Though government policy plays a huge role in the energy landscape, so does personal choice. It’s a story that we’ve been hearing for years, but putting on a sweater instead of hitting the thermostat will do a lot more for the planet (and your wallet) than buying paper towels with 20 percent recycled materials.
Simple changes to these habits could result in massive shifts in the domestic energy landscape, but it seems unlikely they will be made until market pressures make our lifestyles utterly untenable. Drivers in Britain, for example, pay nearly $10 per gallon and are beset by an unholy barrage of fees, yet they still manage to get around in tiny, fuel sipping cars and public transport. They don’t do this because it’s fun, but because they have to. We may find ourselves there too, one day.
So what can you do with this rosy assessment? One is to participate in an Earth Day activity this April 22 — we’ve compiled a few for you in this edition. Simply being counted as being truly concerned about this issue makes a big difference, and it will be a great way to spend a spring day with your family, to boot.
The other is to set small goals for yourself that make not only this world a better place, but enrich your own life. Walk or ride a bike when you can, use a fan rather than A/C and consider planting a garden if you have the space. Not only are these things better for the planet, but they’re better for your wallet.
If you find yourself concerned about the world we’re making, just think about one thing in your life that could be more sustainable and make an effort to improve it. Because being green is about a lot more than the bag you eat your chips from.