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Seven Steps to Improve the Environment

March 20, 2011

Earth Day is coming up. What are you doing to make our planet greener?

By Mark Biskeborn, Marie Cunningham, and Kelly Hartog

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we should all be celebrating the planet all month long. The earth faces numerous environmental crises caused by pollution and other impacts from human beings. Here are suggestions for steps you might consider to help improve the environment.

1) Talk the talk: Make ecological awareness part of our social fabric and culture as Americans. The more you learn about the complex relationships between living things and their environment, the better. Talk to your family and friends about the things you know and learn.

Join groups such as Greenpeace or any one of the thousands of local ecology-minded clubs where you can have fun while learning more about the issues and how to solve them by the most effective means.

2) Walk the walk: Instead of driving a car, walk or ride a bicycle to the grocery store or anywhere else. If the destination is too far, consider other means of transportation. The traditional gasoline car is the worst polluter. New electric cars are affordable for many and completely free of toxic emissions. Consider the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt or the Tesla or any one of the new “green” cars.

3) Recycle: This is the most common and, in many cities, the easiest and most accessible thing we can do for the environment. Mar Vista provides separate containers for trash, recyclables and garden clippings as well as convenient pickup. We can recycle many household items, including aluminum cans, paper, plastic bottles, glass, computers, printer cartridges, milk jugs, steel containers and more.

Drop off your electronic waste including  batteries, cell phones, computers, monitors and old TVs at your nearest recycling center.

4) Be water wise: No longer can we take clean water for granted. A third of the world’s population does not have access to clean water. Only 1 percent of Earth’s water is safe and available for humans to use. Minimize your use of toxic chemicals and use them with caution as they tend to end up in the groundwater.

5) Use renewable energy at home and work: Use renewable energy sources such as wind, sun and geothermal rather than nonrenewables such as oil and natural gas. Many new American technologies are available, such as solar panels and solar shingles.

6) Vote ‘green’: Select the elected officials who are most likely to deliver environmentally sensitive solutions such as bike paths. Support government oversight and industrial incentives aimed toward renewable energy and conservation.

7) Buy locally: Purchase produce at farmer’s market or at grocery stores that buy local produce and meats, poultry and fish. You’ll get food that is fresher and brought to market with less pollution because it’s transported much shorter distances than products often found in chain stores.

Adapted from this article

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