Some of the most important positive environmental impacts can be made when a whole lot of people do the right things. These individual actions separately may seem small and insignificant, but together are great.
For example, stop drinking bottled water. The amount of plastic created and wasted in the process is enormous. A bottle of water is up to 2,000 times more energy intensive than just turning on the tap and there is no reason in most of the United States to drink anything else but tap water since we have some of the safest tap water in the world. If you don't like the taste of your water, then at least buy large bottles - reusable ones - and fill up a glass or a stainless steel reusable water bottle instead of plastic. This cuts out the manufacturing, transport, and disposal costs, which is substantial since plastic bottle production alone wastes up to 50 million barrels of oil a year!
Another one is an old one your mother told you - turn off the light (computer, tv, etc.) when you leave the room. And better yet, have most all of your electrical appliances on power strips. Not only can these protect appliances from power surges, they prevent appliances from being vampires and sucking energy when you are not using them. It may take a minute more to turn something on/off from a power strip, but if you have these throughout your house, you may get a benefit with a lower electric bill, too.
On the subject of lighting, the CFLs are the rage, but there is a hidden environmental cost to these bulbs. While they are longer lasting, they also are manufactured in China, which does not have the best environmental or labor record, and they contain mercury, which is one of the primary environmental contaminants in fish throughout the world. So think about your choices when you purchase - is it really the best environmental choice?
Finally, take your pedal off the metal - if you cruise a bit more when you drive instead of being a lead foot, you will see better gas mileage. And those mileage levels will improve even more if you keep your car tuned up, your filters clean, and your tires filled to the recommended air levels (for every three pounds that your tires are below their recommended pressure, your fuel economy drops 1 percent)
All these small things, if 100s of millions did them or cared about them every day, would make a world of difference.
Causes M.T. Kingsley Supports
Proceeds from my first novel benefit the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) and my two more recent books benefit the Anne B. Kingsley Ovarian...