Earth day - GBRI

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Accelerating at an Accelerating Rate Describes Global Carbon Emissions 

Faster! Faster! That is the cry of a child in a go-cart picking up speed while racing down a hill or the spin instructor giving instructions to exercisers on stationary bikes. In those cases, “faster” is good. However, when the same words are used to describe the rate of global carbon emissions, it’s not so good. Of course, we have the Environmental Protection Agency, and a slew of federal, state, city, and county laws, and innumerable public service campaigns, so carbon emission rates are not our concern. Right?

Well, not so fast. Let’s face it, at times the U.S. public gets a bit complacent about “green” topics because people are bombarded on a daily basis about global warming, protecting natural resources, and carbon emissions. Perhaps, complacent is not the right word. Immune or perhaps numb are better ones. Either way it means people stop listening, when actually they should be listening more intently.

For example, China and the U.S. take top honors for being carbon emitters. That is not an honor any country wants to earn. While looking at pictures of Beijing encased in a cloud of pollution, many Americans say, “Whew, glad I don’t live there.” Yet, many Americans do live “there” because they work and play in heavily populated areas, where millions of vehicles are on the road every day, or in industrial areas. 

So Much Smarter

In 2011, China was responsible for 29 percent of carbon emissions and the U.S. for 16 percent. The European Union accounted for 11 percent, India for 6 percent, Russia for 5 percent, and Japan for 4 percent. Two countries, China and the U.S., account for 45 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. The urge to shout “No! No!” is irresistible upon reading these kinds of statistics. There has been a bit of good news, in that CO2 emissions have fallen in the U.S. by 13 percent since 2007, outpacing other industrial countries. They fell by 1.8 percent in 2012. Yet, as is true for most statistics, when you peak behind the curtain, the truth emerges. U.S. vehicles still get the worst gas mileage compared to vehicles in other developed countries. We still get 93 percent of our energy from non-renewable sources. And worst yet, there is a suspicion that a lot of the reduction in energy consumption and, thus, CO2 emissions is due to economics. The price of energy, and not a concern for the environment, is driving consumption down.

As a nation, we are smarter than this. Converting to natural gas is contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions, but it is not enough. It takes a concerted effort to lower emissions, like stepping up the pace of electric car R&D, developing large-scale alternative energy sources, increasing the number of LEED certified buildings, and strengthening government regulations concerning recycling, industrial pollution, and vehicle inspections.

However, let’s be perfectly clear about this: carbon emissions are not a U.S. government problem. They are a “We, the people” problem. Each person must take responsibility for their carbon footprint at home and at work. Small acts, like recycling, keeping vehicles tuned up, using alternative transportation like a bicycle, conserving electricity, and insulating the home, do count.

Make It 7 Billion

That is why Earth Day is such an important event. Celebrated this year on April 22, Earth Day activities are designed to inform and energize populations to care about their carbon footprint and their impact on the earth. The emphasis of Earth Day this year is on greening schools, promoting environmental education, accelerating the global conversation between government and consumers, and discussing economic opportunities related to green businesses.  But the one we particularly like is the Billion Acts of Green because it puts the focus on you and you and you and you…and me. Each of us can contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions in our own way and in our own local environments.

So here is the question: What can you do to stop the acceleration of carbon emissions? After all, it’s your air too.

Giveaway Rules:

1.  Leave a comment that pertains to the blog to be entered into the drawing for your chance to win an iPad mini or unlimited access course packages through GBRI.

2. The more comments you leave the better your chances are to win. But please only one comment per day.

3. All winners will be contacted on April 29th by 1:00 pm ET by email, so make sure you leave all your comments for this blog before then.

Good Luck!

  • les yager  April 15, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Early education of our children is beneficial to future generations. Greening Schools is definitely one method to accomplish this goal.

  • Kate Baumann  April 15, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Continue to develop and market sustainable roofing systems such as GreenGrid vegetative roofing systems.

  • Laurie Ollis  April 15, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Educate! Educate! Educate!
    Ride bikes to work and or walk.

  • Ryan Oshlo  April 15, 2013 at 9:17 am

    We the people to to educate the children of this country. If they grow up with these things in mind, instead of just playing video games all day, perhaps they will make the strong push in the future to bring about the changes in the environment that are needed for this world to survive. Smarter children will also in turn provide more scientific and technological breakthroughs that are needed to improve the quality of life for people in the US and all over the world.

  • Shelly Woodall  April 15, 2013 at 9:18 am

    More emphasis should be placed on reducing our consumption vs. recycling. Promote a “buying fast”, even if just for one day . . . Earth Day, April 22.

  • Peggy Robinson  April 15, 2013 at 9:20 am

    People are simple creatures. Make it simple by providing separate and clearly marked recycling bins in your office. The amount of waste that goes to landfills is staggering. Divert!!

  • Anthony Khalil  April 15, 2013 at 9:20 am

    There are many things we can do as individuals to reduce our overall carbon impact such as ride sharing, using energy star rated appliances in our homes, growing our own food or buying locally grown produce. But what it is really going to take is a major shift in our thinking, where we break free from the consumer mentality and evaluate our options and make decisions based on criteria other than the impact on our personal finances. We need to include the environmental impact of our decisions in our decision making process. Otherwise the only way it is going to happen is if the environmentally friendly option just happens to also be the least expensive option.

  • Sarah Colandro  April 15, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Converting to natural gas may save CO2 emissions, but the process of obtaining natural gas (fracking or hydraulic fracturing) is poisoning our water table and leaving a huge mess for the environments in which it is done. We can each contact our local congressmen & senators to ask that this harmful process be eliminated and cleaner processes put into place. All it takes is one email, letter or phone call….


  • Philip Richard  April 15, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Carpooling is an excellent way to reduce the amount of single occupant drivers on the road, which helps reduce both traffic and GHG emissions.

  • J.T.Wyatt  April 15, 2013 at 9:31 am

    One of the greatest things we have as an American is the decision of choice. The decision of improving our environment is left to each of us soley, we have control. One of the tools that can be used in helping us in making the right choice, as to how we want to live our lives, is as simple as the Tripple Bottom Line (TBL). There must be balance between the Social, Environment, and Economic needs, our divisions of how we live and what we purchase and the impact it has on theTBL. All we need to do is just take the time to think of how our dicision today will impact our environment and the capabilities of the next generation to live their lives. We need to make informed decisions to help us fine the sweet spot of the TBL where all is in balance and we have reached Sustainability.

  • D Bell  April 15, 2013 at 9:32 am

    The text implies that carbon reductions based on economics are inferior to morality based reductions. In reality, economics need to be leveraged to reach the goals. It’s the most powerful tool at our disposal.

  • D Johnson  April 15, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Reduce, reuse, recycle!

  • Tom  April 15, 2013 at 9:41 am

    As Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see.” Make a habit of choosing to drive less, turn out the lights, buy less-packaged foods and other items.

  • mountainshack  April 15, 2013 at 9:44 am

    16% we can do better

  • JLJ  April 15, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Work to make reducing carbon emissions “easy” without a premium cost – the less people have to think about how to reduce carbon emissions and the lower the impact of these reduction actions to their wallets, the more likely they will be act on reducing carbon emissions. Products need to be developed to be low in carbon emissions without being higher in cost than products they’ replace. Products need to be developed that become the “default” to use due to their quality, cost, and performance. Plus, finding a way to educate without preaching would go a long way to converting people to thinking about this issue.

  • Holley  April 15, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Buy local produce.

  • Suzanne Boyd  April 15, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I agree that education regarding ways to reduce carbon emissions should should start early in local schools to help educate the future generations on the importance of this global topic. Although high-level Federal, and Provincial laws are greatly important, small personal changes on an individual level will invoke a level of pride from personal contribution, while increasing awareness to the global issues we are facing! Car-pooling/public transit, purchasing smart-vehicles (more fuel efficient or even electric cars), better insulating our homes to reduce energy consumption, and recyling or donating goods (or finding creating ways for reuse) instead of sending to the landfill are all methods that can help the greater picture!

  • Barbara Clarke  April 15, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Unwrap goods that you think are over-packaged at the counter and ask the store to dispose of the waste responsibly. It may seem dramatic but it’ll get your point across, encouraging stores to stock responsibly packaged alternatives.

  • Jean-Marie Arelt  April 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Live a little smaller and more simply – our culture is based on hyper-consumerism, which is creating an endless need for the latest and greatest consumer goods or measuring our status based on the biggest car or house. When we as a society measure worth in other ways than on appearance, change can happen more readily. I bought a Prius over ten years ago, I have recycled for over 20 years and have been designing sustainable projects for over 15 years. I am still surprised every time I go to the store with my cloth bags and see the volume of plastic bags being used and to the pump and see the mammoth cars pulling up and wonder, “when will Americans really get cause and effect? When will it become a personal action that they take every day to make change happen?”

  • Sherry Anderson  April 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Shop local! Local products didn’t travel great distances to reach you, thus reducing their carbon footprint. Support your community farmer, artisan, builder etc.

  • Benny Low  April 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    It is important to change one’s own lifestyle, but it is also equally important to actively educate and encourage people around you about sustainable practices. Help others be aware that the little changes go a long way!

  • RJW  April 15, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    The eyes of the world are upon the US, and it is incumbent upoon us to set a positive example of environmental stewardship.

  • shawn  April 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    i’m an american and i love earth day. being green is a lifestyle change.
    unfortunately, i think the only solution is by increasing the price of energy.

