A Great Way to Start the New Year….

We all can make a difference and stop climate change. Photo: Johnny Johnson/Getty Images

Going through my mail today I had something from the EDF-Environmental Defense Fund and I decided to share it here because it is something all of us can do to make a difference.

10 Things You Can Do to Fight Global Warming-It truly is up to each of us.

1. Recycle and buy minimally packaged goods as much as possible.

2. Wash clothes in cold or warm water, not hot.

3. Install low-flow shower heads to use less water. (I will add, turn off the water when you brush your teeth.)

4. Run the dishwasher only when full and don’t use heat to dry dishes.

5. Replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs-CFL’s (you can read more about them here).

6. Plug air leaks in windows and doors to increase energy efficiency (I did this where I live and it made a huge difference-heating bills way down and I’m warmer too).

7. Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models.

8. Walk, bike, carpool or use whatever public transportation whenever possible (A nice way to get some exercise, enjoy your environment-wherever you are and maybe meet someone nice).

9. Adjust your thermostat-lower in winter (put on a sweater), higher in summer (take off some clothes).

10. Share these simple steps with friends and family and increase awareness?

This last one really sums up what needs to happen next. More people need to become aware and learn what they can do to make a difference. Big business is already moving in this direction, because it saves them money and creates good p.r. for them. So while the politicians argue, and maneuver, and delay, the rest of us can get busy and then the politicians might wake up, especially when we don’t vote for them if they don’t start taking care of the environment.

I would add one more suggestion that is really important and can make a huge difference. Shop at farmers markets when you can and support your local farmers.

The EDF is making a difference. After the Deepwater Horizon disaster the White House appointed the EDF to a special commission with the mission to improve offshore drilling safety and environmental standards. They are the only environmental organization to serve on the commission. So while the problem at times seems insurmountable, it isn’t. We still can stop global warming in its tracks by taking action now and supporting organizations that are doing the same, but our window of opportunity is getting smaller. 350.org is another place you can go to learn more about climate change.

Imagine everyone around the world starting 2011 with a commitment to do whatever they can to make a difference. Want to join me?