June Featured Climate Actions

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 this site, where an archive of past monthly actions is also available.

1. Personal: Lower the temperature setting on your hot water tank to 120°. This will save you around $16/month. “Water heating is the second largest energy hog in your home, accounting for 14% to 18% of your household’s total energy costs — between $400 and $600 per year. (Heating and cooling is the #1 energy hog.) If the thermostat on your water heater doesn’t have a numbered gauge, put it midway between the “low” and “medium” marks. Keep in mind that some water heaters have two thermostats — one for the bottom heating element and one for the top”. For more info, click here.

2. Community: There’s been lots about climate change in the news lately: melting Antarctic glaciers, Keystone XL pipeline, Tennessee gas pipeline, and a string of new reports on climate change….what are your thoughts on these issues? Bring these topics up for conversations with friends, and if you’re inspired, join with a friend to write a letter to the editor or to your elected officials.

3. State/National/Global: Avoid products containing palm oil or palmitate. Palm oil plantations have become one of the world’s leading causes of rainforest destruction. Not only is palm oil production a major global driver of human induced climate change, but it involves widespread human rights violations and imperils critically threatened orangutans.

4. Inform yourself: Learn more about the problem of palm oil plantations at http://ran.org/palm-oil. The FAQ link on this page includes additional actions you can take on this issue.