You would have to live in a cave to not have heard something about the recent worldwide Live Earth concert events (or the underlying issues of global warming and the environment that the events were raising awareness for). I caught some of the telecasts of the performances and PSA’s this past weekend (while also watching parts of the Princess Diana tribute concert recap and sniffling a little) and I have been thinking about some of the messages ever since. In the days following the events, I have also been really appalled to have seen a lot of negative news coverage of Live Earth and over all cynicism related to the issues at hand. This got me thinking, why is it that often times when someone attempts to do something good or raise awareness about a big problem we face, there are so many people out there that want to tear them down and look at the negative side of what they are doing? Why are there so many people out there that are skeptical about the issues surrounding global warming, despite the overwhelming evidence?
In viewing some of the coverage after the Live Earth events, I heard newscasters debating amongst themselves if there are even really things that we as humans can do to help the environment, or if it really is industrial pollution that is contributing to our poor air quality or if Al Gore is doing more damage to the earth by holding these events than he is good. Are you kidding me? I was appalled at the audacity that it took those people to say those things publicly. There are over 6.5 BILLION people living in the world today, there is NO question that we as humans can do numerous things to help the environment. After all, without us, would it have ever been damaged this badly to begin with? The first among those things is raising awareness, since there seem to be a lot of people who still choose to somehow believe that this isn’t a serious problem. That’s just what these concerts aimed to do, raise awareness and encourage each of us to make some changes.
The fact is, whether or not you like or support Al Gore, he is doing more for a cause that affects ALL of us, than most of us will do for any cause in our lifetimes. You don’t have to support his political beliefs, you don’t have to like him personally, you don’t even have to enjoy listening to a single performer that participated in the Live Earth concerts (although I’d find that pretty hard to believe, The Police, Kanye West and John Mayer on stage together has to appeal to a lot of people, right?). The simple truth to all of this is that global warming is doing extreme damage to the world we all call home, and we have the chance to stop this. If we don’t start listening to some of these warning signs and changing small things that we do in our every day lives, we will be the direct causes of creating a world that our grandkids cannot survive in, all the while them saying to themselves, ‘why didn’t anyone do anything to stop this?’ Here are 10 easy ways that we can make a difference, right now, every day.
10 EASY THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT:
1. Turn off your lights!! You’ve heard your mom say it to you a million times, when you leave a room, turn off the light. It saves energy and will save you money as well.
2. Drive efficiently. Make sure your tires are filled with air, you’ll use less gas. Carpool whenever you can. Ride your bike or walk whenever you can, in addition to helping the environment, you’ll be getting exercise!
3. Use reusable grocery bags. You can find them at any store for under $5 and you will avoid using so much plastic and paper. Less trash for our landfills.
4. Unplug your cell phone and computer chargers when you aren’t using them. This saves a ton of energy that is just being wasted.
5. If you can afford it, drive a hybrid. Most major car makers are making at least one kind of hybrid vehicle, take advantage of this, especially with gas prices these days.
6. Use less paper. Cut down on paper towel and napkin waste. Recycle your printer paper. Read the news online instead of in a newspaper.
7. If you live in a town that recycles bottles, plastic or other materials, USE this service! It’s easy, costs very little, and makes a big difference.
8. Support Green companies and products. Look for environmentally safe products, foods without pesticides, etc. There are tons of things out there to support the Green movement.
9. Use less A/C and Heat. Even if we all use 1 degree less of heat or A/C on a regular basis, it will make a difference.
10. JUST DO SOMETHING. There are hundreds of websites devoted to this cause these days, learn about what you can do, and make small changes to your life.
I’m not suggesting that everyone quit driving cars, stop using toilet paper, or never turn on a heater in the winter. Realistically, there are major changes in our lives that we likely will never make. But we don’t have to. There are simple, tiny things that we can do that will make virtually NO difference to us in our daily lives that will immensely help our world in the long term. You may not see the difference you as an individual are making, but think about if you, along with 6.5 billion of your closest friends, all did this stuff…the difference would be amazing. So I ask you, think about the things we so often take for granted and do something to make sure those things are here for future generations. It’s not too late to make changes for the better. We are all responsible for the planet we live on. Do something to help it.