The state of the environment around the entire planet is a major crisis and confronts the manner by which all nations govern. The environment shifts slowly but scientists have begun to notice more rapid change. Even fossil fuel corporations are beginning to work on carbon control legislation. Dealing with global warming is not a one-nation issue; it is not a treaty issue; it is a global issue that can wipe out millions of people, species, and permanently change the world as we know it. Global warming is not the only issue affecting the environment. In the name of increased profit, corporations abuse, contaminate and even destroy natural resources. Poisons are spilled, buried, spread, and hidden all over the planet. Many species have surrendered their kind to the abuse of corporations.
Yet, these same catastrophic issues can be affected by advocacy at home.
Many of these activities already are widely known:
- Recycling. If everything made from Aluminum or glass had to be made from scratch, both would become expensive commodities. Everything not made from recycled plastic clutters the world even more rapidly than the clogging that exists now. Recycled paper products save trees – a rapidly disappearing natural resource that helps with excess carbon dioxide. Tin, iron, copper and other industrial metals are melted and returned to a natural state for reuse. Take them to a recycling center.
- Do not be seen using plastic grocery bags! Use your own cloth bags over and over again. Plastic bags, quite un-biodegradable – are the most voluminous item in landfills.
- Set the thermostat back in winter, up in summer; Heat with the Sun through windows in the winter, cool by blocking sunny windows in the summer.
- Use modern light bulbs that require fewer watts.
- Unplug electronic devices that continue to glow – particularly those “vampire” boxes called chargers. They are never off unless they are unplugged.
- Clean gas furnace burners once each year.
- Replace older windows and doors with modern ones designed to mitigate temperatures and block solar radiation.
- Upgrade attic insulation.
- Recently, as prices dropped to what normal budgets can afford, solar panels are growing in presence. Every $1,000 in cost may be amortized in two years through reduction in electric bills.
- Service the automobile regularly, including tires.
- Within five miles of work? Use a bicycle. Within two miles of work? Walk.
The effect of these hands-on activities directly reduces consumption of oil byproducts. Further, these activities reduce the use of water necessary to mine and process metals, oil, plastic, and paper manufacturing.
Speaking of water, it takes 1,800 gallons of water to recoup 1 gallon of drinking water; it takes 60 gallons of water to make 1 kilowatt hour, it takes 97 gallons of water to make one gallon of gasoline; it takes 39,090 gallons of water to make a car.
One wonders how many gallons of water it will take to visit a relative 500 miles away. Assume 20 mpg:
500 miles/20 mpg=25 gal/gasoline.
25 gal/gas*97 gal/water=2,425 gal/water to travel 500 miles.
Add in 39,090 gal/water for the car = 41,518 gallons of water was used to make the trip.
Along with global warming, drinkable water rapidly is becoming a political issue all over the world.
By the way, a human requires 2 quarts of drinkable water per day at or near sea level and 2 gallons if you live in Denver, Colorado.
Advocacy at home may be the real battlefront…