These ten radical steps will greatly improve your life. They will directly improve your health, stamina, productivity, creativity, and financial well-being. They are also important for the future health of our communities and the planet. Best of all, you can take these steps without being thrown in jail. I consider them to be radical acts because they are not the norm. Most people have not taken the time to think through the negative impacts of their daily actions or develop the discipline to reduce their impacts. It is important that we all take action. So I challenge you to consider the list below and take radical actions to improve your life and the health of our communities.
1. Buy less – I am not trying to destroy our current economic system, just change it. The marketplace should be providing us with what we want, not spending lots of their marketing budgets trying to convince us to buy some of the useless junk that we don’t really need. As it turns out, we end up throwing away much of what we buy. The average American throws away 4.5 pounds of trash a day. The disposal of these wastes is costing us a great deal and is contaminating our communities. We could all be a little more selective in what we buy.
2. Buy the most sustainable option – Let’s change the marketplace with every purchase we make by always asking for the most sustainable and/or most energy efficient product. This will send a clear message to the market and hopefully they will respond.
3. Order fossil fuel-free electricity – Call your electric utility company to find out how to receive electricity from a renewable energy provider. This should not cost any more, and it will help build demand for more alternate energy supplies. (Check our WGL, Viridian, Green Mountain, and Inspire for those readers in the BGE service area).
4. Always use reusable items – Use reusable items such as metal water containers, cloth shopping bags, and ceramic coffee mugs.
6. Drive hybrids or electric vehicles – Save time, save money, and pollute less.
7. Travel less – Explore all the great things to do in your neighborhood and engage in enhancing and becoming a part of your local community.
8. Eat less – Consume fewer calories, especially by eating less meat which wastes a great deal of water, grain, and energy an their production. Shop from the edges of supermarkets where the fresh, unprocessed foods are usually displayed. We consume 25% more calories today on average than we did 50 years ago. Much of this comes from consuming unhealthy processed foods and sugary drinks and snacks.
9. Invest in energy efficiency at home and at work – Insulating your attic will reduce your energy bills, make your home more comfortable, and reduce the need for fossil fuels. Studies show that the annual cost savings will provide you with a much better return on your money than investing in the stock market.
10. Invest in firms with high ESG rankings – There are numerous funds offered now that select firms based on their high environmental, social, and good government ratings. Talk with your broker to see how to do this. We need to support those businesses that are trying to do the right thing.
Take-a-way: There are a range of things that we can do every day that will make a difference in our lives and for the future health of our families, our communities, and the planet. We just have to realize how important they are and then create the discipline to do them. It is time to become a radical.