What Have You Done For Me Lately?

It's a small step in the right direction toward preserving our planet's resources.

Some days the news is a little hard to take, full of reports about shootings, natural disasters, and drought. I thought I would write about it, but then I realized the topic seemed familiar. Check out this blog post I wrote two years ago this month.

Not much has changed, has it? The location of the shootings is different, that is about it. As for our weather, it only seems to get drier and hotter.

My observations and my advice then wouldn’t change now either. We know what needs to be done and we have many of the solutions at our fingertips, even more than we did two years ago. We know we need to move away from burning fossil fuels and turn our backs on carbon based energy sources in favor of solar and wind energy, and we need to power our cars in a cleaner way.

Two years ago, I wrote this: “We could conceivably just wake up one day and say “It starts today!” and make things different and BETTER for the environment. Stop polluting our air and water would be a good start. It may not change anything overnight, but imagine if one community or one city or one state got together and did the same thing. Imagine!”

So here we are, two years later. Time to take stock of what we’ve done for the planet in the last two years. Have you made those important small changes in your everyday living? Think about it.

It's a small step in the right direction toward preserving our planet's resources.

It’s a small step in the right direction toward preserving our planet’s resources.

Do you take your own reusable bags to the grocery store? OK, it’s a start, and something I’ve done.

Have you cut back on driving by using more public transit, biking or walking? I work from home one day a week, that’s a 20 percent cut in my commute every week.

Are you minimizing the use of air conditioning? Yes — I put in 10 inches of new insulation in my attic.

Have you stopped washing down oil and other pollutants into the stormdrains? I never did this.

Have you cut down on your landscape irrigation? I installed two gray water systems in my home.

Planted a tree or two? How about a few hundred?

There isn’t any reason you couldn’t have done all these simple things and more. None of them would make a major impact on your every day life, but these individual efforts added up make a huge difference in lessening human impact on the planet. None of these things require huge advances in technology either. We simply can’t wait for the day everyone can afford a Tesla, or have solar panels on their roof.

So many of the negative changes have happened in my lifetime, and even in the lifetime of my college age kids. Many positive changes could take place during this time just as easily. And either way, the same amount of time is going to go by. Why not do what you can, while you can? Let’s see where we are two years from now.