  • KelleyGreen  April 15, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Today, I slowed down. By slowing down, I was able to be more efficient in my use of resources: I used my time (human resource) more wisely; I used less electricity because I was not so preoccupied with “multi-tasking” (therefore, fewer rooms entered and exited, fewer lights turned on and off, fewer electronic gadgets fired up at once); I used less petroleum/gasoline because I was able to drive at a reasonable pace (not rushing!) and ergo help my car use gas at a more optimal rate (I have such fun playing games with my Prius on-board mpg monitor – trying to best myself each day!). When I slow down, I stress less, breathe more easily, and believe that I’m contributing to a more healthy and sustainable world.

  • Mountainshack  April 16, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Keep and promote federal incentives for green building design & construction. Make it a no brainer for owners to go the extra step.

  • Anthony Khalil  April 16, 2013 at 8:11 am

    It seems that many of the products that we purchase today are produced with consideration being given to first cost only. This leads us to have to purchase and repurchase the same item over and over. These products require precious resources and large amounts of energy to manufacture and are entering the waste stream after a couple years of use. If the products we use were manufactured with life cycle in mind they would undoubtedly have a higher initial cost, but life cycle cost would make up for that and the cost on the environment would be greatly reduced.

  • Courtney Macfarlane  April 16, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Make EVERY day an EARTH Day!!

    Small actions everyday make a big impact; recycling, keeping vehicles tuned up, using alternative transportation like a bicycle, conserving electricity, and insulating the home.

  • changeisneeded  April 16, 2013 at 9:46 am

    it would be great if we, the ‘green’ people (actually would probably have to include the government aspect) could offer incentives to businesses that would truly follow green use and recycling strategies, other than just an award listed in the local paper. unfortunately, i am an employee of such an office and it is very frustrating to be shrugged off with ideas to help this place become more sustainable. i am trying to help bring about change, but i’m afraid much won’t change here until they see a ‘benefit’ for themselves…besides the obvious reward we see.

  • Holley  April 16, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Carry reusable shopping bags in your car and use them in lieu of paper or plastic.

  • Sandra M  April 16, 2013 at 11:45 am

    We need environmental education that shows kids and adults the consequences of their daily and long-tem decisions. We need to understand the lifecycle of all materials we consume and use and their impact on the environment. Like how importing produce needs more transportation than locally found produce or the need to recycle to lessen the demand of raw materials.

  • Bill Christensen  April 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    As a long time ‘greenie’ I can certainly attest to the numbing effects that over exposure to the Green Message can have on people – sometimes even including myself! After a while, it begins to feel like you’re listening to brainwashed zealots – which has the exact opposite effect than the one desired.

    How many articles are there on the internet telling you the wonders of switching to compact flourescent bulbs or any number of other perfectly valid suggestions which have more or less become beating a dead horse? (Worse yet is that the majority of those articles are are so basic that they don’t even get into the details, for instance in the case of CFLs that they’re best not used in situations where they’re cycled frequently?). We need depth, not cheerleading.

    The problem is that only a certain percentage of the population is going to make a change just because it’s the right thing to do. Far more will do it because it makes their life easier, or saves them money (in a short enough time span) or saves them time. The world is so huge, and the problems so enormous that it seems to many that their little efforts don’t really count.

    So when you give your Earth Day talk this year, challenge your listeners by going beyond the Green 101-level. Give them something they can really chew on. Make the big connections, so that your listeners will understand that their actions and choices really DO have an effect.

  • Sherry Anderson  April 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Design more buildings with green roofs. green roofs are known to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. By lowering air conditioning demand, green roofs can decrease the production of associated air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Vegetation can also remove air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions through dry deposition and carbon sequestration and storage.

  • jan  April 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    educate educate educate

    I just visited a showroom and parked beside a big ford truck idling with no one inside!
    As I left the showroom, some 20 minutes later the truck was still there still idling.

  • Chris M  April 17, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Educate! This is a “we the people” problem! Great article. Ride your bike today help reduce your carbon emissions and lose a few pounds in the process :)

  • Barbara Clarke  April 17, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Consider buying your meat from a local butcher, rather than a supermarket. They’ll be able to tell you where produce came from and how it was reared – which will make buying locally produced, organic meat easier.

  • Anthony Khalil  April 17, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Okay, so even though the US is the second highest carbon emitter we emit roughly half of what China does. The question then is not only how can we reduce the carbon footprint of the US but what can we do about China? The US is a major consumer of Chinese made products which are produced without the same environmental regulations that US made products are held to. As a nation concerned about global environmental issues we should not be importing and consuming products which are produced in an unsustainable manner. We need to regulate imports using the same standards we hold our domestic manufacturers to. This would not only have a positive impact on China’s carbon emissions as they strive to meet higher environmental standards to gain access to our market, but it would allow domestic manufacturers to be more competitive in the US market reducing the need for so many foreign imports, which would ultimately reduce the carbon emissions associated with transportation of goods from oversees.

  • Holley  April 17, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Carry a reusable cup. At work and home, opt for reusable utensils and plates. Then, only run the dishwasher when full, using a green detergent.

  • RJW  April 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Though seemingly impossible to implement, a tax based on the carbon footprint or life cycle impact of a product might encourage us to change our consumption habits and focus on more sustainable alternatives.

  • Mountainshack  April 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Use common sense. A lot of simple design moves can equal a lot of savings

  • Claudia Stone  April 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Educate regarding recycling and reduction of paper use. Carpooling is also great …… To reduce at least 10% of energy use will make a great difference.


  • Sherry Anderson  April 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Take advantage of car sharing. This helps to reduce the number of cars on the road and means fewer CO2 emissions are polluting the air. Another way to reduce your personal carbon footprint.

  • Wehaf  April 17, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    We try to bike or use public transportation when we can. We also minimize our use of heating and air conditioning.

  • Anthony Khalil  April 18, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Eat less meat. Livestock production requires a colossal amount of energy. Much more energy goes into meat per unit of food than any plant crop. Cattle consume 16 times as much grain as they produce as meat. That means 16 times as much energy is required just to grow their feed. Beyond that, it takes energy to process, and meat requires refrigeration. Livestock is credited with 18% of greenhouse gasses, more than all forms of transportation combined.

  • Barbara Clarke  April 18, 2013 at 7:50 am

    When choosing clothes, why not make the natural choice? Modern synthetic fibres make for cheap fashion but often don’t help the environment. For example, did you know that polyester is made from the same petrochemical compound as plastic water bottles? While cotton production has its own problems. Organic natural fibres are, in general, the greener choice and will last longer.

  • Mountainshack  April 18, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Eat/shop local. The majority of cost and polution is caused by transporting goods all across the country to our consumer society!

  • Juli  April 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Electric car Research and development has come far enough for me to say that I am planning to purchase an electric vehicle this year! Ask me 5 years ago and I never would have considered it but we are reaching critical times where we must reduce pollution and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.

  • Adam  April 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    One small step can make a big difference. I’ve tried going meatless for a few days each week and walking more for small trips around town. The little efforts have so far paid off in big health rewards… and I’m helping to reduce my impacts.

  • Holley  April 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Plant native species and install drip irrigation in your flower beds. Native species will probably come from nearby and will not require as much transportation to get to the nursery. Plus they will require less watering.

  • Philip Richard  April 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    The individual initiatives mentioned here are all an important steps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but we also need to make the local, state/provincial, and federal governments be aware of our interest in reducing GHG emissions. By showing politicians that their constituents have an interest in the environment, they will be able to make and change the laws and regulations to force industry and others to make better environmental choices. We must let them know that GHG emissions are an important topic for all levels of government to address.

  • Sherry Anderson  April 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    For those who have a backyard – install a clothesline. There is absolutely nothing better than the sweet smell of sun dried clothing fresh off the clothesline. This zero, carbon-emission “solar dryer” will also help you save money and energy!

  • Anthony Khalil  April 19, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Plant Trees! Trees convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, they shade your house in the summer reducing the need for air conditioning, they provide habitat for other plants and animals, and they add beauty and value to your property. Where is the downside?

  • Barbara Clarke  April 19, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Consider buying a water barrel to catch rainfall that you can later use to water your plants. It’s more planet-friendly than using tap water, which has to go through energy-intensive purification to make it drinkable. The plants won’t mind if you save rain for them instead.

  • Mountainshack  April 19, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Compost your food scraps. It makes good soil sense. Keeps uneccessary items out of the landfil and makes good soil at the same time. It free!

  • les yager  April 19, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Even the little items that we do during the are instructional. Have the kids turn off the lights when they leave the room is the biggest savings to the environment.

  • Juli  April 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Switch all of your bills to email and stop receiving paper copies, ask junk mail producers to remove you from their mailing list. This reduces energy to produce, deliver and dispose of bills and junk mail.

  • Holley  April 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Have a home energy audit conducted. These are often free through your local utility. We recently upgraded to a higher SEER HVAC unit and have seen savings in our monthly bills plus greater energy efficiency. Less expensive options include adding insulation, installing attic vents, and programmable thermostats.

  • Sherry Anderson  April 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Specify products and materials with low embodied energy. Incorporate materials/equipment that are upcycled into design projects and when at all possible use as much as possible of exisiting building elements in building renovations.

  • Holley  April 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Reduce, reuse, recycle–in that order. The best thing you can do for the environment is consume less the next best thing is to find creative ways to reuse your waste. If neither of the other two options is available, recycling is still better than putting something in a landfill but it requires the use of energy so it is not ideal.

