What Can You Do?

While shopping the other day, I noticed a man who had no teeth, a greasy baseball cap on, and peeking under his wife beater was a hairy beer belly. I was quick to judge, and assumed, like all other Americans, he was a piece of white trash. No job, on welfare, sucking off the government. Probably had thirty kids that were contributing to society in no way, and probably weren't all his. I left the store with all my groceries, piled high in plastic bags. I saw him and his wife and three kids leaving the store with a cart full of green re-usable bags and realized how wrong I was. For he wasn't the part of the group who would ultimatley be responsible for the demise of our environment, I was. No matter how much more money I had, or how great I looked, or how my job was contributing to the betterment of society - it wouldn't matter if we couldn't even live on our own planet anymore.
We Mormons are VERY interested in the welfare of our children and grandchildren. We try to also see eternal perspective. We need to remember that while we are chilling out in the Spirit World, our children's children's children will be chilling out on Earth. We should teach our kids now that protecting the Earth isn't just for democratic "tree huggers."
On June 4th, I attended an economic symposium in Idaho. Here's what it said in a pamphlet I received.

1. If the thermostat in every house in America were lowered 1 degree Farhrenheit during the winter, the nation would save 230 million barrels of crude oil.
2. If every American would spend 1 minute less each day in the shower, they would save 1,000 gallons of water per person, per year.

3. ONE hour of using gas-operated leaf blower produces the same amout of greenhouse gas as a car driving 4,400 miles.

4. If every American switched to receiving just one bill as an e-statement instead of paper, the one-time savings would be 217,800,000 sheets of paper.

5. If just one passenger per flight in the world this year packed 1 pound less luggage, they would save enough fuel to fly a Boeing 737 around the world 474 times.

6. If every American household turned off the lights for one hour, they would prevent more than 16,610 tons of carbon dioxide from being released.

7. 88 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. each day. This represents 12 million barrels of oil. Less than 1 percent of plastic bags get recycled.

8. Household batteries contain hazardous materials that leak into the atmosphere. Instead, buy a set of rechargables.

9. Catalogs, newspapers, and magazines add up to more than 4 million tons of paper per year. Cancel your printed subscriptions and get the online versions.

10. Only 8 out of 10 water bottles are recycled. It takes 15 million barrels of oil per year to produce water bottles, enough to fuel 100,000 cars. Instead, pick up a resusable water bottle and install a filter on your faucet.

11. If every American did four out of five loads of wash in cold water, it could keep 50 tons of carbon emissions out of the atmosphere per year.

12. Minimize the use of ventilating fans in your kitchen, bath, and utility area. Just ONE hour of use can pull out a house full of warm air in the winter, and cool air in the summer.

13. TV's, DVD's, and electrical equipment still use SEVERAL watts of power in standby mode. Plug electronics into a power strip, and turn off when not in use.

14. Americans throw away about 40 billion soft drink cans and bottles every year. Placed end to end, they would reach the moon and back twenty times!

15. If all the cars on U.S. roads had properly inflated tires, it would save nearly 2 billion gallons of gas per year.


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