There are a couple of things that I try to do to help in little ways. Now that I live in Atlanta, I have MARTA available to me, and I try to use it as often as I can. For the first 2 months I was working in Midtown (about 45 minutes from my house) I rode MARTA to work every day. Then I had a minor setback about a month ago (that’s a whole other post), so I really need to start taking MARTA on a daily basis again. I also use MARTA to get to the airport. Not only is that one less car on the road, but then I don’t have to pay exorbitant airport parking fees!
Another thing that I do it try to reduce my paper waste. This actually helps with preventing climate change a lot. From the EPA’s website:
How can certain waste management strategies reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
Waste prevention and recycling—jointly referred to as waste reduction—help us better manage the solid waste we generate. But preventing waste and recycling also are potent strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Together, waste prevention and recycling:
- Reduce methane emissions from landfills. Waste prevention and recycling (including composting) divert organic wastes from landfills, thereby reducing the methane released when these materials decompose.
- Reduce emissions from incinerators. Recycling and waste prevention allow some materials to be diverted from incinerators and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of waste.
- Reduce emissions from energy consumption. Recycling saves energy. Manufacturing goods from recycled materials typically requires less energy than producing goods from virgin materials. Waste prevention is even more effective at saving energy. When people reuse things or when products are made with less material, less energy is needed to extract, transport, and process raw materials and to manufacture products. The payoff? When energy demand decreases, fewer fossil fuels are burned and less carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere.
- Increase storage of carbon in trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in wood, in a process called “carbon sequestration.” Waste prevention and recycling of paper products allow more trees to remain standing in the forest, where they can continue to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
One of my favorite ways to reduce paper waste is something that I’ve adopted at work, and I’ve actually had another co-worker start doing this as well! We have SO MUCH paper waste that comes off the copier, and while a lot of it does go into the recycling bin, I’ve come up with a better use for this paper.
I take the paper, cut it in half, and then create a notebook from the paper! I use a binder clip to hold everything together which works fantastically – not only does it keep things together better than a paper clip, but then I can remove sheets individually as if I were tearing them off of a pad (something I couldn’t do if I used a stapler).
It’s so simple, and I’ve had co-workers bring me their scrap paper to “refill” my notebook (hence the large stack of loose paper on my desk). This is SO SIMPLE, but it really does make a difference. My goal is to create a trend and get everyone on board with this idea. It would sure save us some cost in office supplies if we didn’t need to by note pads!
There are so many fantastic ways to make small changes in your everyday life that will help us to keep our air clear, our ozone in tact, and our planet healthy. I’m so glad that Blog Action Day 2009 is focused on this vital issue, and I hope that as bloggers we can make a difference in the world by our posts today.
What small things are you doing to help our environment? I’d love to hear your ideas to give them a try!