Big Changes you can make!

Have less children 

Lets all just recognize that this one is very personal.  You might come from a big family, or have a big family already, or are thinking about having more children.  This tip is not meant to shame: but for those who are planning a family, this is something to think about.

 Fly less

  • This one is complicated for our family, living in Hawaii.  Also, I love to travel.  But, until we can make viable, people carrying, better solar planes, I have to think long and hard about our carbon footprint from flying a family of four.  I've settled with carbon offsets for now (see below)

  • Can you teleconference? Take a bus? Drive a fuel efficient car? 

  • If you have to fly here are some great tips: choose coach (less wasted space), lower those windows when the flight attendants tell you (less fuel to cool the plane), and if you can, check the fuel efficiency of your carrier (or if they use biofuels)

  • Offset your carbon: start with a calculator for each flight.  Sites like Terrapass and Gold Standard (Gold Standard looks a little like the Kiva Micro loan website) allow you to buy carbon offsets.  Do your research.

 

Eat a plant based diet

  • What we chose to eat puts big pressure on our planet: cows need grain feet, water, land, and fertilizer.  Cows emit methane during digestion (10 times more greenhouse gases per kilogram of meat than pigs and chickens, which themselves emit about 10 times more than legumes)

  • A study in Nature published in October 2018 found that our planet cannot sustain a population that grows and eats a Western diet high in red meat.

  • Can't give up meat all together?  The Flexitarians encourage mostly plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation.  Hint: it can be good for you too!

  • Try eating less meat (start with meatless Mondays!) and replacing with plant proteins.  Don't go from burgers straight to salads though: you need fat and protein to keep you satisfied!

 

Create a mindset of habit and change

  • Remember that habits take time to form, like bringing your bag to the grocery store, or tossing the can into recycling instead of the trash

  • To create a better world, we have to create small changes every day

  • I really enjoyed Gretchen Rubin's book Better than Before about changing daily habits and understanding yourself better to make changes (check it out of your library!)

 

Live with Less

  • Marie Kondo's book and method The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was really my foray into living with less

  • How many pots in your kitchen do you actually use?  Which clothes do you really wear? (See the SIXERS movement) How many watering hoses do you need in your garage? 

 

Carbon Taxation

  • More to come on this one….