Reading or watching news about climate change can turn into a bummer really fast. It seems like all the news is bad, and it seems like the United States isn’t doing quite enough to try and combat it. That’s tough when top leaders won’t even acknowledge climate change exists and is caused by humans, but that’s another matter entirely.
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If you see the headlines, it’s easy to think that there’s nothing you personally can do to preserve the planet’s natural resources. It’s easy to think it’s hopeless and you might as well give up. Well, it’s not, and you shouldn’t. There’s still plenty of things you can do on your own, with or without support from the federal government.
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You don’t even have to leave your house to make a difference. Think about the dishes you use on a day-to-day basis. Are they mostly reusable ones that you wash, or do you rely heavily on paper plates? Ditch the paper plates. Yes, washing dishes can be a pain, but it’s better than throwing away paper plates. And while paper plates can be recycled, paper plates with food on them cannot. To make the whole thing more fun, go shopping for new dishes. Once you find some unique dinnerware that you really love, you’ll be happy to use those plates and bowls on a regular basis.
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If you don’t already, you should also have a recycling bin somewhere in your house, ideally in or close to the kitchen. If you drink a lot of soda or beer, you can recycle the plastic cans. In fact, most cities who provide recycle bins also include a list of acceptable items taped to the lid.
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Read it and follow the rules. If one recycling bin isn’t enough, get a second one. Yes, it takes a bit more effort, but it’s the good kind of effort. Think of all the materials you’re not sending to a landfill as motivation.
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And while the federal government is slow to recognize the effects of climate change, plenty of state and local governments are not. Several cities and states have pledged to stick to the terms of the Paris Agreement, which has the potential to do plenty of good. Find out when your local city council meets and go to a few meetings. There’s usually an allotted amount of time for comment from the public, so feel free to make some suggestions.
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Perhaps your street could benefit from Sompor solar street light systems that are more energy efficient. Maybe you like the city’s recycling program but think it could expand to include more materials. If your city has a public transit system, ask if they’ve looked into purchasing hybrid or electric buses.
It’s alarmingly easy to feel helpless in the wake of bad news about the planet. Unfortunately, feeling helpless is rarely productive. Yes, there are major changes to the country’s environmental policies that only the federal government can make, but that doesn’t mean you can just throw up your hands and wait for a new administration to come into power. Do what you can for your corner of the world, and it will likely encourage others in the community to follow suit. That’s a whole lot better than nothing.