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Reduce your footprint

How to take your commitment to the next level
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Environmental stewardship is at the heart of RTOERO’s advocacy program. Taking care of the earth means taking care of each other and the generations to come. Each of us can make a difference. As the Dalai Lama pointed out, “Anyone who has ever thought they were too small to make a difference has never fallen asleep with a mosquito in the room.”

Stewardship is friendship

Carbon footprints reflect the amount of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases individuals or corporations release into the atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels. The gases trap heat from the sun, causing climate change. To fight climate change, we need to look at the way we live day to day, including what we buy. Language like “carbon footprint” and “greenhouse gas emissions” can be intimidating, so just think about being friendly to the earth — conserving natural resources and reducing negative consumer activity.

What we can do

Eco-friendly calls to action sound easy. The effort is making the effort, making it consistently, and then boosting efforts. You’ve likely cut down on single-use plastic and paper items and carry your own shopping bags, water bottle or coffee mug.

So, what’s your next step?

At home

  • Lower the indoor temperature during the winter months. In hot weather, use fans instead of air conditioning. And consider a programmable or smart thermostat.
  • In the market for a new computer? Choose a laptop rather than a desktop one — laptops require less energy to charge and run.
  • Replace your incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs — they use up to 85 per cent less energy, last up to 25 times longer and are cheaper to run. 
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Don’t flush the toilet during the night unless you must.
  • Wear clothes more often before you toss them in the dirty-clothes basket.
  • Let nature water your lawn. And think about replacing your lawn with a naturalized garden instead.

In the kitchen

  • Plan grocery shopping carefully to avoid food waste.
  • Cook foods that are about to spoil, or freeze to enjoy another time.
  • Plan meatless meals once or twice a week.
  • Eat locally and seasonally to avoid long-haul transportation.
  • If you order takeout, wash and reuse the containers.
  • Cover pots when you boil water to keep moisture and heat in, bringing the water to a boiling point faster, saving time and energy.
  • Unplug appliances you aren’t using because they still draw power.
  • Consider efficient “smart” devices and energy-efficient appliances.

On the move

Opt for eco-friendly solutions — if you can, walk, cycle and take public transportation. Consider an electric vehicle if you’re in the market for a new car.

To keep your car more energy efficient:

  • Go easy on the brake and gas pedals.
  • Service your car regularly.
  • Keep tires properly inflated.
  • If your car has cruise control, use it.

The ripple effect

Engage family, friends and community in climate-change initiatives. Let elected officials and business decision-makers know that their commitment to sustainability influences your vote and how you shop. The David Suzuki Foundation believes that individual actions make a difference and “our actions can influence friends, family, co-workers and community members. It all adds up.”

You may be an experienced warrior or new to the battle against climate change. In either case, continuously consider your “next level” and be proud of the difference you’re making.

To learn about RTOERO’s advocacy programs and tips on how to advocate
as individuals or groups:

Calculate your carbon footprint at The Nature Conservancy

Want to know more?



David Suzuki Foundation:

United Nations:

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