  • Monica  April 20, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Donate unwanted items to Goodwill and shop there or in consignment shops. New clothing has high embodied energy, the raw material is shipped to factory where it is processed into fiber, manufactured into clothing, newly printed tags are attached, items are boxed and shipped across the planet, then driven by truck to a store. Reduce energy, buy used.

  • Anthony Khalil  April 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Plan and coordinate your trips. Don’t waste fuel and create excess carbon monoxide by making multiple car trips to run errands and buy groceries. Coordinate your trips so you make your necessary stops while driving to and from work or other regular appointments.

  • Anthony Khalil  April 21, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Install energy efficient lighting in your home. I have gone through my home and installed compact fluorescent lamps wherever I previously used incandescent. I also removed 4 lamp T12 fluorescent fixtures with magnetic ballasts from my basement and replaced them, one for one, with recessed cans housing a single compact fluorescent flood lamp. LED’s would be better yet. They’re more efficient, don’t contain rare earth elements, and last for 50,000 hours. The cost is dropping as more and more manufacturers bring them to market. Be careful though, many are made in China (Read my April 17 post).

  • Monica  April 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Instead of a gas lawn mower, use a hand lawn mower and get aerobic exercise and no exhaust or noise pollution. Better yet, plant wild flowers that don’t need to be mowed. Why did the world decide that green fertilized lawns were appealing?? Yikes!

  • Holley  April 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    For the past couple years I’ve planted a tree on Earth Day. It’s a symbolic gesture but a good one! I love to think what the trees will look like years from now when I’m gone. And they’re nature’s carbon sink!

  • Anthony Khalil  April 22, 2013 at 5:00 am

    According to the US Green Building Council, in the United States, buildings account for 36 percent of total energy use and 65 percent of electricity consumption, 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 30 percent of raw materials use, 30 percent of waste output (136 million tons annually), and 12 percent of potable water consumption. With theses numbers it is obvious that anything we can do to make our built environment more efficient could have a sizable impact on our nations overall emissions. So what can we do personally to help? We all reside in a building of some sort whether it be an apartment building, a condominium, or a single family home. Almost every energy saving measure we implement will also positively impact out personal expenses. Put an end to phantom power. You know those devices in our home that consume energy whether or not were using them. TV’s, DVR’s, DVD or Blue Ray players, Microwaves, Stereos, anything that has a digital clock on the front of it is consuming energy while off. Unplug them when they are not in use. After all, how many clocks do you need in one room anyway.

  • Juli  April 22, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Reduce or eliminate your lawn. Zero-scape and plant native plants.

  • Holley  April 22, 2013 at 8:09 am

    A number of people have mentioned education and political action, and that’s important. It’s especially important to educate children, since the first messages they receive about environmental issues will often stick. When it comes to the adult population, there are two things I feel confident about: 1. We’re adding to climate change daily; 2. I will never convince certain people of this fact. Unfortunately, a large segment of the population tunes out the moment they hear the words “global warming” because they believe it is a bunch of anti-business, anti-job phooey. But everyone I know believes that pollution is bad for people’s health. Most people know someone who has asthma or another condition that is aggravated by pollution. So let’s make emissions a public health issue and do an end run around the politization of climate change. Most people will support public health initiatives. Just look at how cities around the nation are passing ordinances against smoking in public!

  • Mountainshack  April 22, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Reduce packaging! Bring a reusable bag to the store! Much of the landfill waste is just discarded packaging!

  • Barbara Clarke  April 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Ask your employer if you can work from home for part of the morning, then hop on the train or bus outside of peak hours – it’ll save cash and might mean you can leave the car at home.

  • Ahmed  April 22, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Actually, we have a very important question here. In my opinion it’s a complex question and needs deep understanding of the attitude we must have toward the universe, natural resources, and the relation between man and nature not only air, but from religious point of view this time, away from any scientific points of view that we always propose and discuss. Today, it will be a general introduction and we will dive in in details in the next comments.

    All things that God has created in this universe are created in due proportion and measure both quantitatively and qualitatively. In the universe there is enormous diversity and variety of form and function. In it and its various elements there is fulfillment of man’s welfare and evidence of the creator’s greatness and how he have produced therein everything in balance not in vain or without wisdom or even without value and purpose. All created beings are created to serve the Lord of all beings by performing their ordained roles so as to best benefit each other.

    Man as a part of this universe, the elements of which are complementary to one another in an integrated whole. Indeed, man is a distinct part of the universe and has a special position among its other parts. The relation between man and the universe, as defined and clarified by God, is as follows:
    • A relationship of meditation on, and consideration and contemplation of, the universe and what it contains.
    • A relationship of sustainable utilization, development, and employment for man’s benefit and for the fulfillment of his interests.
    • A relationship of care and nurture, for man’s good works are not limited to the benefit of the human species, but rather extend to the benefit of all created beings.

    All of the resources upon which life depends have been created by God as a trust in our hands. He has ordained sustenance for all people and for all living beings. Thus, the utilization of these resources is the right and privilege of all people and all species. Hence, man should take every precaution to ensure the interests and rights of all others since they are equal partners on earth.

  • les yager  April 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Green roofing plans will allow reduction of carbon emissions

  • Tony Hujik  April 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    The common person is not going to care unless it affects their pocket book. If communities trash rates were based on the tonnage of waste that was disposed of then this might encourage more people to recycle.

  • Angela Wang  April 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    We all should make everyday as earth day, then our later generations are able to experience everything what we have now or better. So that’s make our LEED desing more significant.

  • Heathr23  April 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    My 2 year old turns the water faucet off while he brushes his teeth because he says he wants to save it for the plants and the animals.

  • Mike K  April 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Carpool to/from work!

  • Donovan  April 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Plant a garden with fruits, vegetables and herbs you use regulary. Compost materials instead of sending them to the landfill.

  • Edwin Guerra  April 22, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I try to do little things that add up like taking shorter and slightly colder showers, growing some of my own food, walking and taking transit. My primary influence is in building design, where I try to push for passive systems while also thinking about the lifecycle of the building. Helping others design for flexibility and adaptability is very important. Happy Earth Day everyone!

  • Karen C  April 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Need to change the culture to think beyond the short term, immediate impact, but make change as easy and affordable as possible.

  • S. Choi  April 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Think local and shop local!

  • George  April 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    We need to remember that mitigating carbon emmissions is a multi-generational challenge that requires constant attention, and to educate our children to continue the cause.

  • Wes Macaulay  April 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    We have to shift our society’s thinking – we are not consumers: we are stewards of the resources and ecosystems, both individually and corporately. We need to spend and consume less, and make some good choices with how we build, and how we live. There is much that needs changing, and individuals and governments have to start making them now.

  • Sukaina  April 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Simple Lifestyle changes go a long way. Turn lights off, use candles, homemade cleaning products (vinegar is awesome!), turning the water off when soaping during your shower or while brushing your teeth, and so many more! Pass these habits on to your children and all of a sudden little changes make big changes.

  • shannon  April 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    drill into my kids and clients heads that turning off lights and turning off faucets when they are not being used makes a difference. It may be small but can be significant over a year. We are considering buying an energy monitor for home to keep it in our family’s minds more frequently.

  • Claire Hardesty  April 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Education and convenience are the key. The two main reasons an individual don’t do much/consciously make decisions daily are they either don’t know/understand, or the alternative better decision isn’t convenient enough for them. IE: I drive 90+ miles a day for my job, while I do carpool- I’d prefer to bike, but I can’t get a job near my house. So for now biking is not convenient/feasible; the train would add $5 cost (on top of gas) and 1 hour more to my already long commute and is less flexible than carpooling.

  • Ana M.  April 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Yes, we need to change our minds, the way we think and live. We should buy smaller cars and smaler houses, get just what we need. People don’t realize how much we contaminate just buying a big car or a big house that we don’t need.

  • Mark L.  April 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    It must start with educating our children. We have to show them by example.. creating good habits early will set the new generations on the right path. Additionaly, sustainability needs to be ingrained in our schools’ curriculum from K-12.

  • Kate  April 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I live near Boston, where it is typical for most people to commute an hour each way from their homes or easily more. Most people live out in the suburbs because they can get a bigger house for their money, I think as a whole society we need to shift our thinking across the board. It seems to be bigger, bigger, bigger and more about quantity rather than quality. We need to bring the focus back to small downtowns and getting people to move back to the cities, make an effort to reduce the spread. Keep neighborhoods tight and walkable to urban centers and help to maintain larger areas as natural fields. Several towns around Boston have begun to push these types of ideas, and I think for most couples and families in their early 30s this is becoming the new areas to be. We are limiting to lot sizes to 1/4 acre compared to developments of 10 years ago when each lot would be several acres, we are providing central play grounds and ball fields, sidewalks and short access to the town center. When you drive to these new neighborhoods and compare it to the original New England villages there is so much in common, on a weekend night you see families walking the few blocks to a restaurant rather than driving, people seem to care more about their communities and neighborhoods overall. The best way to deal with carbon emissions is to refocus communities 1 at a time. Refocus how we build, but also how we design new residential areas, build in smaller compact areas and maintain the natural landscape. Buildings are the biggest polluters for carbon emissions and I believe place #1 to start is residential.

  • MC  April 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Recycle today for a better tomorrow. We teach our kids how to live a green life and they will learn valuable lessons that will extend not only their lives, but the Earth’s life. This is like everything in life, as parents we need to be responsible, and teach responsibility to our kid’s if we don’t then no one will.

