Last week I showed an Inconvenient Truth to my graphic design students. It was a great fit into the curriculum - as one of the classes I taught focused on a public service announcement (series) which included global warming. Another class was motion graphics (film making). An Inconvenient Truth suited perfectly. I opened up the class to others in the University system. Unfortunately, only a few others arrived.
We had a great discussion about what we could each personally do about global warming. We had talked about this quite a bit throughout the class, thus it was not a new topic. However, I think it affected the students even more than they had anticipated. Most of the students had done readings and research. It is much different to read about global warming than to see the evidence.
I also found climate change map. Minnesota will be like Missouri, Wisconsin like Kansas, Illinois like Texas. These are northern midwest states. What will Texas be like? What will the grain belt be like? Will they even be inhabitable? What about water? The great lakes are already being depleted.
It is evident that not only is this happening, but that something needs to be done about it. We need to do something now. Let's stop waiting for the government to tell us to do something. Instead, let's take this upon ourselves.
We all know that changing our light bulbs is a great first step to stop global warming. We have heard about things to do - such as turning down our thermostat, recycling, driving less, etc. What else can we do? How can we move beyond light bulbs?
Here are just a few of things that I am doing:
I purchase most things in bulk. No - not 10 jars of something. Instead, I purchase a 25 lb bag of rice. I then store it in a PETA safe bucket or repackage it in another way.
Instead of tossing the glass jar into the recycling, I am trying to find additional uses. Recycling is great - but it does use additional energy.
- I have given a glass jar to each child to use a piggy bank.
- I will take the rice (mentioned above) and premake mixes (check out Hill Billy Housewife - the rice mixes are great). I premake these so that my kids (or husband) can easily start a meal.
- My milk comes in glass jars - which are reused
- cloth diapers can be reused
- thrift stores for clothing
- I freecycle almost everything that I do not need. When I gave up cleaning supplies and opted to use homemade, I freecycled all of the remaining supplies. Thus, someone else was not purchasing.
- I reduce food waste by either composting or
- reusing my vegetable scraps (by making and canning vegetable broth) - then I don't need to purchase it!
- choosing not to purchase unnecessary items.
- turn off things (TV) when not in use
- line dry clothing
Instead of shopping at mega centers like WalMart, I am choosing to shop locally. Food comes from the farmers market, my garden, or local farms
I am also choosing to visit locally owned stores.
- My spouse drives a veggie car. This is a car which runs on waste vegetable oil. The WVO (waste vegetable oil) creates less pollution.This is not practical is you do not commute - it take s awhile for the oil to heat up, etc. However, my spouse works at hopsitals that are 2- 4 hours away.
- We also have a scooter for in town driving
- I often choose to walk or bike most places.
- ride with someone
- Combine trips