“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.”
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because I have been anointed to give good news to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken heart; to preach freedom to the captives, and bring sight to the blind; to release the oppressed.”
A Green Economy: Opportunity with Crisis
Economists and leading business people agree that climate change will alter far more than the physical face of this planet. It will in fact lead to an eventual restructuring of the global economy. This restructuring will result in wins and losses in business and technology sectors. The demands of a changing climate require an immediate adaptive response from humanity. Those who shy away from the climate challenge and hold onto aging “brown economy” models of production and management will find themselves less and less relevant and effective as the economic world they had known is slowly reformed. However, those who boldly respond with a creative and adaptive perspective will encounter new opportunities and benefits in this emerging sector known as the green economy. According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), a green economy is “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.” UNEP’s green economy report argues that the opportunities and benefits of embracing a green economy are tangible and vast, for both national governments and the private sector.
But really—what can I do?
It is true that our individual actions are small under the shadow of this massive crisis. Still, we have tremendous power to influence those around us by the way we live our daily lives. A switch toward fuel efficient lighting, a decision to ride a bike or take public transport, a choice for recycled grocery bags—these contagious actions will not go unnoticed. They have potential to elevate the greater conversation within your community, church, among friend and family groups, and in public. When one person takes a stand, even in a small way, others will be influenced. In this sense, your actions really can speak louder than words. Here are only a few ways that you can take a daily stand against climate change—and raise your voice for climate justice.
What YOU can do- Practical First Steps
- Install fuel efficient lighting (compact florescent, etc.)
- Choose bio-degradable and eco-friendly chemical products
- Compost organic waste
- Look for opportunities to walk, bike and take public transportation
- Turn off lights when leaving a room
- Avoid lengthy showers
- Hang clothes out to dry instead of using the clothes dryer
- Tour your local Water Treatment Plant
- Reward Climate-Conscious companies by buying their products
- Change manual thermostats for new programmable units. This conserves energy, and can save almost $200 a year on electric bills.
- Turn off computers and televisions at night. If every home and business would set computers to automatically turn off, it would save $4 billion worth of energy each year – enough to power all of Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
- Buy locally grown foods when possible
- Replace plastic shopping bags with cloth ones
- Make use of electronic copies of documents and ask yourself the question: Do I really need a hard copy?