  • William Restrepo  April 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Back in the early 2000s, when I was smoking, polluting the air with tobacco smoke, there were two reasons I decided to stop. I want to say that health was the number one, but it was actually cost. The price had become prohibitively expensive, and it was no longer “fun” or “cool” to smoke. Similarly, if the cost of non-renewable sources of energy increase at the same time that the cost of renewable and green sources comes down by being subsidized, we can have enough motivation for people to switch. The more and more that this occurs, technology will improve to the point of making those green sources of energy more competitive, technology will improve, and some day it will no longer be a choice, it will be “the choice”.

  • Dena  April 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I think there should education focused on how intricate our world actually is and how important our environment is to us and to our future. As we deplete resources and pollute the air and water out environment is becoming a toxic place to be. It affects our livelihood and our future, but most importantly it is affecting our health and the health of our kids. As pollutants rise and more and more chemicals are introduced into the things we eat and drink and the air we breath and the water we drink, we are ultimately polluting our internal environment (our bodies). Think about it (Cancer, Heart Disease, Asthma, Diabetes, Psychological Disorders… you name it is in us and our kids).. Cultures that have escaped much of the modernizations and chemicals of the world as we know (are now being researched because they are healthier and happier.. Hmmmm.. Education — Determination —- Passion —- Make a difference it all starts at home with us… Educate yourself and your family and the people around you… We don’t need big endeavors and programs — we need people who care…

  • Tom  April 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    I think that the mainstreaming of LED in lighting will make a big impact on personal energy use, although it will take some time. Meanwhile, using switchable plug strips to cut out phantom or “vampire” loads, like red equipment lights, is a good personal habit to work on. So much uses energy even when we think things are “off.”

  • Richard  April 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    As a child I was taught by my parents not to litter as were responsible to care for God’s creation. We would walk through the woods and see beautiful flowers, hear birds sing. As an adult coming to NYC I was struck by the grittiness and litter everywhere…part of the problem was that the trash bins were too full and wind blew all the good efforts away…on the other hand some parents seemed not have taught their children to not throw trash on ground. Educating children to care for creation is another way to love our neighbor as ourselves.

  • Philip Richard  April 22, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Workspaces are commonly over lit, turning off the lights if there is sufficient daylight or removing extra lamps in lighting fixtures will helps save energy. You don’t need 100 footcandles to read, let alone look at a computer screen.

  • Anna Fu  April 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Being aware, getting involved, and raising awareness all across the board, from individuals to industries, has an impact on lowering emissions. Carbon taxes and/or credits to businesses would have an effect too. As for the individual standpoint, tending to ‘air purifying’ plants and having them around both home and office, supporting green/farmer’s markets, and being watchful of other environmental processes directly related to my own actions (such as turning off electric, wearing more layers instead of upping the thermostat, taking showers instead of baths, riding bike/taking mass transit instead of car). Awareness/raising social consciousness will have a multipronged, cumulative approach to “bite away” at this humongous problematic elephant known as air pollution and global warming…

  • Danielle Murray  April 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Make it safer to ride your bike than an SUV. Make recycling and composting easy and accessible and consistent across regions. Regulate for efficient, low-waste products and buildings. Price carbon.

  • Dave  April 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I am proud to announce that i have designed on one the first “Green Globe” schools in Pennsylvania and i see this taking off in the area. With the heavy expense of LEED and the low cost green globes, i really see this taking off.

  • Jason  April 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Stop China from buying so many cars and using so much gasoline.

  • Colin Garratt  April 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Share success! When you find a great way to save energy and money share it with friends on social media.

    Try this! if your two storey house is too hot in the summer months try turning off the AC and open the basement windows, CLOSE your main floor windows and open a window or two on the top floor. The stack effect will pull the cool basement air and circulate it through the house. Every house will be a bit different but this works great and gives you some relief from nasty AC air and bills.

  • Tammy  April 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    We can all take a moment and determine what our carbon footprint is:
    Once the size of your carbon footprint is known, a strategy can be devised to reduce it, e.g. by technological developments, better process and product management, carbon capture, consumption strategies, etc. Some ideas: Relax your comfort standards and follow Jimmy Carter’s advice to don a sweater or wear shorts to the office. At home: adding insulation to your walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower heating costs more than 25 percent. Turn down the heat while you’re sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Switch to public transportation, carpooling, biking, telecommuting and other innovative ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on your way to and from work. Encourage your employer to offer commuter benefits that address limited or expensive parking, reduce traffic congestion, improve employee recruiting and retention and minimize the environmental impacts associated with drive-alone commuting.

  • PEA Builders  April 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Renewable energy is great and we suggest it in every home we build, but using the free benefits of the sun are cheap and easy. Every home should have some aspect of passive solar design. Builders need to take the forefront and educate their customers.

  • Tonya  April 22, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    We need design buildings in consideration of the site geography and orientation, local climate, and available local resources. There are many architechtural styles, materials, and building types out there… keep an open mind. We then need to coordinate all these considerations at the neighbourhood and city scale, and design plans for local resource/utility sharing. There’s so much work to be done in these areas, but the good news is that many of the solutions already exist… we just need to do more to make these strategies the norm. As an earlier post said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

  • Matt Erwin  April 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Increasing personal intake of veggies and decreasing meats in your diet promotes a decrease in CO2 emission as much more energy and process water is needed to support the meat industry than the vegetable industries. I grew up down south where not having meat with a meal is very unusual, but there are tons of great veggie dishes that fill you up just the same, but with a little less impact on your health!

  • Steve Z.  April 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Invest as a Nation in high speed rail linking major urban hubs to reduce air traffic and VMT.

  • Jennifer Johnson  April 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I agree with many of the above comments, that education is key. When people understand the repercussions of their actions, they are more apt to change them.

  • james h.  April 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    There are thousands of small and large things each one of us can do daily to make a difference.

  • Jamey  April 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    People need to understand that every dollar they spend is an opportunity to make a difference in their local community.

  • Tatyana  April 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Most important thing you can do – do not loose your sense of humor. Watch (sadly departed) George Carlin talk on the subject and adjust your perspective!

  • Natalie Vogt  April 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Exercise your (seemingly only) voice as a consumer. Demand = supply. Demand better, more environmentally responsible products/services, put your money where your mouth is, and the market will evolve to confront the challenge.

  • Sal Manzella  April 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    It takes a combination of many people making small, consistent changes, everyday to make a large sustainable impact. If we can continue to educate and implement environmentally sensitive practices into the “normal” everyday lifestyles of people, there will be hope for a better future.

  • Alan  April 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Encourage employers to leverage technology to meet objectives – things like telecommuting, home offices and virtual meeting are a good start to reducing emissions from a number sources (vehicles. commercial occupancy, etc.)…

  • Lisa Barrett  April 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Make personal goals for you and your family to do more to enviro-concious….don’t buy a coffee unless you bring a mug, composte, recycle, use cloth diapers, grow vegetables, herbs and spices, buy local meat and produce, bring your own shopping bags, choose one day a week or a month to commit to no electricity (no tv, lights, stove, video games computers etc) Walk or ride bikes to school etc. Make all of these things the norm for you kids.

  • Peter Roe  April 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Until human beings realize that the earth is a living entity and we are a part of its ecosystem and not the masters there will be disharmony. It is not just one aspect that is the most important, like CO2 reduction. Every aspect should be considered for evaluation and action as a whole since all things, including ourselves, are interconnected.

  • Kevin  April 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Improve public awareness that solar electricity is a transportation fuel – A solar fed plug-in for every garage!

  • Cara Sloat  April 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    If you spend your money on something, make it count – there’s finite resources left.

    Invest in buildings made with craftsmanship, that will pass the test of time. Think about what it might mean to live where you do if (when) gas prices go up, and invest in a neighborhood where you can walk or bike to your job; to services; to friends and family. Preferably in a home you can keep warm and lit if the power goes off. Make the spaces you live in work for you.

    Buy the right tool for the job, invest in quality, and learn about the embodied price of consumerism. Pay what things are really worth. Make the life-cycle of a product (how it’s made, where it comes from, and what happens to it when you are done with it) a key part of your relationship with it. That goes for your bicycle; your clothes; your electronics; your food, and your relationship with where your food comes from. Use what you buy and buy only what you need.

    Turn off the TV and turn away from advertising, and reconnect with your friends, family and the natural world around you. Live the good life!

  • michel  April 22, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Global sustainability planning with a localised emphasis on energy use reduction, water use reduction, and material use reduction, reuse, and recycling.

    Promote sustainability education for young children because they are our ticket to a sustainable future.

    Encourage research into new technology that would result in better efficiency in using resources.

  • D. Bangert  April 22, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    We need to slow down and pay attention to what’s ahead. I am amazed every day as I see people speed past me, going up hill, burning gas like crazy so they can get to the next red light. Hurry, hurry, hurry and buy, buy, buy – that’s a mindset that makes me unhappy and stressed. What I really want to do is be still and be in nature more often.

  • Joming  April 23, 2013 at 1:55 am

    We have to create a new cultural narrative to replace our current societal stories with new ones that incorporate sustainable ways of living.

  • Martin  April 23, 2013 at 3:20 am

    You can only save energy by being smarter.

    People are used to spending a centain amount on energy.
    If this gets higher, people will start to take action to save energy.

    Tax energy wasters and reward energy savers now!
    Invest in new technologies
    The smart way would be to anticipate early; before energy prices get very high.
    Spend now on energy savings before you can spend it on energy costs.
    Think in a large perspective.

