Alex Palmer's Natural History Notes and Thoughts

Thoughts and reflections on various social and environmental issues, as well as naturalist observations from the great outdoors.

living the American Dream…with some modifications: How to deal with Global Climate Change

All the talk about global warming and impending ecological disasters can do either one of two things to people:  make them fearful or make them loathe environmentalists.  How can these fear mongerer’s  expect Americans to dramatically change their lifestyle??

Well, I’ll even admit to you, global warming (or euphemistically called global climate change), is a serious problem.  But I’m not going to give you all the doom and gloom woes and no’s that you hear so often on the news and on the radio.  What I am going to suggest to you is a set of lifestyle criteria that I believe is practical enough for nearly anyone to follow.  To make things quick, easy, and to-the-point, I’ll just bullet them out to you:

  • Walk, bike, or use public transportation during non inclement weather. This often works best if you are near an urban area and within a reasonable distance from your workplace or other destination.  During inclement weather or long commutes without convenient public transit, carpool with family and friends whenever possible.
  • Have a vegetable garden. If you are living in an apartment or condo complex, ask your landlord or property manager what it would take to have a small garden plot.  If nothing is available, then check with your city to see if their are garden plots of rent.  Most cities let citizens rent garden plots for a very low cost – sometimes as low as $10 per year!
  • Buy seasonal and local produce when available.  Supplement your produce with canned products in the winter. Canning fruits and vegetables for the winter months is easy to do and quite fun.  Even if you have a crazy-busy work schedule, chances are you can find an afternoon or a weekend to do a little canning.
  • Do your shopping closer to home. Yes, all of those stores that are 30 minutes away in the suburbs (or more if you are in a rural area) have great deals on clothes and electronics and appliances and comforters and whatever else you need, chances are you can get most of what you need very close to home.  Even if those items are not as cheap as the Costco out near the Outer Belt Interstate, don’t forgot to factor in fuel costs, traffic, and time.  Also, be a responsible citizen and support local businesses.  It keeps more money in the pockets of  the CEO of Joe’s Convenient Mart rather than shareholders of Walmart or Target in some other town.  This really is just basic common sense.
  • Watch what you buy. You should not use ten different household cleaners and formulas to wipe down the kitchen counter.  You also should not buy another $40 blue-ray surround sound thingy, especially if its the third one you have bought this year.  Buy good quality products. Save up some money to buy the good stuff.  It will last longer and you will be a more gracious citizen if you reduce how much stuff you buy all the time.
  • Fold up the tabloids and read something easier and more pleasant to read. Here are some good books to read (just Google these titles to find them):

A Sand County Almanac

Last Child in the Woods

The Giving Tree

The Little House

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