The BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is a glaring reminder of our constant consumption of petroleum products. While the blame scatters in different directions, depending which spin doctor or party is trying to explain, the fact remains, if petroleum were not consumed at the current rate, the need for risky methods of retrieval would evaporate.
Today, instead of asking who is to blame and why they aren't acting rapidly enough, let's make a list of ways WE can change our lives that may make a small, yet meaningful impact.
I've listed 25 small changes you can make today or tomorrow, and the day after... changes that will lessen our dependence on oil/petroleum products. The orange links are different ways I've written about "green" living and a deeper explanation of the reasons for making such choices past the bullet point.
- Hang a load of laundry outside
- Walk to an errand that you'd normally drive
- Rinse out and reuse a zipper seal bag
- Refill a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water
- Open the windows and turn off the air
- Eat a salad for dinner (no heat to cook!)
- Turn off the shower water when lathering up
- Invite someone to carpool
- Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent
- Unplug an extra refrigerator and condense everything to one. Pack it full. A full refrigerator cools just as much as a half empty one.
- Rediscover the old fashioned broom. Sweep instead of hose or blow off the sidewalk
- Carry reusable bags to the grocery store
- Don't forget them at the pharmacy or mall, either
- Look for an item for resale before purchasing new
- Borrow infrequently used items instead of buying new
- Separate your trash
- Invest in rechargeable batteries
- Turn off the lights in empty rooms
- Combine errands to reduce trips
- Add one more meatless meal to your weekly diet
- Don't buy single serve foods. Buy in bulk and divide into reusable containers.
- Buy locally grown food instead of food shipped from across the nation or world
- Buy local merchandise, no gasoline used to ship it to the consumer
- Vacuum the coils on your single refrigerator
- Promise to start learning about alternative fuels and energy sources.
This diagram and video are appropriately sobering. Let's stop being victims and take charge of the change we can control. Who's in?