  • Anthony Khalil  April 23, 2013 at 4:57 am

    If you have a traditional tank style water heater, it accounts for about 20% of all the energy used in your home? Turn it down to 130 degrees and insulate it with a pre-fab blanket. This can reduce your energy usage by 7-8%.

  • Denise  April 23, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Education is the key! Until our public leaders get on board and lead the way we will continue to struggle. It is our responsibility to leave our planet better off than we inherited. We must educate our leaders and the public!

  • Ahmed  April 23, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Hello everybody,
    Today I’m going to continue what I have started yesterday and talking about the protection and conservation of the basic natural resources.

    God’s wisdom has ordained that His creatures shall be of service to one another. The divinely appointed measurement and distribution of all elements and creatures, each performing its ordained role and all of them valuable, makes up the dynamic balance by which the creation is maintained. Over exploitation, abuse, misuse, destruction, and pollution of natural resources are all transgressions against the divine scheme. Because narrow-sighted self-interest is always likely to tempt men to disrupt the dynamic equilibrium set by God, the protection of all natural resources from abuse is a mandatory duty. Vitally important, as the social functions of all things are, the primary function of all created beings as signs of their Creator constitutes the soundest legal basis for conservation of the environment. It is not possible to base the protection of our environment on our need for its services alone since these services are but a supporting value and reason. Because we cannot be aware of all the beneficial functions of all things, to base our efforts at conservation solely on the environmental benefits to man would lead inevitably to distortion of the dynamic equilibrium set by God and misuse of His creation, thereby impairing these same environmental benefits. However, when we base the conservation and protection of the environment on its value as the signs of its Creator, we cannot omit anything, for every element and species has its individual and unique role to play in glorifying God, and in bringing man to know and understand his Creator by showing him God’s infinite power, wisdom, and mercy. It is impossible to countenance the willful ruin and loss of any of the basic elements and species of the creation, or to think that the continued existence of the remainder is sufficient to lead us to contemplate the glory, wisdom, and might of God in all the aspects that are intended, because species differ in their special qualities, and each evidences God’s glory in ways unique to it alone.

    Furthermore, all human beings, and indeed livestock and wildlife as well, enjoy the right to share in the resources of the earth. Man’s abuse of any resource is forbidden, and the best use of all resources, both living and lifeless, is prescribed.

    tomorrow we will meet again and our discussion will be about the following basic natural elements:
    1-Air (Which is our major topic and I’ll discuss in further details tomorrow)
    3-Land and soil
    4-Plants and Animals

  • Barbara Clarke  April 23, 2013 at 7:38 am

    If your home’s hot water comes from an electric heater, don’t forget to switch it off when you go away on vacation. Immersion heaters gobble as much as 9,000 watts every 24 hours, so you could be wasting lots of energy and cash.

  • Alex Carroll  April 23, 2013 at 7:59 am

    How do you counteract consumerism? We always want to best and biggest car (poor fuel economy), latest electronics (rare earth materials and hazardous waste), latest fashion (manufactured in Asia), and bigger houses (more carbon emissions to heat and cool, more water for more bathrooms). We are feed these TRUTHS of our culture by corporations, marketing, and mass media. Until we radically change our priorities and habits, we cannot change environment. But can our consumer and service economy handle this type of shift? I do not know the answers. Instead, I will change how I live. Buy items that I truely need, but with their long term durability as priority, not cost. Learn how to consume less. In times of conflict, we as a country learned to do with less. This is a struggle for the future of our children and childrens’ children.

  • Holley  April 23, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I have planted a vegetable garden in my backyard, and we fertilize it with organic materials and our own compost. It diverts our food and lawn waste from the landfill and provides REALLY local produce!

  • Donovan  April 23, 2013 at 8:31 am

    We have replaced all the bulbs in the house with fluorescents, once those burn out we will be going to LED.

    Incentives are a powerful tool to convert people over to a greener lifestyle. If changing behavior results in financial rewards people are generally more willing to accept the change.

  • Karen C  April 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Methane gas, produced by waste landfills, has about 20% greater impact on greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. let ‘s send less to to the landfills – make a difference right away. And support less packaging, more recycling, more composting any way you can.

  • Richard de Campo  April 23, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Instill in others a sense of urgency and the importance of lowering carbon emissions. Most people have a disconnect between flipping a light switch, for example, and what billions of those actions mean for our planet. (50 years ago, my grandmother realized this, and insisted we turn off lights when not in the room.) It’s the everyday consciousness in ALL our actions (not just flipping light switches) that collectively can have a global impact. Too often we think big corporations or government need to change (which is true), but it starts with all of us!

  • Sherry Anderson  April 23, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Ditch bottled water – bottled water has a huge carbon footprint. Try buying a reusable water bottle or canteen for your water. Also, a lot of restaurants have made the move from offering fancy bottled water, usually imported from an exotic source, to using in-house filtration systems that make tap water a good choice.

  • Viviana Soper  April 23, 2013 at 9:53 am

    There is a need for all of us to focus on the preservation of beneficial natural elements and diminish or extinguish natural resources contaminated with toxins and destructive human practices.

  • Mountainshack  April 23, 2013 at 10:06 am

    If you extrapolate the human population out 20-30 years at the current rate of consumption and growth, it becomes hard to believe that we have the resources to sustain that growth. Whether it is energy, food, air quality, or shelter we have to do something now to either slow down the consumption, or increase the adoption of sustainable strategies.
    “It can’t be done” really is not an option if we as a society expect to flurish.

  • Natalie Vogt  April 23, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Lead by example. Peers, friend, family members, and certainly your children will follow your example if you are consistent and open with what you’re doing and why.

  • Tom  April 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Consider replacing a tank water heater with a tankless one, especially if you have a smaller household and folks are away at work during the day. We saved 25% on gas use by installing two in a duplex, one in each unit.

  • Talal Balaa  April 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Great Discussion. I am curous what the hurdles are.

  • Anthony Khalil  April 24, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Buy in bulk. This saves on packaging that would enter the waste stream and aids in reducing the amount of industrial waste generated in production of the packaging. An additional side benefit is it will save you money in the long run.

  • Ahmed  April 24, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Air, this element is important for the perpetuation and preservation of life.Nearly all terrestrial creatures are utterly dependent on the air they breathe.The air also has other functions which may be less apparent to man but which God has created for definite purposes, as we have been made aware of by God such as the vitally important role of the winds in pollination.The winds are also clear evidence of God’s omnipotence and grace, and the perfection of design in His creation.He has also said, verily in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of night and day in the change of the winds, and the clouds compelled between heaven and earth, surely there are signs for a people who have sense.And He it is who sends the winds as tidings heralding His grace: until when they have raised a heavy laden cloud, we drive it to a dead land and cause the rain to descend upon it, and thereby bring forth fruits of every kind.Since the atmosphere performs all these biological and social functions, its conservation, pure and unpolluted, is an essential aspect of the conservation of life itself.Again, whatever is indispensable to fulfill this imperative obligation is itself obligatory.Therefore any activity which pollutes it and ruins or impairs its function is an attempt to thwart and obstruct God’s wisdom toward His creation.This must likewise be considered an obstruction of some aspects of the human role in the development of this world.

  • Mountainshack  April 24, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Invest in new technologies like solar,wind and CO2 eating concrete. Give the renewable energy companies the same incentives, dividends, and subsides as the oil and gas companies. Add a carbon tax for the amount of carbon produced.

  • Barbara Clarke  April 24, 2013 at 6:56 am

    If you have to use a car regularly, clear the seats and floor of clutter. Removing unnecessary objects will reduce the overall weight of the vehicle – cutting fuel consumption and carbon emissions by easing the load on the engine.

  • Juli  April 24, 2013 at 11:56 am

    As you replace appliances purchase energy star rated appliances for your home.

  • Natalie Vogt  April 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Eat less meat. Not only is the meat production industry (including transportation, processing, packaging) a huge contributor to carbon emmisions, but commercial livestock operations produce a devastating amount of methane gas, which is arguably just as bad for the atmosphere.

  • Kevin  April 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    We simply need to continue to find ways to reduce consumption everywhere and anyway we can.

    While building, building codes, & efficiency incentive programs continue to call for more insulation, better windows, & more efficient equipment to run the buildings we live & work in, more can & should be done to reduce or mitigate plug/process electrical demand. Energy efficiency programs & codes could & should offer more credit & incentives for rooftop solar electricity.

    A solar electric panel on every garage!

    (and no I don’t sell solar, – it’s just part of many solutions)

  • Anthony Khalil  April 25, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Recycle your printer cartridges. These things can be refilled and used over and over again saving resources and reducing manufacturing of new product. If you purchase the refilled cartridges you save money and the environment.

  • Holley  April 25, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Switch to energy efficient bulbs and install dimmers.

  • Juli  April 25, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Since residential energy use accounts for a large part of consumption perform an energy audit of your home. Install more insulation, seal up cracks and crevices, tune-up appliances, replace light bulbs with more efficient ones and utilize ‘Smart’ power strips that automatically shut down power to electronics that are not in use such as printers, monitors and other non-continuous use devices.

  • Natalie Vogt  April 25, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Grow some of your food at your home, and choose natural gas appliances over electric.

  • Mountainshack  April 25, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Start investing in mass transportation or transit oriented development. If the world population is going to grow we might as well try and reduce the amount of vehicle emissions. There are some good examples in new england or Europe where light rail or trains provide the main means of transportation to and from work. As we grow our cities bigger, transit oriented development is going to be key.

  • Sherry Anderson  April 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Piggyback errands with neighbors. If someone is headed off to the hardware store, grocery store, post office (or any type of store), find out if a neighbor may need something from there. Good way to get to know your neighbours as well!

