Little green actions DO count

Have you ever been laughed at for your green efforts? Have people ever poked fun when you wash out plastic food containers for reuse or fussed over your recycling? Have folks ever told you that your efforts will never make a difference?

Well, the joke, and responsibility, is now on them.

Next time you face this ridicule, either good natured or malicious; offer the following information to those who taunt you.

Carbon emission reduction strategies come in all shapes and forms, usually very expensive, but even if something could reduce the emissions of a nation by 5%, it’s big news. 

But how about an easily achieved 15% reduction? That would be incredible.

What about if it cost little to implement? That would be utterly amazing.

Congratulations, you’re probably already playing your part.

An analysis recently released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has revealed Americans can reduce U.S. carbon pollution by 15 percent – or one billion tons – through personal actions that require little to no cost (some can save you money too).

Some of the suggested actions include:

Nothing too strenuous or expensive there – in fact all bar one will save money!

Another example is cutting food waste. The NRDC analysis says if Americans collectively cut personal food waste in by 25%, this could avoid 65 million tons of greenhouse gases, around the level of emissions generated from 11 million cars – and again, another money saver! 

There’s a ton of other simple ideas throughout Green Living Tips and a bunch of bite-sized of ideas contributed by readers in the article “One Green Thing” that can help with reducing our personal carbon impact. One super-simple but important one that will save you money every time is use less of everything – particularly the stuff you don’t really need. Consider all non-essential purchases carefully (see my impulse buying reduction tips).

Of course, to achieve this incredible estimate 15% reduction, it requires full participation. The good news is, we don’t need to wait for governments to take decisive action. Remember Copenhagen? We might be waiting a while). We can spread this news to all who we meet.

Politely point out what can be achieved to those who tease you and say something along the lines of, “It can be done, but you need to be part of the solution too!”. If you get their interest, don’t overwhelm them with actions to take, just a little at a time – the longest journey starting with a single step and all that stuff :).