Greening At Home

Eliminate Junk Mail: Cancel unwanted catalogs at www.catalogchoice.org, and cancel most unwanted credit card offers at www.optoutprescreen.com. You can get off several other junk mail lists at www.newdream.org/junkmail/form.php.

Energy Goes Local: An aggressive initiative to make solar both cost-competitive and a significant part of America’s energy mix within ten years could result in the creation of 500,000 American jobs, according to Co-op America Quarterly (Fall 2008). Because you can’t outsource the installation of a solar panel on local roofs, these are jobs that will stay in your community. Read the SHINE (Solar High-Impact National Energy) study at www.solarcatalyst.org to learn more about bringing solar to scale so it becomes affordable worldwide.

Eat Lower on the Food Chain and Eat Local: Each vegan saves 1.5 more tons of greenhouse gases per year over a meat eater, according to a study by the University of Chicago. Even just cutting out some meat, especially red meat, can help significantly shrink your greenhouse gas footprint. Purchase food grown locally and try growing some of your own food. Food typically travels around 1,500 miles from where it was grown to where it gets eaten. Find farmer’ markets and local community supported agriculture (CSAs) to help you eat local by visiting www.localharvest.org.

Buy Green and Buy Local: Every dollar you spend is an opportunity to "vote" for the kind of world you believe in. Buy from businesses that solve rather than cause environmental and social problems. Choose one product you buy often, do a little research about its production and distribution to discover how you can purchase the most sustainable option for that product, and commit to buying it green. Once that change has become routine for you, look for another item to shift your purchasing power with. Check www.greenpages.org, www.responsibleshopper.org and www.buygreen.com for thousands of green products, services and companies.