5 Eco-Friendly Actions For A Greener Independence Day
Editor’s Note: It might surprise you to hear me say this, but I’m proud to be an American. James Baldwin once said, “I love America more than any other country in this world; and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually,” and that pretty much sums up my thoughts on the subject as well. If you feel, as I do, that Americans have an obligation to demand more responsible behavior from our leaders and fellow citizens, here are some truly patriotic actions you can take this Independence Day.
There will be hundreds of articles and blog posts on how you can host an environmentally-friendly 4th of July celebration, and they are important reminders of how our impact should be considered first in all that we do.
But if you believe that in order to have a truly green country, we must tear down the walls of inaction and deception that permeate through our society, choosing compostable cups and eco-friendly fireworks just isn’t going to cut it.
Here are 5 ways you can make a difference that won’t go up in smoke as soon as the long weekend is over:
1. No New Offshore Drilling! Urge President Obama to enact a permanent ban on all new offshore oil and gas exploration and development.
2. Break Through the Politics and Tell Congress to Act on Climate Change: Please tell President Obama and Carol Browner, Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Policy, that we need their leadership to break this impasse and ensure that Congress passes comprehensive climate and energy legislation this year.
3. Invest in Public Transit: One-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States can be attributed to the transportation sector. But by choosing public transportation over a car, a single person can reduce his or her carbon footprint by 30 percent – that’s 4,800 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
4. Save America’s National Parks! U.S. national parks suffer from a $580-million annual operating shortfall and a backlog of maintenance projects that exceeds $9 billion. Send a letter urging Congress to invest in America’s national parks by saving the National Park Service’s funding.
5. Admit Your Oil Addiction, and Join Petroholics Anonymous: What if beating the addiction was simply a matter of making different choices; choices that have been available to us all along, but actively and intentionally obscured by the dealers who don’t want us to see them?