I remember when Earth Day was created. More was being learned about harmful environmental practices after years of unabated development and pollution.
As young people, we had hope that things would turn around and humans could learn to live in more environmentally friendly ways. However, now we face climate change and getting governments, even our own, to do much about it remains a big stumbling block.
While special interests continue to hustle politicians in battles over the environment, it’s still possible for the actions of individuals to make a difference.
Here are some suggestions to consider as Earth Day approaches on how you can take action to improve the environment:
1. Don’t use pesticides in your yard or garden. Pesticides are harmful to you, your children, grandchildren, pets, and the environment.
2. Buy organic food as often as you can. Your purchases help to support local farmers markets and farmers who grow organic food.
3. Eat more vegetables and grow them yourself, even if it’s only a container garden. Livestock production requires enormous amounts of energy. Far more energy is put into animals per unit of food than for any plant crop. The main reason is that cattle consume 16 times as much grain as they produce as meat.
4. Gather information from green Web sites. It will help you green your life by making better environmental choices and by buying less.
5. Use natural, non-toxic cleaning products and make simple natural cleaners with ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and water. A recent survey conducted at the Massachusetts-based Silent Spring Institute indicated that 216 chemicals and radiation sources have been recognized by national and international regulatory agencies as being implicated in breast cancer causation.
6. Leave the grass clippings on your lawn. The clippings act as fertilizer and using them in this way means they won’t go to the landfill.
7. Work at the local, state, and national level for healthier food choices. Some examples are advocating for the serving of locally grown, organic food in school lunchrooms and the labeling of genetically modified food.
8. Join an environmental group and work to help it carry out its goals. With the serious problems of climate change beginning to impact the planet, consumers need to redouble their efforts to reverse environmental degradation and stop practices that destroy the soil, air, and water.
9. Support strong revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act, which Congress is debating. The act is largely ineffective, and reforms are needed that meet the needs of consumers rather than corporations.
10. Buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle or cut your driving time by carpooling or taking public transportation.
Let me know what you’re doing in your community to help the environment on Earth Day and throughout the year.