We’re faced with a lot of HUGE environmental problems – global warming, air and water quality, depletion of the ocean’s fish stocks. The list is pretty long. We’d all like to be able to solve these problems. We’d all like to be able to do big things. But let’s face it, most of us probably aren’t in position to do them. I’m not a nuclear physicist so I’m almost certainly not going to figure out the riddle of cold fusion and solve the world’s energy problems, but I certainly can use less energy. I’m not a marine biologist, so most likely I’m not going to figure out how to save the world’s reefs or improve the overall quality of the world’s oceans and the life therein but I can make sure that my impact on the ocean is minimal and I can support the people who are in a position to do those things.
They say all politics is local. I say all everything is local. Start at home. Just do a few very simple things that require no effort at all. Get rid of all that toxic crap under the sink that you really don’t need and hardly ever use and find stuff that works just as well but isn’t as bad for you and yours. When you leave a room turn off the lights and turn down the thermostat. Recycle. And for God’s sake stop using plastic grocery bags! If you don’t make any other changes in your life please make this one. Every grocery store now sells reusable bags for a buck and most of them give you a 5 cent per bag credit when you use them. This is a no-brainer that, believe it or not, can make a big difference.
Please do one other thing. If you don’t already, find an environmental organization or two and support them. There are a lot of really good choices — The Ocean Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Arbor Day and others all do great work. There are also a lot of local environmental trusts and organizations like Save The Bay and Save The River that keep all funds and efforts local.
This is really important. The planet is your home. Care for it.