We cannot expect science to solve all the problem for us. Most of the decisions and necessary actions fall outside pure science in the areas of values, ethics, morality, and philosophy. The solution of environmental problems, if one exists, lies in education and action.
Each of us can make daily decisions that collectively make a difference. Something we can do for environmental protection and sustainable development is listed below:
- Drive fewer miles. Ride your bike or walk. Use the public transport system.
- Replace lamps with smaller wattage light bulbs. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact 18-watt fluorescent ones. Turn off lights not being used. Switch to low-voltage exterior lightning
- Purchase energy-efficient appliances and cars. Government-mandated stickers on cars and appliances allow you to compare the amounts of energy each will use. Spend a bit more now to save a lot later.
- Check insulation and weather stripping around your house, apartment, or room. Keep thermostat relatively high in summer, and low in winter.
- Check into alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power units.
- Buy and use rechargeable batteries. The disposable ones contain heavy metals that can pollute.
- Try to avoid foods from areas where pesticides have been used. Never eat fish caught in developed harbours or bays.
- Consider how your food choices affect the environment. Eat foods low on the food chain and avoid foods raised in places where endangered environments (such as rain forests) were destroyed.
- Raise a garden.
- Buy bulk or unpackaged goods, or buy food in reusable containers.
- Use water-saving showerheads, sinks, faucet aerators, and toilets.
- Sweep walks and driveways.
- Water lawns infrequently but thoroughly. Better yet, replace them with drought-tolerant ground covers.
- Take shorter showers.
- Run only fully loaded dishwasher and clothes washer.
Toxic Materials and Pollutants
- Check for toxic materials (old cans, pesticides, engine oil, pool chemicals and so on) you may have around the house. Take them to an approved toxic waste receiving station.
- Read labels. Buy the least toxic materials available.
- Swat flies; do not spray them.
- Buy clothing that does not require cleaning. Dry clean only when necessary.
Recycling and Waste Reduction
- Recycle newspapers, cans, glass, and plastics.
- Buy products that are refillable and recyclable.
- Use cloth rags and diapers instead of paper diapers and paper towels.
- Take your grocery bags back to the market for another trip home.
- Volunteer your time on a beach, pond or water-body cleaning campaign.
Preservation of Life and the Environment
- Plant trees.
- Preserve open space.
- Avoid CFCs (Check air-conditioner to see if they leak).
- Boycott organisations that violate sound environmental practices.
- Don’t litter. Pack your trash out of campsites.
- Write to your councillors and legislators. Better yet visit them.
- Get involved in an environmental group such as Greenpeace, Chipko Movement, enc.
- Talk to your friends about environmental matters.
- Buy quality. Purchase a well-built item, maintain it, repair it, keep it forever.
- Sit quietly on the beach at sunset or sunrise.
- Read and listen.
- Be positive about results.