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5 Ways on How to Support the Environment from Your Computer
The environment needs our individual and collective help more than ever. Hurricanes, flooding, raging forest fires, unprecedented droughts, threatened national monuments, declining species, crazy temperature fluctuations; climate change is quickening its destructive pace and we have a federal government that is unwilling to lift a finger to do anything about it.
But, we can make a huge difference on a smaller scale. We can work together with local governments to enact protective standards and laws. We can encourage companies to change their nastiest habits. We can reduce our own personal consumption of fossil fuels. And the best part is, you can do most of this from the comfort of your office chair. Here are simple 5 ways you can make an environmental difference in the time it takes you to peruse the interwebs:
Calculate your carbon footprint
Knowledge is power. Actually taking the time to discover your estimated carbon footprint on the planet can be a real game-changer. Go to the Nature Conservancy’s online calculator to come to terms how much of an environmental impact you individually have on the planet.
Invest in carbon offsets
Modern life requires certain things. Like most of us, you probably will need to use a car or plane or train sometime in the next year. And those things produce a lot of carbon. Buying carbon offsets allows companies to take carbon out of the atmosphere to offset the small amount your flight/road trip/train ride put in. They are cheap and usually involve investing in renewable energy plants, a massive planting of trees or other projects along those lines. Some airlines even offer carbon credits with each ticket, making it even more convenient to balance out your footprint while you’re booking your next flight.
Shop consciously online
First off, stop buying things you don’t need. I know it is exciting to get packages in the mail, no matter what’s inside, but do you really need another decorative vase for your kitchen? That being said, when you do inevitably shop online, purchase from retailers who care about the environment. E-commerce can be sustainable if companies go the extra mile to reduce shipping and packaging waste. Better yet, go the extra mile yourself and purchase quality used items, like gently used clothing from ThredUp and Patagonia’s Worn Wear, rather than new items that required more fossil fuels to manufacture.
Call your representative
It seems daunting, but calling your government representatives is an integral part of our democratic system. Let your voice be heard. Even if your representative has publicly agreed that we need to clean up our environmental act, keep calling to let them know that you agree with what they are doing. We have a habit of only making our voices heard when something displeases us. Positive reinforcement can actually make progress happen more quickly and ensure that your representative isn’t swayed by other, louder special interests that don’t care as much about the environment.
See if you can switch your home to solar
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars buying solar panels if you cannot afford them. In many places, you don’t even have to switch your energy provider. Companies like Green Mountain Energy (which serves much of the east coast, Texas and Oregon) make it easy to switch your home energy usage from fossil fuels to renewables for only a few extra bucks each month. Just enter your zip code to see if your home is eligible. If so, the switch to solar can take place practically overnight!
Now is the time for action. Saving the environment seems like a lot of work, but there are plenty of things you can do right from the comfort of your office chair. Going green is really too easy not to do.
Tags Computers environment nature
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