Sus­tain­abil­ity Tips

Catron Courier - - News -

Ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ta­tive re­search, the world could save $26 tril­lion dol­lars by 2030 if we were to shift to a sus­tain­able econ­omy, mean­ing one that can con­tinue to grow with­out threat to health and homes. The rea­son this might seem un­be­liev­able is be­cause for decades we’ve been bom­barded with cor­po­rate mes­sages say­ing “we just can’t af­ford al­ter­na­tive fu­els” or that we re­ally need to buy cer­tain things to be happy. Sooner or later, hu­man­ity must learn to live sus­tain­ably or it won’t go on liv­ing—that’s what “sus­tain­able” means. But what can you do to help en­sure your grand­kids and great grand­kids will have a world worth liv­ing in?

First off, check vot­ing records and vote not so much for party, but for who is do­ing some­thing to help you and our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. The web­site gov­track.us/congress/votes shows what bills have come up in Congress and how se­na­tors and rep­re­sen­ta­tives voted, but also check out where the money is com­ing from for elec­tion cam­paigns. Visit fec.gov/data/ ad­vanced/?tab=can­di­dates to see the data that is ac­tu­ally re­ported, or votes­mart.org. Do your own re­search to get to the facts and see who might have vested in­ter­est in help­ing com­pa­nies in­stead of the peo­ple of this coun­try.

Next, send let­ters and emails, and make phone calls to ex­press your views. Let your sen­a­tor, rep­re­sen­ta­tive and even the Pres­i­dent know how you feel about is­sues. You may only be one voice, but you might be one of many, which means your opin­ion counts. But it only does so if you voice it. If you want a fu­ture for the next gen­er­a­tion, say so.

The Global Com­mis­sion on the Econ­omy and Cli­mate was cre­ated in 2013 to ex­am­ine how the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity could achieve its de­vel­op­ment goals within the con­straints im­posed by cli­mate change. This group of ex­perts re­cently cranked out the 2018 New Cli­mate Econ­omy Re­port, which, based on sound science, states that shift­ing to sus­tain­able tech­nolo­gies and tech­niques would save tril­lions of dol­lars through 2030 in in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity, in­no­va­tion, and re­duced health costs.

The re­port says that a good first step would be for gov­ern­ments to roll back fos­sil fuel sub­si­dies. The US gov­ern­ment gives 4.6 bil­lion of your tax dol­lars to al­ready wildly prof­itable fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies each year, and that's a spend­ing that could be cut. The other prob­lem is that re­liance on for­eign fos­sil fu­els means our econ­omy is tied to the whim of other coun­tries—right now Rus­sian and OPEC are slow­ing oil pro­duc­tion, mean­ing prices are go­ing up. Many other coun­tries are go­ing to geo­ther­mal, wind, and so­lar for the sim­ple rea­son that it means they have bet­ter con­trol over their own economies. That makes sense. So does vot­ing for some­one more in­ter­ested in fu­ture gen­er­a­tions hav­ing a fu­ture. But there's an­other way to vote.

You can vote with your money. Sup­port com­pa­nies that are work­ing to do the right thing—buy from them. Newsweek, Forbes, and Bar­ron's all track com­pa­nies that are work­ing to make cer­tain their com­pa­nies don’t just make a profit, but also make sense for hav­ing a fu­ture. Th­ese may be com­pa­nies with in­no­va­tive ideas, or poli­cies about in­vest­ing in the fu­ture, or com­pa­nies that seek to re­duce waste and harm­ful prod­ucts. Shop around more. Look for prod­ucts with the re­cy­cled la­bel, or for the or­ganic food prod­ucts, and maybe skip us­ing any pes­ti­cides or weed killers in your gar­den.

The web­sites ibuyamer­i­can.com, strict­lyusa.com and madeinamer­cia.com all of­fer prod­ucts made here in the US—mean­ing there is less fuel used to trans­port th­ese goods across oceans. Con­sumer Re­ports also re­ports on what prod­ucts are made here in the US, which both helps to cre­ate jobs here and is a step to­ward a more sus­tain­able econ­omy. Their web­site con­sumer­re­ports.org not only re­views prod­ucts, but has great tips to save you money, keep you in­formed, and look at what prod­ucts have value in­stead of what's headed for a land­fill when it breaks in a year. Re­mem­ber, ev­ery dol­lar you spend is a vote for a bet­ter fu­ture, so think about what you're buy­ing and who you're sup­port­ing with your money.

The dra­matic in­crease in floods, wild­fires, droughts, and ex­treme tem­per­a­ture events caused by fos­sil fuel ex­haust will con­tinue to worsen un­less we take ac­tions to move to a sus­tain­able world. And if we all do a lit­tle bit more, that adds up to a whole lot of good.

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