What You Can Do
Ideas from What Can I Do? An Alphabet
by Lisa Harrow
What Can I Do? provides you with many suggestions for responsible living
as well as web resources that give detailed information on how to take each
step. Below are a few ideas from What Can I Do?
- Recycle your batteries. The batteries used in modern portable technology
release some appalling toxins when discarded or incinerated. The better alternative
is to recycle them.
- Buy shade-grown coffee. Coffee cultivated under a forest canopy preserves
the natural habitat needed for migratory songbirds and other creatures.
- Demand power from renewable energy sources. Call your utility company and
ask for it.
- Buy fresh, locally-grown produce. You can support your neighbors and know
where your food is coming from and what is happening to it. This also reduces
the amount of fuel needed to ship food around the country.
- Invest in socially responsible companies. Being a socially responsible investor
means investing in companies, products, and services that are economically,
environmentally, and socially responsible.
- Reduce the amount of energy you use to heat and cool your home. By turning
the thermostat down three degrees in the winter and up three degrees in the
summer, you will save the world nearly 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions
- Eat less meat. If each American ate two fewer meat dishes each week for a
year, the grain that otherwise would have been fed to feedlot animals would
be enough to feed 225 million people for that whole year.
- Use biodegradable cleaning products that lack harmful petrochemicals, phosphates,
and "active washing ingredients." White vinegar, for example, can
be used to help clean the laundry and to get bugs off plants.
- If you must use plastic, seek out alternatives to petroleum-based products.
Corn, wheat, peas and sugarcane can be used to make plastic that feels and
looks just like petroleum-based plastic but takes a month to compost instead
- Recycle. Each recycles beer can saves enough electricity to run a television
for three hours.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. They last up to thirteen times longer
than incandescent bulbs and use 75 percent less electricity to produce the
- Carry reusable shopping bags in your trunk in order to cut down on the amount
of on-time-use plastic bags.