  • stephen  April 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    We can all choose to live a little simpler lives – we can really do anything when we put our minds to it. It’s like going to the gym (for some people like me..) – it’s tough to start doing, but once you make a habit of it – it’s super easy because it feels so good to do it!

    Take public transportation
    Recycle when possible
    Grow a garden
    Turn out your lights if you’re not in the room – maybe light a candle instead
    Reuse a water bottle
    Invest in reusable bags – it’s super easy!

  • Ahmed  April 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Today I’ll talk to you about the protection of man and the environment from the harmful impacts of products and processes generated by man.
    If the rules of God are thus vigorous in its protection of the basic elements of the environment (Which air is one of the them) for the benefit of present and future generations, it is equally earnest in the protection of man and the environment from the harmful impacts of external factors such as chemical products and wastes. Prevention of damage and corruption before it occurs is better than treatment after it occurs. Another of the most important juristic rules is, the averting of harm takes precedence over the acquisition of benefits. Accordingly, all activities which aim at achieving good and securing benefits by way of satisfying human needs, providing services and developing agriculture, industry, and means of communication, should be carried out without causing significant damage, injury, or corruption. It is therefore imperative that precautions be taken in the processes of envisaging, planning and implementing such activities so that, as far as possible, they may not be accompanied by or result in any form of damage or corruption.

    1.Wastes, Exhausts, Cleansing materials, and other Toxic, Pesticides and harmful substances.
    Wastes and exhausts, resulting from man’s daily and ordinary activities or from industrial activities and uses of modern and advanced technology, should be carefully disposed of or eliminated, in order to protect the environment against corruption and distortion
    2.Radioactive Substances.
    The principles mentioned above apply as well to radioactive substances.
    3.Intoxicants and other Drugs.
    It is clear that intoxicants and narcotics have a harmful effect on man’s physical and mental health and, as a consequence, on his life and his reason, offspring, work, properties, honor, and righteousness.

  • Tom  April 25, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    As a designer, consider the physical footprint of a building project. Smaller IS better in a lot of ways. Less resources, more efficient use of space, potentially more interesting spaces as well.

  • Anthony Khalil  April 26, 2013 at 5:48 am

    Write to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, 11 West 42nd St., PO Box 3861, New York, NY 10163-3861. And ask them to stop your junk mail. Every year in the United States 100 million trees are wasted in the production of junk mail. With such a reduction in junk mail the USPS would have much less to deliver, which might encourage them to eliminate Saturday delivery service, cutting their vehicle fleet emissions by 1/6

  • Holley  April 26, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Consider exchanging fewer Christmas gifts. Does anybody really believe Christmas is about gifts? Let’s face it. Most gifts just add to the consumerist culture that hurts our environment. If you are Christian, make a choice to focus on the meaning of the incarnation. If you are secular, choose to focus on family or whatever it is that gives the holiday meaning for you. Most people will honor your wishes and even be little relieved if you tell them why you will not be exchanging gifts this year. For the people to whom you are closest, if you still wish to exchange a gift, keep it simple and think local or handmade. Then, use the money you save to help a cause you believe in. Check out advent for more information.

  • Mountainshack  April 26, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Look at your needs and wants and see what you can do without. We consume way too much, have to have way too much… If you simplify your life you will see what is really necessary and also how much money you can save! The less stuff, the less space to house it, the less resources to make it, and the less stuff that it take to make it available to sell to you!

  • stephen  April 26, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Education truly is key! We need the government to mandate schools start implementing green initiative in the classroom at an early age. If they could have green practices throughout the school along with Sustainable courses to offer (require), it would be a step in the right direction. Children are easily inspired and most inspired at a young age – we need to show them the ‘green heroes’ of their age so they have someone to look up to and admire!

  • Kristina  April 26, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Energy conservation and innovative renewable energy can take us to the next level. Wind, solar, water… there are tons of ways to harvest new energy that we need to invest in and the government needs to help those who are trying to penetrate the market!

  • Ahmed  April 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Today and tomorrow my topic will be about legislative principles and policies which govern the procedures and measures for the protection and conservation of the environment.
    The ultimate objective of legislative principles and policies is the universal common good of all created beings, encompassing both our immediate welfare in the present and our ultimate welfare in the hereafter. It means that no species or generation may be excluded from consideration in the course of planning and administration, but that each individual as well as the community must honestly strive toward the welfare of the whole.

    1. The Mandate of the Individual
    The ultimate responsibility for right action lies with the individual who will be judged on the Day of Judgment for what he did with his life, regardless of what the governing authorities with their various administrative and municipal agencies and courts of law required of him. Therefore the protection, conservation, and development of the environment and natural resources is a mandatory religious duty to which every human should be committed. This commitment emanates from the individual’s responsibility before God to protect himself and his community. Religious awareness and guidance should employ all possible means at all levels to call all individuals to commit themselves to ethics, morals, and manners in dealing with nature, the environment, and the natural resources for their sustainable use and development. All individuals should be reminded of the following religious obligations:
    • No wastage or over-consumption of natural resources;
    • No unlawful obstruction or destruction of any component of the natural resources;
    • No damage, abuse, befoulment or distortion-of the natural environment in any way;
    • Sustainable development of the earth, its resources, elements, and phenomena through the enhancement of natural resources, the protection and conservation of them and of all existing forms of life, bringing new life to the land through its reclamation, and the rehabilitation and purification of the soil, air, and water.

    2. Principles governing public policy and legislation.
    God alone is the real owner of the earth and all that it contains. People do not in fact own things, for the only real owner of things is their Creator, be He glorified and exalted. Indeed, people do not own anything but their usufruct in the manner permitted by the revealed Law. All properties and resources are held in trust by human beings, to be used only in accordance with their divinely ordained purposes. Accordingly, principles prohibiting the abuse of rights have been derived from “There shall be no damage and no infliction of damage. A right shall be exercised only for the achievement of the ends for which that right was created, and a person invalidates his right, if by exercising it he intends to cause damage to another; or if its exercise does not result in any benefit to him but results in damage, even unintentional, to another; or if in spite of bringing benefit to him, its exercise results in excessive damage to another, or in general damage to the community. The right to benefit from the essential environmental elements and resources, such as water, rangeland, fire and other sources of energy, forests, fish and wildlife, arable soil, air, and sunlight, is a right held in common by all members of society and the interference of the ruling authorities to secure the common welfare and to eliminate injuries to society.

  • Ahmed  April 27, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Today, I’m going to continue the topic I have started yesterday and talk about the 3rd and last item, which is

    3.The Mandate of the Governing Authorities
    The primary duty of the ruler and his assistants, whether they are administrative, municipal, or judicial authorities, is to secure the common welfare and to avert and eliminate injuries to the society as a whole. This includes protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources.

    The protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources involves two major aspects:
    Remedy of damage; and Prevention of damage

    (a) The governing authorities have the obligation to take all necessary measures and
    actions associated with the elimination of existing damage, repair of its effects, and
    provision of indemnity for it in application of the relevant principles of God’s law including “Damage shall be eliminated,” “Damage shall not be eliminated by means of similar damage,” “If the original fails, its equivalent shall be resorted to,” and “Exigency does not cancel the rights of others.”

    • The governing authorities have, for instance, the right to hold individuals, organizations, establishments, and companies responsible for the elimination and repair of damage resulting from their activities, enterprises, and projects which, although needed for the welfare of the whole community, may result in damage to the environment and the natural resources. The legal rules in this regard are, “Damage shall be eliminated,” and “Damage shall be removed to the extent that is possible.”

    • The governing authorities have the right and obligation to impose moratoria on
    various activities, projects, or enterprises if they realize that such activities,projects, or enterprises will result in real damage to the environment that is in excess of or equivalent to the benefits thereof, because ‘The averting of harm takes precedence over the acquisition of benefits.” If, however, the community is in
    urgent need of some action that may result in certain damage, the need may be
    considered as a necessity in implementing the principle that “Dire necessity renders prohibited things permissible.” In this case, “Damage shall be removed to the extent that is possible,” and “Every necessity shall be assessed according to its value.” If, the need for such harmful actions vanishes, the authorities should stop them, for “That which is permitted on account of an excuse ceases to be permissible with the cessation of that excuse.”

    • The governing authorities have the right to hold individuals, organizations, establishments, and companies responsible for the cost of eliminating the damage
    resulting from their activities, or of rehabilitating areas degraded by them. The juristic rule is “The author of an act is held responsible, even ifhis act is not intentional.” However, individuals, organizations, establishments, and companies should not be held liable for damage that may result from exercising their lawful and legitimate rights in compliance with the terms of their licenses, charters, permits or contracts, and in accordance with correct and recognized practices. For”Legal pemission cancels liability,” according to the juristic rule.

    • The governing authorities have the right to claim damages or idemnity from individuals, organizations, establishments, and companies for irreversible damage
    to the natural environment resulting from their activities.

    (b) The governing authorities have the obligation to take all necessary measures and
    actions to avoid, prevent, or minimize damage before it occurs in application of the
    principle “There shall be no damage and no infliction of damage,” and the juristic method of obstructing outwardly legitimate means which may serve as pretexts for
    illegitimate ends.

