9 Ways You Can Make a Difference This Year

Eco-activism starts with small changes.


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1. Skip a twenty-mile car trip each week. The average American drives more than 250 miles each week. Reduce auto travel by telecommuting or biking instead.

2. Replace one beef meal each week. Livestock consume 70 percent of America’s grain production, and feedlot cows in particular waste water and destroy topsoil.

3. Stop or reduce your shrimp consumption. Nearly 70 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully or over-fished, and sharks and seabirds die when they’re caught accidentally.

4. Declare independence from junk mail. Save trees by removing yourself from junk mail lists. Fill out the online “no mail” request form at NewDream.org.

5. Replace light bulbs with compact fluorecent lights (CFLs). Low-mercury CFLs last longer and lower home energy use.

6. Move the thermostat three degrees. Save on heating and cooling by turning the thermostat down three degrees in winter and up three degrees in summer.

7. Eliminate lawn and garden pesticides. Americans apply 70 million pounds of pesticides to home lawns and gardens each year, killing wildlife and polluting groundwater.

8. Install an efficient showerhead and low-flow faucet aerators. Water conservation methods are necessary to safeguard rapidly diminishing supplies.

9. Inspire two friends. Triple the ­positive effect you’re making by persuading two friends to join your effort. Tell them to help turn the tide.