Recently, while skimming through the daily feed of on-line articles I nonchalantly skipped over one entitled “Want to fight climate change? Here are 7 critical life changes you should make.” A twinge of guilt kept me from clicking open the link. I’d just flown (a BIG carbon emitter) back from a family visit on the west coast and wasn’t eager for some eco-guru to poke that sensitive spot. One week went by then another. The article lingered on the desktop unopened. Finally I relented, desperately hoping moose tracks ice cream hadn’t made the list.
Here’s the upshot of this recent research:
- Buy a high mileage car, drive it with a light touch (no hard acceleration or braking), keep your speed down, and own it (and everything else) until it turns to dust.
- Limit flying. (Although depending on circumstances it may be better than driving solo for long distances.) Fly coach and try to book non-stop flights.
- Turn the heat down a bit. And raise the AC.
- Eat low on the food chain i.e. more like a vegetarian. Even lowering meat consumption by just 1-2 meals a week makes a difference.
With increasing evidence that we’re approaching several so-called climatic tipping points, it’s incumbent upon each of us to consider our place as responsible members of the planetary community and make at least some adjustment in energy use. And here’s the good news; we’re already doing it. Although Wisconsin has the highest electricity rates among 8 upper Midwest states, we pay less than the average Midwesterner because we’re 19% more efficient (and smarter?) than our neighbors. Are you feeling electrically deprived? Me neither.
No one of us is going to either save or ruin the environment by our consumption habits. But if we all “take what we need and leave the rest” our finite resources will be sufficient. Because there is no “Planet B.” The only home we’ll ever know is right here. We’re forever…Earthbound.