“We have to re-think our relationship with our environment” –Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth.
Former US presidential candidate, Al Gore is creating a powerful global momentum for climate change. His film, An Inconvenient Truth, was released in cinemas in Australia in September. It is both vigorously scientific and quite personal. It draws strong and frightening conclusions about our future, yet engenders hope, empowerment and the will to act. An Inconvenient Truth is ultimately a call to action for all human beings. How will we respond?
We asked five individuals who are actively re-thinking their relationship with the environment. We asked them what are some of the most important things to do THIS WEEK to lighten our environmental footprint.
Corporate social responsibility body
Models of Success and Sustainability, MOSS
Founder, Anne-Maree Huxley.
Convener of the 2006 Corporate Social Responsibility Summit.
- Take responsibility for your own emissions and become carbon neutral. Go to www.greenfleet.com.au, calculate your own private impact and buy trees to offset it. You can do this personally for your own car, your holidays even your business.
- Switch to green power.
- Keep your old car. The thought of a new hybrid is very appealing; however, the emissions from making your new car are greater than the impact of keeping your old car (so long as it’s serviced regularly and in good condition).
- Make “sustainable” investments: www.eia.org.au
- Stop being a stuffologist. Did you know some 30 tonnes of waste are produced for every one tonne of product that reaches us? And that 98% of these products are either consumed or thrown away within six months. When you include the hidden impact of manufacturing, we each consume our own body weight in materials every two days – so think twice before you buy – ask yourself if you really need it!
Steven Harris, National Manager Environmental Markets
“In Australia the single biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emission pollution is the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity. Therefore the biggest impact a consumer can have is to reduce their greenhouse gases associated with electricity.”
- Use less. This does not mean going without or reducing your comfort levels. There are many things that can be done. Here are just a couple of low cost suggestions:
- Changing the light globes in the house to compact fluorescent globes can save 10% of your energy.
- Use cold water for clothes washing rather than hot water.
- Replace the old high volume shower heads with AAA rated shower heads.
- Close the curtains on windows to stop heat escaping in winter and entering in summer and turn the thermostat down on the heater in winter.
- Low voltage down-lights do not mean low energy usage. They use as much energy as normal globes and you generally need more of them to light the same area.
- Change to Green Power. This can be done for as little as $1 week. Look for the green tick to ensure you are getting the real thing.
- Offset your natural gas emissions by buying carbon offsets.
- Replace your electric water heater with a solar water heater.
- Support companies that are doing the right thing by the environment. Write to the CEO and express you appreciation. You have no idea how positive support is to encouraging companies to continue down the path to better voluntary environmental practices. And buy their products.
Energy healer & human design analyst
- Surrender to my inner guidance every second of the day, as my inner guidance would always want to support the planet.
- Consistently stay true to my uniqueness, and support everyone else in doing the same, as when we are true to our ‘true selves’ our lives are less complicated, and that can only help to reduce the environmental footprint.
- Express my gratitude to the planet and those who support me. Gratitude is a powerful healing energy.
- Hold in my heart that every person I heal represents the planet; so it to receives the healing.
- Offer love and healing to the planet in my meditation practice
Vastu and Feng Shui Architect
“The most powerful single thing to reduce your imprint long term is a change in your personal consciousness. The importance of being environmentally aware in your home is that is begins to align you with being environmentally aware of the world at large, it is this consciousness change in your self that can and does affect thousands of people around you and then thousands around them. This is what really makes the difference.”
- Sustainable change comes from the grass roots will, not imposed by government legislation or media guilt. The ancient wise ones of China and the indigenous peoples of America both expounded the need to honour our ancestors and to understand we are mere custodians of the future. They said we each one of us (not just our governments) need to look at EVERY decision we make with the view to what impact will this have on the next seven generations! Oh that our politicians would think like this.
- Become a vegetarian and evolve our species.
“Nothing will benefit human health or increase the chances for survival of life on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Albert Einstein.
The most environmentally powerful thing to do in your own home is to become a vegetarian or at least give up beef and fish, and markedly reduce your footprint three times a day for the rest of your life! This will radically reduce your drain on the world’s resources incredibly. It takes a lot of the world resources to grow and feed cows and the like. Most of the grain grown in the USA is grown to feed to cows for beef production.
- Insulate and ventilate yourself and your home at the same time. Insulate yourself instead of heating your home, put on a jumper, cool yourself instead of your home, use fresh air ventilation including ceiling fans, instead of air conditioning. As a species we have and are increasingly becoming less able to manage our own body temperatures and so have become very intolerant of changes in temperature. Tasmanian Aborigines chose not to wear cloths so as to remain in touch with the dreaming – so take off your shoes or wear thongs or sandals and cool down! Seal all the gaps in your home from draughts (around windows and doors) and thoroughly insulate your home to a high level.
- Stay at home: give up or limit air travel (learn to astral travel instead).
- Plant a lemon tree (or two) – this one’s from my guru, Swami Maheshwaranada. Lemons can be used for all sorts of green cleaning in your home, eg: for washing dishes cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the water and use the used portion of the lemon as your scourer or sponge.
Head of Energy Campaign
- Tell my brother and sister about the movie, An Inconvenient Truth.
- Make commitment how to figure out a way to reduce my addiction to my car.
- Enquire if we get solar heating installed – 40% of a household’s electricity needs are spent in boosting the hot water system.
- Write letter to my local MP – ask them what are they doing about Australia’s embarrassing (and inconvenient) truth. Are they taking us into a clean energy future?
- Have a look at where my superannuation or investments are invested – switch to ethical investments.
Consultant and writer
- Recycle all food waste through a worm farm (most compost bins become putrid anaerobic waste).
- Choose organically grown, grass-fed meat, eggs, and dairy always, and organic grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables as often as possible. This has an impact far greater than the quality of the food consumed alone. Ask how it is that farm workers and their families have the highest incidence of leukaemia and other cancers?
- Wherever possible use the whole plant or as much of the animal as you can. Take on the wartime attitude that had people find inventive ways to use everything they had and to waste very little.
Simple stuff you can do on the web…
Watch the film: An Inconvenient Truth
Take your family along to the movie.
Become Carbon Neutral
A really simple way to calculate the carbon emissions you produce each year. You can then choose to have trees planted on your behalf to counter your impact.
Sign a petition
See a map of people around Australia who care about climate change and put yourself there. The electronic petition is sent to our politicians.
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