photos: Alan Cleaver (L); rusvaplauke (R).
In addition to it being Global Handwashing Day it's also Blog Action Day 2009 and the theme is climate change. Personally, it's always climate change action day for me on TreeHugger, but it never hurts to re-emphasize the importance of climate change and what actions you can take to do your part. If you only have time to do two things regarding climate change (besides bombarding your representative with calls/emails urging political action) this is what you need to do:1) Sign Up For Green Power With Your Utility
Want to slash your personal carbon emissions and send a message to your electric utility that renewable energy is important to you? Then take 5-10 minutes out of your busy day and sign up for green power with your utility.
The amount of carbon emissions you've just cut out of your life varies from state to state and region to region (based on how polluting your energy mix is) but it's a significant thing to do no matter where you live. On average in the US you're avoiding 3 tons of carbon emissions.
Don't know where to start? Go here: EPA Green Power Locator
2) Stop Eating Meat
I don't know if I'd go so far as calling meat eating 'the single worst things humans can do to the environment' like Change.org does, but in terms of actions you can take to reduce your carbon emissions (not to mention cultivating compassion for all life...) adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Cut out meat from your diet and your personal carbon emissions drop a ton. Cut out meat, dairy and eggs and it's a two ton reduction.
At absolute minimum you should cut way back on your meat consumption. Try becoming a weekday vegetarian to start, if that seems easier to do.
Want some more stats to back that up? If we just reduced meat consumption to historic levels (think pre-WW2) we could cut the costs of mitigating climate change -- up to 70% in fact, if enough people became vegetarians.
5 Good Ways to Get Green Power Into Your Home
Who Purchases the Most Green Power in the US? Top 50 Buyers Revealed
Try a Weekday Vegetarian Diet: Eat Green Food Without Taking the Plunge
Vegetarian Diet Could Cut Climate Change Mitigation Costs by 70%, If Enough of Us Make the Switch