There are many ways you can get involved in reducing the effects of climate change on our world. Below are some ECO-TIPS for how to lower your own carbon / environmental footprint. Stay tuned to this page as I will be adding additional tips and links to organizations that are doing amazing work on the climate crisis and protecting our environment and health. Some of these are NYC-centric links but check your own city’s websites for similar local events and organizations.
ECO-TIPS – for a better you and a better planet
Clean-up-the-beach day! – Every Autumn, The American Littoral Society hosts a New York State beach-cleaning event. The one for this year has passed (it’s usually the third Saturday of September) but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a stretch of beach, park or street near you to clean up this week! Check out their website and learn about how they strive to protect our coasts and marine life from harm. If you don’t live in New York, see if your town has a similar clean-up-the-beach or river or park day.
Conserve Water! We may not currently be experiencing a drought here on the East Coast – but why waste a precious resource? Turn water off when brushing your teeth or soaping up your dishes. Check out Ten Gallons A Day to learn about a couple in drought-struck Santa Fe that has reduced their water usage to just ten gallons a day. To Note: the average person uses about 80-100 gallons a day!
Offset your carbon footprint! Taking a trip to a far-off location? Whether traveling for work or play, by car, plane or boat, you can offset your carbon footprint with companies like Terrapass who will invest your pennies in renewable resources or plant trees to absorb our excess carbon dioxide that’s contributing to climate change. Many airlines also offer the option to buy offsets when you buy tickets. Just look for the handy links on their websites after you purchase your flight.
Be a tree steward! The city of New York had a campaign to plant over 1 million trees and they met their goal in November 2015 two years ahead of schedule! Visit MillionTreesNYC.org to learn about the project and how you can help take care of the trees around the city with MTNYC or sign up for the Human Impact Institute’s Tree Care Tuesdays!
Buy Local Produce! Locate and join a CSA in NYC (community supported agriculture) or find and visit the local NYC farmer’s markets in your neighborhood. Although not all small regional farms are certified organic, many use few, if any, pesticides.
Compost! See if your local greenmarket or community garden collects food scraps to turn into rich compost! It will also save a lot of garbage from going into landfills. Composting also saves a lot of garbage from going into landfills. Store food scraps in the freezer or fridge in paper bags or reusable plastic containers until drop-off days . Paper bags can even go right into the compost bins.
– Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and UPCYCLE! Most of us have gotten in the habit of recycling most things but do you know NYC also collects textiles? Many of us can also try harder on the Reducing and Reusing bit: Carry a reusable bag to avoid needing a plastic bag at stores. Bring your own “Tupperware” for leftovers at restaurants. Create art from your trash like the cool artists of Project Vortex. Check out these other nifty upcycling ideas.
– Do you really need that fluffy quilted Charmin toilet paper? Must your employer buy virgin paper for the copy machine? Worldwide, over 270,000 trees are flushed or dumped in landfills daily! (10% of that is TP!) Go green! and buy recycled TP, paper towels, and paper products. Or take it one step further: use cloth towels or sponges, and when possible, avoid copying or printing out on paper (at least make sure you use 2-sided copying). Make a pledge to see if you can reuse everything at least once before recycling or throwing it away.Make notepads out of the backs of junk mail, x-mas ornaments from foil etc. Make it a family contest to see who can produce the least amount of garbage in a week or month!
Support Wildlife Conservation! Did you hear about the recent Audubon study that found that by 2080 more than 1/2 of American bird species will be affected by climate change? Make a donation to groups like the World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy or the Audubon Society that are working to advance policies to fight climate change and protect and preserve wildlife and our natural world. Get involved in local chapters of these groups. Found out what climate disruptions are affecting the wildlife in your region. Join the Audubon Christmas bird watch!