15 October 2009

Blog Action Day - Climate Change

I saw An Inconvenient Truth by myself in the theater shortly after it was released, back in 2006. It had a profound effect on me, as I suspect it did on everyone who is writing about climate change today. The most moving part of the experience, though, was the credits. Al Gore spends the entire movie building this overwhelming case that we're killing the planet. By the end of the movie, you feel ready to cash in the 401K and retire to a tropical island and await the end of the world. And then it finishes up with all these things people can do - can DO - to help, over a beautiful song written for the movie by Melissa Etheridge. We can act. We can change things. It makes me tear up even now.

So based on that and on my continuing theme of local action, I want to bring attention to programs that exist in and around the District to make change.
  • Capitol Hill Energy Co-op. Bringing solar power to the District, one house at a time.
  • If you do go solar (or wind) powered, Pepco has a GreenPower Connection program to allow you to feed electricity back into the grid (and reduce your electric bill in the process). The availability of green power through Pepco is a little fuzzy, but I'm digging for info.
  • DC Greenworks. Storm water management, with a heavy focus on green roofs and urban forestry. They'll work with you to get a green roof installed and help you navigate the DC government subsidy process for it.
  • River smart homes. Speaking of the DC government, this is project of the DC Department of the Environment to help manage storm water run off in ways that are better for our watershed and local rivers. DC DOE will also do a FREE home energy audit for you.
  • #2 on the Top 10 list of things you can do (at Climate Crisis) is to drive less. Despite some recent hiccups, the DC metro area has one of the best public transportation systems in the country: Metro! Take the bus (many are natural gas powered, which, while still a fossil fuel, emits very little carbon dioxide), save the planet.
  • #3 on the list? Recycle more. Did you know that in DC, you can recycle nearly everything? Not all of it is curbside, but the disallowed items list is very short.
  • Eating locally is the next step beyond eating organically. There are TONS of farmers' markets and CSAs in the DC area.
What did I miss? What else can we do in our local area to reduce our carbon footprint?

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