Last week, as expected, 45 withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement. The immediate response was for states and cities to ignore him and continue with their personal commitment to sustainability. I'm starting to think ignoring this "President" as much as possible is probably the best way to deal with him. So, how about you? How can we follow the lead of our states and cities and commit to a cleaner environment. The group that has the GREATEST impact on climate change is consumers. It's a power we are slow to grasp, and even slower to leverage, but the truth is corporations are extremely responsive to consumer demand. So let's ignore politics and focus on influencing corporations for a moment. I've waited a long time for a strong consumer activism wing of the Left to take shape. Let this nightmare presidency be what starts it. When you feel powerless politically, take charge as a consumer. We have a lot of buying power, let's use it and lead the way. Let's start today with
7 Pillars of a Personal Paris Climate Agreement:
1) What does bottled water have to do with this regime? It's all about oil. Bottled water requires 15 MILLION gallons of oil in ONE YEAR to meet demand. A lot of that money flows directly into the pockets of 45 and his oil-buddy regime. There is no excuse for buying bottled water. Just say no.
2) Coffee cups. These are another hazard to the environment. Most of the time they're not recyclable because of the plastic lining, and some studies show that lining is toxic to humans as well. It's time for Starbucks and others to find a better solution. Write to Starbucks, tweet them, call them, and ask them to lead the way on a sustainable coffee cup. They are our best shot because the CEO is awesome. ADDITIONALLY, start bugging your favorite coffee shop: Do they have for-here cups people can ask for and a price incentive? Suggest it! Do they recycle and have bins for what can be recycled? Demand it! Do they do a garbage sort at the end of the night and pull out recyclables? Educate them! Start a petition, write letters, tweet them, or all of the above.
3) Energy companies are starting to offer wind/solar like never before. Check into your local utility company and SIGN UP! Mine (Excel) is offering wind/solar and I signed up immediately. It was quick, easy, and just as cheap. If your local electric company is not offering these options, ask for them.
4) Always recycle electronics and hazardous waste responsibly. Always. Google your area. My state has great resources like Tech Dump. Your state probably has something.
5) It's summer and that means lawn chemicals. We just have to get over this idea that it's more important to poison your lawn and your environment than it is to be able to enjoy a toxic-free lawn. Lawns are the epitome of unsustainability. It's time for a cultural shift! If you're obsessive about dandelions, go out and pull them, or try a non-toxic weed-killer (google it) but educate yourself about the toll of toxic weed killer and fertilizers in the watershed, and in our wildlife and in our bloodstreams, not to mention the link between canine cancer and lawn chemicals (even if it's your neighbor using them). It's time to get out of the 50's. No more lawn chemicals. Bonus: No more support of giant chemical companies!
6) Bike, walk, carpool. We can do this. It's a hard one, but we CAN cut down on our national single-car commuting habit.
7) It's time for consumers to demand environmentally-friendly cars that are affordable. The technology is there. It's the car manufacturers as well as oil companies that don't want these mass-produced. Write, tweet, advocate for an affordable high-efficiency car.
That's a good place to start. For more ideas check the Backyard Activism page, and, as always, don't forget to join the Resistance boycott at grabyourwallet.org.