
So here's my list:
- We are gradually replacing regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (cfl). I've changed 2 this week. CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. If every family in the U.S. made the switch, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d reduce carbon dioxide by more than 90 billion pounds!
- Inspire Dan and the kids to always turn the lights off (I already do this, but they are still forming this habit).
- Decrease our use of plastic water bottles. We have an excellent water filter at our house. The water is probably better quality than many bottled waters anyway. We are buying stainless steel bottles and refilling them. (more on plastic water bottles: here)
- Buy more local food. go to the farmers' market at least 2 times/month. (I know some of you go every week, or get boxes of fresh produce delivered-- great!)
- Use cloth napkins more - I have a big stack sitting in a drawer. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m bringing them out to use.
- Use the dryer less- I recently washed several rugs. It was a sunny day. Instead of drying them (which takes forever) I hung them outside. I know I won't hang everything outside, but I can hang the bulky stuff and consolidate dryer loads. Also, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m washing more loads in cold water.
- Carbon offset- thru working assets (our long distance phone company) I learned about Carbon fund, one of several sites that enable you to become carbon neutral. I donated to www.carbonfund.org, and working assets added 5 more tons to my donation. There is also www.carbonneutral.com.
- Unplug stuff we're not using.
- Use less plastic bags. Bring my own reusable bags to grocery store. I bought 4 of the 99 cent bags at Trader JoeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m keeping them in my car. They are great.
- Get a solar bid for our house. It's a good time to convert to solar energy-- there are rebates offered by the power companies covering at least 1/3 of the cost, and there are tax incentives too. Last week I toured a friend's home who recently had solar installed and their power bill is now $3/month. Their payback period is 14 years. If you are in So. Cal, check out www.sullivan-electric.net.
- Try to reduce packaging. Buy more bulk stuff, bring own bags.
- Buy less stuff, reduce amounts of "junk" plastic toys, especially battery operated toys. Minimize use of batteries, use rechargeable batteries.
- Then there's the diaper issue... many of you know I used cloth diapers on Tosh for 1.5 years, but when we went on vacation earlier this year I used disposable and got back into that habit. What I really need to do is work on getting him potty trained (even though at 2 yrs 4 months he's showing NO interest). I talked to him about using the cloth diapers again and he is resistant. I think I just need to buy him some cloth training underwear and deal...
- Get some lightweight, dishwasher safe plastic dishes for picnics, outside use, beach, etc. to use instead of paper/plastic plates. We had a Live Earth house party this past weekend and managed to generate less than half a grocery bag of trash for the entire party (20 people) by using cloth napkins, washable plates I borrowed, and silverware (normally I would have used plastic silverware and paper plates/napkins/cups).
- My next car will be a hybrid, within the next few years.
- In the Live Earth show, Jack Johnson promoted www.climatecounts.org
Here is some stuff we've already got going on:
- We chose energy efficient appliances when we built our house
- We buy organic food, grow an organic garden and have an organic lawn.
- Reduced junk mail - there are a few sites where you can pay to have this done. Example: www.greendimes.com. Or you can do it on your own: www.obviously.com/junkmail
- Use WALD, progressive, socially conscious long distance www.workingassets.com. You can also write/call congress members for free, and round up your bill, with all proceeds donated to causes you help them choose.
- Watch/own/lend out Inconvenient Truth. See www.climatecrisis.net
- Thermostat set low in winter, don't use A/C. From Inconvenient Truth Website: Move your thermostat down 2 in winter and up 2 in summer. Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy www.aceee.org has more tips for saving energy on heating and cooling.
- Support sierra club, nature conservancy, green guide, organic consumers organizations, among others.