Do you drive to the store, or have your groceries delivered? If your answer is the latter, you have reason to cheer, for implementing one of the eco-friendly measures outlined in ‘50 Simple Steps to Save the Earth from Global Warming’ compiled by the Green Patriot Working Group (www.jaicobooks.com).
“The delivery vehicle will make multiple stops in your neighbourhood, reducing the number of miles driven overall, and relieving the streets of traffic jam-inducing and carbon-emitting cars,” the authors reason.
Another ‘green’ step is to look for fair trade, as a way to support ‘fair labour conditions, living wages, and improved quality of life to workers who might easily be exploited, and to protect environments and ecosystems that provide precious resources for the global community.’
Buy locally grown foods, advises one of the chapters in the book. “By buying locally produced foods, you reduce our global dependency on the jet fuel used to fly so many perishables around the world.” The authors inform that ‘food miles’ – the distances foods are transported – have steadily increased during the past 10 years and play a big part in effecting climate change.
An idea worthy of emulation is CSA (community supported agriculture) as a way for the food-buying public to create a relationship with a farm and to receive a weekly basket of produce. Apart from providing farm products to the members, some CSA farms require members to work a small number of hours on the farm during the growing season.
Use petrochemical-free household products, the authors urge. They suggest that instead of using floor cleaners and polishes that emit aromatic vapours from petroleum distillates, you can make your own effective cleaning products.
“One of the safest cleaning and disinfectant formulas is easily made by mixing 2 teaspoons of borax, 4 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar, and 3 to 4 cups of hot water. Pour the mixture into a refillable spray bottle. For stronger cleaning power, add ¼ teaspoon of liquid soap.”
Think of turning even your celebrations ‘green,’ the book invites. For instance, your choice of balloons – latex or mylar – can affect global warming. “Balloons made from latex – a naturally derived rubber which is extracted without harming the rubber tree – are 100 per cent biodegradable and break down as quickly as an oak leaf in similar conditions. Mylar, made from petroleum-derived polyester, takes hundreds of years to biodegrade.”
Even though global warming is generally seen as a ‘grown up’ topic, the authors are positive that if explained the right way, kindergarteners too can understand the concept.
They emphasise that any daily activity can be a teachable moment for learning the climate change dynamics and connections: ‘driving to school, eating a burger, throwing away a wrapper, watching a plane leave a contrail overhead, turning on a light switch or a computer.’