    • The governing authorities have, for instance, the right and obligation to forbid
    any activity, whether temporary or permanent, that may lead to or result in damage
    or mischief. No one is entitled to obstruct the community’s sustainable use
    of any of the basic elements or resources of the environment. This applies to
    air pollution by smoke and hannful fumes from factories, cars, and the like, and
    to the impairment of water resources through the ruin of public wells, and the
    depletion of aquifers or their pollution by means of toxic substances that render
    them unfit for use. It also applies to overhunting, overgrazing, and destruction
    of valuable habitats and biotopes, deforestation, and any degradation of the
    natural resources through their misuse or over exploitation.

    • The governing authorities have the right to limit the scope of action, its place,
    time, kind, and quality so as to prevent, avoid, control, minimize, or limit damage
    or restrict it to a certain place or time.

    • The governing authorities have the right and obligation to impose specific measures or technical standards and to require particular methods or techniques to
    prevent the occurence of damage, or minimize it, or restrict it to the least and narrowest scope possible and with the least possible impact. Experts and specialists in all relevant fields are to be entrusted with determining the appropriate criteria.

    • The governing authorities have the right and obligation to take all measures
    necessary for the preservation of rare and endangered species of animals and
    plants and the habitats or biotopes needed for the survival of viable populations; and to impose sanctions against individuals, establishments, and companies
    that violate such measures.

  • Holley  April 27, 2013 at 9:43 am

    The best way to avoid car emissions is to go electric or hybrid, but if you are like me, you are not ready to spend money on a new car. For the rest of us, here are some ways to boost your fuel efficiency.
    Keep your car tuned up
    Make sure your tires are properly inflated
    Alter your commute time to avoid sitting in traffic
    Keep the interior of the car free of junk. Don’t cart around all that extra weight.
    Buy gas during the coolest part of the day so it doesn’t evaporate before it even hits the tank.
    Don’t be a speed demon!
    Use cruise control.
    Finally, drive less!

  • John Teufel, P.E., LEED AP BD+C  April 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Implement a special tax on the big oil and natural gas companies to be used to combat CO emissions. They are making huge profits, this tax would be completely appropriate.

  • Tom  April 27, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Roll down your windows instead of keeping your car sealed up and air conditioned.

  • stephen  April 27, 2013 at 11:18 am

    in your yard..
    – use an electric mower
    – compost when possible
    – gather rainwater to reuse
    – electric trimmer
    – no chemicals in the garden/lawn

    Carpool as much as possible – that’s at least ONE less car on the road!

  • Kristina Y.  April 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

    For those of you ‘creating’ things or those in manufacturing.. PLEASE…
    design with the end of your product’s life in mind..
    how long is it going to last?
    what can we do with it at the end of it’s life cycle?
    can we recycle it?
    can we down-cycle it?
    can we up-cycle it?

    This will help us with MUCH less waste!

  • Anthony Khalil  April 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Drive slower: The best speed to drive to reduce carbon emissions is 55 mph. Additional benefits: You will be able to react quicker to potential dangers on the road and be safer. You may actually be able to relax and enjoy your travel a bit more.

  • Anthony Khalil  April 28, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Vacation locally: Try camping. Reducing the miles you fly will contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions. It will likely help your pocketbook too as you won’t have to pay all those airline fees and no rental car is necessary.

  • Holley  April 28, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Use organic lawn fertilizers.

  • amaris.liu  April 28, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Lead by example. Choose “green” products for cleaning, appliances, etc. Turn off that light, tap, and conserve where possible.

  • stephen  April 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Spend $10-20 on a nice (fashionable, if you wish) water bottle that will last! Stop buying tons and tons of water bottles at Costco and Walmart. Conserve when you can… and we ALWAYS can..

  • Kristina Y.  April 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    buy from your local farmers market or local farms!
    imagine your footprint to be so small that it takes literally no energy for your food to transport to your kitchen.. local farms help to do this!

  • Ahmed  April 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Today will be the conclusion and I hope that the way I discussed our topic through and all my comments were useful for you all. Good luck for you all

    The conservation of the natural environment is an imperative commanded by God, the Lord and Sustainer of all beings. It is a matter of utmost importance to man, who is its subject, its end, and its means. For protection of the natural environment from abuse by man leads to the welfare of man himself together with the welfare of all other beings created by God. The need to protect the natural environment with all its biological components from the harmful activities of man has existed as long as history has been recorded. However, the problem has been magnified enormously within this century, as man’s capacity to affect it has expanded with tremendous speed, while with respect to his responsibility of stewardship on earth, he remains unjust and foolish.

    The remedy lies in the direction and guidance of man and society, their values, laws, institutions, and actions. Short-sighted materialism with its focus on narrow short-term interests is at the root of our affliction. For technological progress should never be achieved at the expense of man’s health, happiness, or livelihood. Similarly, we should never sacrifice the coming generations to achieve any material or economic benefit with uncertain consequences, for the sake of the contemporary generation’s gain. Likewise, we should never extirpate any species of God’s creatures from the face of the earth or wreck irreparable damage to the life-sustaining ecosystems of the planet.

    The all-inclusive approach of God to man, without any discrimination based on time, age, place, or race; and God’s all-inclusive approach to the Universe, regarding the welfare of the whole without excluding from consideration any of its parts, is the essence of the ecological consciousness that is so sorely needed for our deliverance. Indeed the fundamental criterion for all development and conservation of the environment.

    Accordingly, the laws of God promote emphatically all measures that lead to the realization of the common good and make it a tangible reality. In this light, it is imperative that the following principles be taken into consideration.

    1. The conservation of the natural environment is a moral and ethical imperative. Environmental problems cannot be solved through knowledge and technology alone.

    2. Ethical teachings should be backed with legislation and effective enforcement of injunctions and prohibitions.

    3. Through the institutional arrangements of society, conservation should be integrated with ecologically sustainable development.

    4. Scientific and technical knowledge of the natural environment and the means of its conservation should continually be improved and developed through ongoing scientific research and monitoring.

    5. The natural environment and natural resources should not be subjected to any irreparable damage for the purpose of military or hostile actions.

    In view of the aforementioned, the teachings of God promote all endeavors, whether local, regional, or international in scope, and call for the joining of concerted efforts in all fields to conserve, protect, and rehabilitate our natural environment. The challenge
    that faces us is unprecedented in its magnitude, and to’ meet it requires an enormous mobilization of resources, sound strategies, and resolute action, so that we may, God willing, maintain and perpetuate a good and prosperous life for the present and future generations of mankind and all created beings.

    And my final word is, Praise be to God, the Lord and Sustainer of all being.

  • Anthony Khalil  April 29, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Turn your heat in your home down a couple degrees in the winter and up a couple degrees in the summer. You’ll adjust and save energy and money. Better yet, In the summer open the windows instead of using air conditioning.

  • Patrick White  April 29, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Best way is to fix/ tweak our government. Eliminate greedy “carbon emission type” lobbyist in DC. Don’t make is so tempting that Congress can’t help but say no to progress against Climate Change. And, provide huge support for the EPA which is an amazing organization that gets beat up by the bad guys.

  • Austin Durbin  April 29, 2013 at 6:32 am

    I found the articles interesting specially on the GMO’s. I wonder at what point when we modify living organism will an adverse effect surface that could be more problematical then the reason to modify any organism.

  • David Arbaiza  April 29, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Raise setting on thermostats in the summer to 79F and lower them in the winter to 71F. In the winter when sleeping lower setting even lower, just get under the blankets.
    If you’ve got a gas hog, not an electric car, drive on the highway at ~ 60 MPH. Your gas mileage will be higher and that is good.

  • Lissa Spitz  April 29, 2013 at 6:35 am

    All these individual actions are important, especially the shift away from a consumer society, but none of them will be enough if we don’t organize as a movement to fight the oil and gas companies. Unless we say no, they will continue to pursue profits at the expense of our future. Check out and get involved!

  • Michelle Fraser-Page  April 29, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Support your local farmers by purchasing meat and vegetables from local markets, thus reducing the number of miles your food travels to reach you. Besides, it’s fresher, and helps keep money in the local economy and support family owned businesses.

  • Nancy Lonnett Roman  April 29, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Focus on the things people do everyday, for most impact.

    It amazes me, that still today, many businesses and communities do not recycle. Municipalities hold large community day events yearly, and still throw plastsic bottles in the same can as paper. Education about recycling is as easy as showing everyone just how important it actually is.

    I recycle plastic grocery bags, and its crazy how many bags my small family accumulates in such a short amount of time.

    In the meantime, we should all be planting (or preserving) more trees!

  • Mike  April 29, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Recycle today for a better tomorrow. We teach our kids how to live a green life and they will learn valuable lessons that will extend not only their lives, but the Earth’s life. This is like everything in life, as parents we need to be responsible, and teach responsibility to our kid’s if we don’t then no one will.

  • Chris Laumer-Giddens  April 29, 2013 at 6:40 am

    For the time being, reducing carbon footprint is a choice, and so (still) is saving energy. The downturn in the economy and government incentives have made people choose to save energy, but with the adoption of stricter Energy Codes, saving energy is becoming less of a choice. It’s a part of everyday living. The longer reducing carbon footprint remains just a choice, the longer it’s going to take for people to do it. Freedom of choice is a blessing and a curse, depending on your perspective.

  • Michael Veltman  April 29, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Walk more! The biggest impact that we can probably make is to make energy and the environment a core class in our grade and high schools.

  • B Hire  April 29, 2013 at 6:42 am

    We need to build the commanality of the environmental cause and forget differences that keep things from getting done. Farmers, hunters and fisherman are the best environmentalists out there and every finanacial officer understands a lower bottom line.

  • Larry  April 29, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Reduce energy usage and education from family, school, community, province and country as a whole.

