Whether the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is near or far from where each of us lives, we are all affected, and we are all implicated by how we live our daily lives. And there is something positive anyone can do. Here are a few thoughts on how you might add to creating a change in how we use, or don't, the oil we demand but that can have such devastating effects.
If you live in one of the oil-spill-affected areas you can provide assistance by:
- Contact The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
- Contact Volunteer Florida Disaster
- Contact The National Audubon Society
- Contact Oil Spill Volunteers
If you do not live near the disaster areas, your support is still greatly needed in any of the following ways!
Spread the message:
- Take action by voicing your opinion to President Obama.
- Tell your friends to do the same by using our “Tell-A-Friend” page which appears after you submit your emails.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and repost to all of your friends.
As consumers, we depend on the use of oil. Now is the time to break that dependency and take a look at alternatives. These difficult economic times may not make purchasing solar panels for your home the most cost effective thing to do; however, there are ways to work toward using renewable energies:
- Experiment with your own lifestyle! Take a day, a week, or a month to share with family or friends when you decide to use limited or no energy. Bikes, candles, only battery power. See what it's like. And know that for that day, you have helped the environment by consuming less.
- Carbon Offsetting supports the development of renewable energy while empowering people to shrink their carbon footprint. Take a moment and calculate your own carbon footprint.
- Want to buy locally but don’t always have the option? Or do you regularly ship packages? Consider minimizing the carbon footprint for your online purchases and shipments.
- Some studies estimate the internet will be producing 20 percent of the world's greenhouse gases by 2020. If you have a website, look into solar-powered hosting services.
- Did you know that the heavier your car, the less fuel efficient is becomes? An extra 50 pounds burns one percent more fuel. Take out the stuff in your trunk!
- On average, your car’s tires lose 1 pound of pressure per square inch each month. If you don’t keep your tires properly inflated that can result in one extra tank of gas each year. Check your tires and the environment and your pocketbook will thank you.
- Over 2.5 billion gallons of gas are burned just by sitting in traffic and zero gallons are burned by riding your bike. Plus, you get the benefits of exercise and less the bumper to bumper frustration.
- About 4 percent of U.S. energy consumption comes from using our TVs. When purchasing your next TV, remember that LCD screens use half the amount of energy as plasmas.
- Over its lifetime, just one tree can absorb more than one ton of CO2. Choose a tree that is native to your location, grows fast and has a long life. Plant a tree!
- Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh laundry that was dried outside? Dryers can produce up to 1400 pounds of CO2 in one year alone. Use a clothesline when the weather is nice. (And if you live in an area where you can wear flipflops – do! Fewer socks to dry!)
- Junk the junk mail. The average person receives 11 pieces of junk mail per week, or 560 pieces a year (and the average person wastes 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail). That amounts to 4.5 million tons of junk mail each year with most going to the landfill unopened! This totals approximately 100 million trees being cut down.
- When searching on the internet consider using eco-friendly search engines such as Blackle, Green Maven or Ecocho.
- “Phantom Load of Electricity”: Even when not in use, electronics that are plugged in are still using electricity. It is estimated that this phantom electricity accounts for 75 million tons of CO2 every year. So consider pulling the plug on waste and unplug your electronics when you are not using them.
- We all know this, but do we all do it: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And then do it again!