Between 2102 and 2113 members of Delta Collaborative released a series of dispatches intended to be delivered to previous generations. Together, these dispatches are meant to inform the public of the actions necessary to change the future.
DISPATCH #1: MARKED URGENT
RE: LIFESTYLE CHANGES NECESSARY OF 21ST CENTURY CITIZENS
ORIGINAL INSCRIPTION DATE: 2102
TO THE PEOPLE OF 2018...
When past generations have thought of the human impact on the earth, they have often concluded there are just too many humans and too few resources. While this is an important factor, if we look closer at the issue, another comes to light: humans do not use resources at the same rate. For example, Americans account for just 5% of the world’s population but use almost 25% of the world's fossil fuels (http://www.worldwatch.org/node/810). Overall, this means Americans have a larger impact on earth. It does not have to be this way. There are ways to have a comfortable lifestyle without producing as much consumption and waste.
What follows is a list compiled by the members of the Delta Collaborative of the lifestyle changes that Americans could make to lessen their nation's burdensome and imbalanced impact on the planet.
Click here to see sources and further readings.
1. MAKE EVERY MONDAY A MEAT-FREE DAY.
Meat production requires lots of water, land, antibiotics, pesticides, and fertilizers.
2. CUT YOUR SINGLE-USE TRASH IN HALF (SUCH AS STRAWS, PLASTIC BAGS, WATER BOTTLES, ETC).
Plastic is made with petroleum, takes hundreds of years to go away, and pollutes water and land. Reusable options exist.
3. RIDE YOUR BIKE, WALK, USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, OR CARPOOL.
Cars cause 75% of the carbon monoxide pollution in the U.S.
4. BUY LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD, SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES.
Reducing the distance your food travels supports a strong local economy that will be more resilient against global economic shifts.
5. INSTALL SOLAR PANELS ON YOUR RV/HOME’S ROOF.
Solar energy does not produce air or water pollution or emit greenhouse gases.
6. BUY ORGANIC PRODUCE, WHEN POSSIBLE.
Organic farming seeks balance with the natural world with diversity and by not using as many chemicals.
7. DECREASE LAWN SPACE (PLANT A GARDEN).
Lawns require water, fertilizer, and fuel to maintain.
8. INSTALL WATER-SAVING APPLIANCES AND UTILIZE RAINWATER AND GREYWATER. (AND ONLY FLUSH WHEN NECESSARY!).
Clean water is a limited resource. Conserving water reduces energy use.
9. REDUCE YOUR WASTE BY COMPOSTING AND RECYCLING.
Landfills require lots of land and produce greenhouse emissions that change our climate.
10. SUPPORT BUSINESSES THAT LIMIT THEIR WASTE AND USE REUSABLE ENERGY.
Using your dollar like a vote tells businesses what you want from them.
11. USE A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE.
Reducing waste reduces the size and impact of landfills.
12. DON'T LITTER (AND PICK UP A BAG OF LITTER EACH WEEK).
13) TURN OFF LIGHTS, TVS, AND OTHER ELECTRONICS AND UNPLUG CHARGERS WHEN NOT IN USE.
14) DON’T BAG PRODUCE THAT IS ALREADY WRAPPED (SUCH AS BANANAS, ORANGES, SQUASH, ONIONS), AND BRING YOUR OWN BAGS FOR THE REST.
15) HANG YOUR CLOTHES TO DRY.
It costs the average American $100 per year to dry their clothes. Why not save some money and help the environment while you’re at it?
16) BUY A USED PHONE NEXT TIME YOU NEED ONE.
Carbon Footprint Calculator:
To find the size of your carbon footprint visit: https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/