We all want to do our part to prevent climate change, right? We urgently need to act on many levels at once: personal, community, state/national/global, and keeping ourselves informed and inspired. These suggestions make it easy for you to decide what to do! These featured actions are brought to you by the Climate Action Group of the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence and are now also circulated at the Haydenville Congregational Church, the Co-op Power newsletter, and on the website of Climate Action Now, where an archive of past monthly actions is also available.
1. Personal: Use an electricity meter to find out which of your appliances are energy hogs. With the Kill-a-Watt Electricity Usage Meter or Watts Up Pro Electricity Consumption Meter, you plug any electric appliance into it and it’s easy to see how much energy is being used instantaneously or over a user-specified time period. You can see, for example, how much energy your TV consumes over a week. Both items are available on Amazon.com
2. Community: Plant fruit trees with other neighbors. Many fruit trees require more than one plant in order to pollinate. Why not plan with your neighbors to coordinate planting trees that will pollinate with each other? Local garden centers can advise on the best varieties for our region and how to get started.
3. State/National/Global: Learn here about a proposal for a Massachusetts Carbon Tax, spearheaded by the group Environmental Tax Reform. This much-needed proposal would make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to establish an economy-wide price on global warming pollution. Current efforts are focusing on convincing the Democratic gubernatorial candidates. If this effort excites you, go here to volunteer!
4. Inform yourself: The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued its updated Report on Climate Change. National Geographic website links below provide good summaries with links to the actual reports. Very worth checking out!
Part 1 issued Sept. 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis here
Part 2 issued March 2014: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability here
Part 3 issued April 2014: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change here