What Can I do About Climate Change?
BE INFORMED. There is a lot of material available on line but if you are just starting, you might look at the following:
1. JOIN A GROUP that is working on some aspect of climate change — whether renewable energy, or stopping fracking or nuclear. Individuals can help, but it is going to take collective political action to transition off fossil fuels and onto renewable sources. The Western New York Environmental Alliance is an organization of many different groups in WNY <www.growwny.org>. Here are few groups in WNY specifically working on climate:
Sierra Club Niagara Group, http://niagarasierraclub.wordpress.com/
WNY Drilling Defense, https://www.facebook.com/WNYDrillingDefense
2. ADVOCATE: CALL OFFICIALS, SIGN PETITIONS, JOIN DEMONSTRATIONS
Here are five things you can do right now:
(a) Call your local Public School Board Members and ask that they put solar panels on the roofs of all schools [list available at http://www.buffaloschools.org/district.cfm?subpage+88766;
(b) Sign the petition today urging the Governor to advance a Wind Initiative similar to the Solar Initiative to quickly ramp up renewables;
(c) Join the Anti-Fracking & Pro-Renewables Energy Rally outside Gov. Cuomo’s Buffalo Fundraiser on 11/6 at 5:00 [http:///on.fb.me/17U3buy]
(d) Participate in one of the Community Congresses — “One Region Forward” to help plan for a more sustainable future for Buffalo Niagara Nov. 12 through 16 (www.oneregionforward.org.]
(e) Call your Erie County Legislator and ask them to support legislation to “remove their portion of the Sales Tax on Commercial Solar Equipment” to spur more renewable development in Erie County.
4. BUY RENEWABLE ENERGY TODAY: Get Clean Energy by signing up to buy electricity from renewable sources (wind, water, sun) through your regular energy supplier. Go on line to review options (www.nationalgrid.com) and click on Energy Efficiency Services. When calling a supplier, have your energy bill handy.
Phone numbers for individual suppliers:
*NewWind Energy: offers wind and small hydro options. 1-866-WIND-123
*Green Mountain Energy: Offers 10% wind, 90% small hydro. 1-800-810-7300.
*EnviroGen: Offers 100% small hydro. 1-888-828-8358.
*Sterling Green from Sterling Planet: Wind and small hydro choices. 1-877-457-2306.
*Ethical Energy: Offers 100% wind. 1-888-763-7659
NYSERDA Incentive Program for Residential Solar and Wind Power:
4. DISINVEST IN FOSSIL FUELS < http://gofossilfree.org/>
Join the 350.org campaign to have colleges, universities, churches, and pension funds take their investment out of fossil fuels and nuclear and put those funds to work saving the planet. Contact your schools. Also check your own investment and pension portfolio. Are you contributing to global warming? For information on how to disinvest in your personal portfolio, check out <http://gofossilfree.org/mymoney/>
5. HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE HOME ENERGY ASSESSMENT AND REVIEW
- Get in touch with PUSH Green, a local neighborhood advocacy group, who will connect you with a certified Building Analyst to find out where your home is losing energy and how to make it more efficient. http://www.pushgreenwny.org/how-it-works
6. TRAVEL SMART by driving a little as possible, having a very fuel efficient car, or using alternatives. Carpooling, as well as bike route and bus info in Erie and Niagara Counties: www.goodgoingwny.com
Carpooling Long Distance: http://www.nuride.com
Bus, Rail and Park-and-Ride Lot Information: http://www.nfta.com
Go Bike Buffalo – Lots of bike-related info: http://gobikebuffalo.org/
Buffalo Car Share: http://www.buffalocarshare.org
7. THINKING ABOUT FOOD The general rule: Local is best, organic is second, for all the rest, check their record: www.climatecounts.org.
8. PLANT NATIVE PLANTS which are the foundation of the food chain in our region. Plants, insects, birds and all life will be stressed by climate change — give them the best chance possible by planting their native food and shelter. (See Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home)