By Ellen Solomon
JOIN the Green Community, reduce your ecological footprint, save the earth. How does it work? Reduce the amount of fossil fueled energy (oil, gas) that you use.Protect natural resources:water, air, soil.
- CARE FOR A TREE Trees hold water in the earth, prevent erosion, clean the air, reduce CO2, provide shade,and support a multitude of life - birds, bugs, flowers, fruits, pollinators, mammals.They teach us about beauty and hope.
- WALK AND USE PUBLIC TRANSIT Enjoy the benefits of fresh air, see the world go by slowly, discover people on your path.And reduce spending oil and creating carbon dioxide (19.8 pounds per gallon) which contributes to climate change.
- GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLES/BUY LOCAL Save the environmental cost of transporting food across the miles from farm to warehouse to warehouse to store.
- COMPOST all the vegetable kitchen waste - plus coffee grounds and eggshells(but don't put meat or dairy in your compost pile at home.) Less goes to the landfill, and you improve the soil to grow more vegetables.If you don't have space, you can still put coffee grounds on your plants.
- SHRINK THE LAWN Replace hi-water lawn with a combination of the following: a vegetable garden, a small drought-tolerant lawn, a bed of low maintenance, drought-resistant, four season native shrubs, or native plants.
- USE MANUAL TOOLS Use the rake instead of a blower. When you hire landscapers, instruct them not to use a blower, which is triply harmful. Reduce air pollution, noise pollution, and energy consumption. Use a broom or carpet sweeper instead of the vacuum.
- AUTOMOBILE ECO-ETIQUETTE Park near the entrance to the lot, not the store. Avoid spending gas driving around the parking lot, and try to enjoy the walk across the parking lot.
- PARKING ECO-ETIQUETTE NO. 2 At the bank, don't use the drive-up tellers;park, get out of the car - move the body - and save on gas.
- TURN OFF THE ENGINE When in the car, be mindful when using a mobile phone, or stopping to chat with neighbors. Turn off the engine and reduce carbon dioxide emission.
- BUY IN BULK By purchasing without a container, we avoid contributing to the "Package economy," in which the packaging creates and enlarges the carbon footprint.
- DRY LAUNDRY OUTSIDE Use the great dryer in the sky. And the clothes smell so fresh!
Human Population Increase and the Industrial Revolution are prime factors in our present troubles.The degradation of the earth is a direct result of the pressure of increased human demands on nature.
Ecology teaches us that in the web of life we are all connected and cannot save the earth in isolation."Sustainability requires community."
To learn your own Ecological Footprint: Myfootprint.org or Footprintnetwork.org.
Ellen Solomon is a member of Citizens for a Livable Earth and Citizens for a Livable Petaluma.