Sunday, October 11, 2009

Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment

Sure there are lots of top ten lists around. So why not one on the things you can do for your local environment—that system that keeps us alive and thriving? But, this list is different from the usual stuff. It’s not one of those really easy, warm and fuzzy lists of fun activities you can do in your spare time. It’ll be transformative.

This list assumes you are ready to take responsibility (as a member of the only species capable of doing so) for your presence at this critical time in our planet’s history. And, it isn’t about just your personal fulfillment thing—our environment isn’t politics, religion, a fad, or a cause; it’s science all the way down. Pollute the planet, stuff happens. Finally, in order for the effects of this list to be effective a lot (I mean billions) of humans need to do them too. In the deepest practical sense, everything you do (where you live, what you eat, what you buy, what you throw away) matters to our environment. Ready folks, here we go:

1. Be engaged with the issues surrounding our local environment by monitoring the media, books, reports, and the Internet using the laws of Nature as your guide to monitor how our lifestyle is affecting our environment.

2. When you consume anything--food, water, cars, gadgets, whatever—do so as though you were demonstrating how to consume for the rest of the world—considering the lifecycle of the products you buy, how they are made, how they are used, and how you get rid of them.

3. When you have someplace to go, consider all your options in order of their affect on our environment: walking, biking, car-pooling, mass transit, and lastly a personal vehicle.

4. Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.

5. Vote. If you’re doing good for our environment and your representative in government doesn’t get it, you’re just making yourself feel good without much effect.

6. Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.

7. Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.

8. Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment. Some are annoying and critical. Some are cute and a burden.

9. Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.

10. Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly.

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