  • Tom  April 29, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Walk or bike for errands that are less than a mile or two from home. Consolidate errands to avoid multiple trips.

  • Jim Blount  April 29, 2013 at 7:25 am

    The building sector alone is responsible for almost 50% of all the energy consumed in the US today. That’s equal to both the Industry and transportation sectors combined. The design and construction industry needs to set high priority for this important environmental challenge.

  • Eric Magtoto  April 29, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Since carbn mission is global problem. Top countries who contributed a lot in carbon emission should mandate their citizen to participate in reducing this. It should be passed to congress as a law to use renewable resources wherever is possible.

  • Lael Giebel  April 29, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Education is a great place to start; our boys’ school has a recycling program, a composting program, has edible gardens, rain barrels, etc. And the kids go home and educate their parents! We moved closer to the school, so that now three of our four boys can now walk to school, rather than being driven. The teachers and I have even noticed that the boys have more energy now with the added exercise in the morning and afternoon!

  • Dave  April 29, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Write directly and often to your representatives at all levels of government to advocate for incentives in the in the tax code for individuals and businesses to carpool, take transit, cycle, walk or telecommute to work, such as a tax break for demonstrable efforts and fund more infrastructure to promote alternatives to single occupant vehicles as a more likely choice.
    Collectively people can make a difference in the end.

  • Mike M  April 29, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I think that the two areas we need to spend the biggest focus on are personal vehicle usage and commercial building HVAC loads.

    In regards to personal vehicle usage, many people may disagree with me, but I think that individuals should be paying more for gasoline than we do currently. I also believe that we should attempt to make mass transit (both short and long distance) more economical. It is too cheap and too easy to get in your personal vehicle instead of getting on a bus, train, or plane.

    With commercial buildings, I think that the more recent building codes are helping drive designs towards more efficient buildings. However, I think that we need to put some incentives out for owners of older buildings and push them towards upgrading their product. We should also drive up energy costs on a per unit basis for high consumers and push them towards better efficiencies.

  • Holley  April 29, 2013 at 7:51 am

    As an interior designer, the ways I can have the most impact are by leaving existing interior construction in place as much as possible and/or by finding ways to leave space open instead of constructing new walls. I also have a big influence on interior materials. Stressing regionally sourced materials helps cut down on emissions from transportation, while opting for recycled materials cuts down on the need for virgin materials.

  • Mountainshack  April 29, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Design for your environment, utilize the natural resource at your disposal. Wind for cooling power, sun for heating and power, earth for storage. Eat live and play locally, develop with transportation in mind. Educate your children so their children will still have a decent world to live in.

  • Barbara Clarke  April 29, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Make spring a little greener by growing your own early-season organic veg. Carrots, broccoli and cabbage all thrive well when planted early in the year, yielding delicious, planet-friendly food within weeks. Stop supporting the trucking industy to such a large extent.

  • Ecosteward  April 29, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Be the change you wish to see in the world. Your actions speak louder than any words.

  • Fanster  April 29, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Money! Face it, it’s the one thing that drives a majority of people and countries to act. The few people, companies, and countries that do care enough to make changes in their lives, products, and policies to save the environment is a great start but there are billions of people and limited resources. So changes that can save our environment should be epic with life-changing effect. We fail mostly with the implementation of innovative ideas to save our planet. Why? Because the ideas either costs more money to change people’s lifestyles or it doesn’t make money for the investors. It’s not the goal of saving the environment that drives change, it’s money. Let’s implement ideas to finding innovative ways to save on energy at a low cost to the end user. Or find ways to recycle so it makes money otherwise our garbage piles will keep growing.

  • Kevin Staples  April 29, 2013 at 8:41 am

    One word – Innovation. Ever since we took this land from the Native Americans we have caused it to decline from eliminating the biodiversity prevalent throughout the country to make our footprint larger. Whether you are religious or not, the Lord indicated that we have dominion over the world and must respect the intrinsic value of every living creature both human and animal. Once we do this we will be able to understand that they have the answers to our most puzzling questions.

  • stephen  April 29, 2013 at 8:43 am

    take some time to do some volunteer work.
    adopt a highway and help clean up the roadways.
    TEACH OTHERS (especially children) how to live a more sustainable life!
    Host an Earth Day event to spread the knowledge and build awareness.
    it’s OUR choice!

  • Kristina Y.  April 29, 2013 at 8:56 am

    There are numerous organizations out there doing the right things and encouraging others to do the same.. Just do a little research to find these groups and GET INVOLVED! , Green Music Group, . there are tons out there and tons of ways to get involved.

  • Claire Hardesty  April 29, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Become informed! Act on your information… Don’t rely on legislation and policy to make good decisions for you. If you want to know how big of a carbon footprint you have, calc it out… Start making changes on your own. Share your changes with others. Inform others of your changes. Don’t be the person who demands changes/policy/legislation but doesn’t do anything. If you don’t like XXX business because they’re a huge polluter, then don’t purchase from them. Tell others you’re doing that and why. We’re all much more likely to go with our friends than legislators. And doing something… The small things in life you can do, plant gardens, xeroscaping, cleaning up around you, recycle waste, etc. There are so many everyday life things you can do that make a HUGE difference with minimal effort.

  • Carolyn  April 29, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I think one of the most important things people can remember to do is walk. I recently moved to a new city where pedestrians are rarely seen. Since moving, I walk to work every day and am proud of my reduced negative impact on the environment.

  • Kimberly Doucette  April 29, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Too many people have expressed to me that their small, individual efforts do not make a difference in the “big picture” of things. Person by person, company by company, government by government – the seemingly small and insignificant choices and decisions we make to reduce our impact on earth’s precious resources and environment are important. We may not see immediate and sweeping results, but what of our children and future generations? I love this very true and thought-provoking quote…

    “It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  • Jalal Avades  April 29, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Every day is ‘Earth Day’ if we seriously consider
    Reduce, reuse, recycle!

  • Xavi Torrents  April 29, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I lived in Europe for over 25 years and the layout of Cities are completely different from the Cities in the US. In Europe businesses and homes are mixed up which facilitates access to basic needs such as grocery stores, pharmacies, bakeries, movie theaters, etc. You can walk or bike to all these places easily. Here in the US we need a car to go everywhere, only a very small percentage of the population have easy access (by foot or bike) to these basic needs which makes it very difficult to fix our problem of reducing CO2 emissions. It does not mean there is no solution, but I do think that it may take several generations with positive thinking to alleviate this problem. However it all starts today with us.

  • RJW  April 29, 2013 at 10:49 am

    As a Capitalist society, nothing drives more behavioral change than a hit to one’s pocket book. The cost of consumer goods should reflect their physical cost on society and the environment, much as the cost of cigarettes reflects a cost on the healthcare system. I’d be in favor of an environmental footprint tax that accounts for packaging, distribution, and end of life factors.

  • Kerstin Bjork  April 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Encourage all building management companies and commercial building owners to put recycling containers in the restrooms to collect all used paper towels so that the paper is recycled instead of going into the landfills.

  • Benny Low  April 29, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Consumers can drive changes! Make conscious decisions to buy products from local sources, products with minimal packaging and products from companies that utilizes sustainable practices.

  • Barry Hooper  April 29, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Cutting emissions is cutting emissions. Saving energy because it makes economic sense to do so is a *good* thing. Let’s redouble our efforts to make clear how cutting energy waste goes directly to the bottom line – which is essential for scale!

  • Les Yager  April 29, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Build green may cost slightly more at the onset, but the overall life cycle costs was greatly reduced, as well as the energy savings.

  • Anna W.  April 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Earth Day is important because it reminds everyone of our responsibility to future generations.
    It is not about who consumes the most now, it is a about reducing or eliminating the use of
    natural resources and cutting bad carbon emissions. If the US leads others will follow to keep up with competition and it makes good sense.

  • Sal Manzella  April 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Make small changes to your daily activities. Don’t run the faucet while you brush your teeth or wash dishes, things like that with have a cumulative impact, and will set a positive example for your children and family members.
    Then repeat, share with other, educate as many people as possible.
    It makes a greater impact when we involve our immediate community and pass it on.

  • Robin Gregory  April 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Our kids are getting really good at recycling and learning about the environment at school. Happily we have gotten to the point that in many of our schools environmental awareness is the norm. We’re also pretty good at it at home – reinforcing our children’s learning and letting them teach us.
    BUT WHAT ABOUT THE WORKPLACE?? The waste of paper, use of styrofoam, overuse of electricity – lighting, computers, etc., lack of recycling and re-use – seem like completely foreign concepts!!!
    STEP OUT ON THE SKINNY BRANCH AT WORK and lead your co-workers, your supervisors, managers, bosses to do the right thing!!! RISK being laughed at, teased for being a “tree hugger”, being “different” than the status quo. Spend the extra effort and collect the paper and the cans before the cleaning staff does. Do it when others will see you. Pretty soon they’ll be offering to help.

  • Zhane D  April 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    LEED by example.
    Vocal pun intended.

  • Karen C  April 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Eat less meat. Tastes great, but uses so many more resources than vegies, the animal waste produces so much methane, and wouldn’t it be great if some of our grazing land could be turned back to natural habitats?

  • David D  April 29, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    In the US we are now experiencing more and more catastrophic climate events, hurricanes, tornados etc directly related to global warming. Economics is the key to changing the cultural mind set in the US and promote more earth friendly policies.

  • W J  April 22, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks for providing a resource that helps me teach my children how to be good caretakers of our planet.


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