What Can I DO?

Written by Super User.


Phone:  (573) 443-4717

mntwelch1 @

Or Click on the Link Below: 

What You Can Do At Home:

  • Raise the thermostat in the summer (75°F) and lower it in the winter (67° F)
  • Replace 5 or 6 of your most used incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Plug "instant on" electronics (tv, computer, etc) into a power strip, turn strip off when done
  • Wash clothes in cold water, hang them on a line to dry
  • Insulate - a blanket for the hot water heater, seals for doors and windows, batts for the attic
  • Replace old appliances with energy efficient models


At the Store:

  • Borrow, rent, share or trade (books from library, clothing with friends, tools with neighbors)
  • Recycle and buy recycled
  • Learn how to repair things or find businesses that do it
  • Use a cloth bag for shopping
  • Buy gently used, vintage items instead of new
  • "Declutter" your home, reduce your stuff and reduce the space it needs
  • Move into a smaller home

On The Road:

  • Change your driving habits. Start and stop smoothly, bundle errands, plan trips to avoid idling
  • Take care of your car - proper pressure in tires, tuned engine, clean filters
  • Use alternative transportation (bike, bus or walking) one or more times a month/week/day
  • Buy a car that gets 35 mpg or better, move close to work or school or live car free

At the Dinner Table:

  • Buy local produce in season and reduce the energy in transporting food
  • For non-local items (coffee, chocolate, etc.) seek organic and fair trade brands
  • Grow your own food, plant annual crops like tomatoes and beans, but also fruit and nut trees
  • Eat a vegetarian meal one or more times a month/week/day

Around the Yard:

  • Compost kitchen and yard trimmings
  • Use compost and natural fertilizers instead of artificial fertilizers, use organic pest control
  • Plant a shade tree to reduce the heat load on your home
  • Reduce the lawn, plant ground covers, natives and plants immune to pests

As a Human:

  • Get information about climate change and the human role from scientific societies
  • Figure your carbon footprint and choose to reduce it by 1, 5, 10, 25%
  • Live simply - beyond a certain amount, money and possessions cannot make you happier

As a Citizen:

  • Share values and knowledge in a non-confrontational way with family, friends, co-workers
  • Look for ways to make your workplace more energy efficient
  • Let your representatives know where you stand. Join initiatives that mean something to you. Take action. Speak up, sign up and vote.
  • Volunteer with local and national groups working on the issue


*  The Green Triangle 

There is a close connection among money, health and the environment, a connection captured by the idea of the Green Triangle. Any time you do anything to help the environment - walking to work, hanging clothes to dry, reducing meat consumption - you will also be benefiting your health and saving money. Walking reduces pollution, but it also saves gas and wear and tear on your car, as much as 50 cents per mile, and an hour of exercise can extend your life and reduce future medical expenses from obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

*  Reduce - Reuse - Recycle

Remember the Three Rs - Reduce - Reuse - Recycle. Think about the clothes you need in the closet, the food you need on the plate, the gadgets you need in the kitchen, the tools you need in the garage. Maybe less would be better. Fewer things means fewer things to find space for, keep track of, clean and take care of. Reusing things gets more life out of an item which reduces the per item cost (remember the Green Triangle) and the per item pollution involved in its manufacture. Then when you can no longer mend it, clean it or repair it, consider which parts of it are recyclable, find out how to recycle them and follow through.

*  Embodied Energy and Life Cycle Assessment

Every item you own used energy and gave off pollution in its production or manufacturing. Learn to think of things not just in terms of what they cost in dollars, but also in terms of what they cost in energy and pollution (including greenhouse gases) to make. It may take just as much pollution to make a cheap, undependable item as a more expensive but durable item. Consider quality and life of an item, not just the immediate cost.

*  Ecological Footprint (Live Simply so that others can Simply Live)

This is the amount of resources and energy it takes to maintain a particular lifestyle. The goal would be to reduce a footprint over time, so that there is room on the planet for the footprints of other people, particularly those in the developing world who get by on $2 a day, and for the footprints of the other species on the planet.

*  Stabilization Wedges

There is no magic bullet to solve our current climate change crisis. To address the problem realistically, we will have to move forward on multiple fronts. The Stabilization Wedges are the strategies we need to employ to accomplish the goal of reducing growth in greenhouse gases immediately, and then bringing them down.

*  Trustworthy Sources

Scientific Societies are non-profit member supported professional organizations with the mission of advancing scientific research and public understanding of science. Their chief goal is a better understanding of the natural world and the use of that understanding to benefit humans in the short and long term. When they take positions on a policy issue, they are reached by majority or consensus and are supported by the best available scientific data and experienced and objective interpretation.

*  Follow the Money

Some companies, trade groups and even political organizations set up third party groups with green sounding names, but with self-interested agendas. Being self-interested is ok, hiding that self-interest is not. Know the source of an organization's support, then you'll know where they are really coming from.