People concerned about climate change often ask “What can I do?”
Given that we are all, to some degree, locked into the Carbon Combustion Complex social and economic landscape, it is close to impossible to act totally as a crew member. So start by forgiving yourself and start to take action. We can and must all take some action as crew members. Look around for actions that align with your abilities and situations. NOW is the time to act as a crew member of TSE!
Some important guidelines:
We all need to lessen our carbon footprint. Greenhouse gas emissions are a primary cause of Climate Change.
We all need to consume less stuff. Mindless consumption puts stress on TSE.
We need to move from a Growth Economy to a Spaceship Economy. Be mindful of what you buy, how it’s produced, and any waste that will remain after the product is used.
Lower your entire footprint on TSE. Less is more.
If you can afford one, buy an electric plug-in vehicle. If not, buy a hybrid or a highly efficient internal combustion engine vehicle (30+ miles to the gallon or better).
Bike or walk whenever possible.
If you live in a city with good public transportation, use it.
Ride share with others.
Drive with crew consciousness. Plan your trips and errands to drive the fewest miles possible.
Fly less or buy carbon offsets for your air travel.
Food and Diet
Eat less meat. Reduce your meat consumption as much as possible. Agriculture, particularly raising cattle, creates more greenhouse emissions than all forms of transportation. Start with a 25% reduction this week and increase from there. Less meat is better for your health, as well as the health of the planet. (Raising, butchering, transporting and cooking a quarter pound of beef results in six pounds of CO2 emissions.)
Grow your own food.
Eat organic food and don’t buy food grown with chemicals.
Don’t waste food. Be conscious of what you order at restaurants and purchase at the grocery store. Compost food waste.
Buy less stuff. Do you really need that new sweater, gadget, pair of shoes, fashion accessory or piece of furniture? Shop with awareness not motivated by advertising or fashion. New stuff consumes resources.
Buy used or second hand. As much as possible buy used or second hand cars, clothes, appliances, etc. Here’s a chance to get creative. Give or sell your old stuff to Goodwill or other second hand shops. Trade. Share.
Buy slow fashion. Fast fashion induces consumers to buy apparel more frequently… a drain on resources. Buy something of high quality that you like and that will last a long time. Have fewer, higher quality articles of clothing.
Take a bag when you go shopping. Both paper and plastic are bad environmental choices. Bring your own bag for any shopping you do. Please note that we have a reusable TSE shopping bag on the Crew Gear page.
Be more curious. Read labels, ask questions about where products came from. Ask your favorite take-out place why they aren’t using recycled or biodegradable containers. Imply your continuing business depends on them changing.
As much as possible as soon as possible. The ultimate goal is to get to zero single use plastics. Always carry a glass or metal bottle with you. Recycle all plastics. Take it to the extreme and bring your own containers to the store and leave the plastic packaging there. If tens of thousands of crew members did that, the message would reach decision-making executives.
When you’re out for a walk, pick up plastic and recycle it.
The 2% solution: Look at your monthly energy bill – note the kilowatt hours used. Commit to reducing that number by 2% next month. Was that painful? If not, reduce another two percent each month until you truly are in discomfort.
Reduce your waste – Measure your waste/garbage for one week. Then reduce it the following week. Continue. Remember, when your trash is removed, it still remains on Spaceship Earth, just out of your view.
Reduce your water usage. Look at your monthly water bill. Reduce it 2% per month for as many months in a row that you can. Get everyone living with you involved.
Get rid of your lawn. Lawns use up an insane amount of water. Plant native plants and wildflowers that attract butterflies and pollinators. Less work as well. And a lot less C02 emissions from lawnmowers.
Plant a tree. Or two or three or four. Or give money to a group that will. Trees absorb CO2.
Compost yard and food waste. A true recycling of biological waste. Uneaten food can be used to help grow fresh fruits and vegetables.
Get Into Gardening. Grow vegetables and herbs. Grow them with the compost you create. Create a circular, spaceship food consumption cycle.
Politics and Activism
Ask any politician you meet what their stance is on Climate Change. Let them know your vote is completely conditional on their answer. If they say they don’t know, give them a copy of “This Spaceship Earth” downloaded from this site and tell them to read it!
DO NOT donate to any political campaign, or vote for any politician who does not openly state that Climate Change is a real and a present danger.
Donate to This Spaceship Earth or to any organization actively confronting Climate Change.
Recruit your family, friends and neighbors to take crew actions and become crew members.
David Houle, TedX, University of Chicago
Saving Ourselves From Ourselves
Planetary Ethicist Tim Rumage on Plastic bottles
Calling all 7th-12th graders
On Monday, May 3rd, 2021 This Spaceship Earth is hosting Mission 2030: Global Youth Climate Summit. This summit is designed for young people around the world to learn about our climate crisis, to participate by sharing their climate thoughts and actions, and to enable youth around the world to meet and get to know their peers.