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Yardley Voice – Simple Things to Reduce your Environmental Footprint

Yardley Voice – Going Green Solar Column – November 2012

by Mark Bortman

Hey you! You with the turkey!

Yeah, it’s that time of year. Time to take a step back and think about the things for which we should be thankful but which we usually take for granted.

Let’s face it – the impact that people have had on the natural environment is huge and getting bigger. This impact has been growing ever faster over the past 50 years as population growth and consumption levels have accelerated.

If this continues, the ability of the natural resources to be able to fulfill the demand will eventually be overrun. The clean water that sustains life, the clean air that vital for health, the diversity of plants and animals throughout our ecosystems are important elements that we should be thankful for.

Unfortunately, too many of us don’t think about them – we just assume that they will always be there.

Many natural resources are finite. Once they are used up or ruined, they are gone forever. It may not happen in our lifetimes, but if the rate of change that we’ve seen recently continues, it may well happen in our children’s or grandchildren’s lifetime.

Although people may think that they can’t make a difference, that is not the case. Just as one raindrop is not responsible for the flood, a flood of small actions will bring about big results.

Fortunately, there are many simple things you can do to reduce your environmental footprint and live more sustainably:

  • Increase your insulation
  • Turn down your heat
  • Think about what you buy and whether you really need it
  • Compost
  • Re-use what you can;
  • Carpool
  • Plant native plants in landscaping
  • Use cloth towels and napkins instead of paper
  • Install low-flow showerheads
  • Refill water bottles
  • Keep tires inflated, car tuned-up

If everyone does his part, we’ll be sure to have our natural resources for many generations and that is something to be thankful for.

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