Concrete Next Steps Friends Can Take to Address Climate Disruption

Sustainability, Faith & Action Working Group

Here's a list of helpful suggestions of effective steps we, as individuals, households, meetings, and communities, can take to address climate disruption created by Quaker Earthcare Witness' Sustainability, Faith & Action Working Group. Many of these suggestions are based on the work of Paul Hawken and his team of scientists, in their book DRAWDOWN and their website, www.drawdown.org.

Here are suggestions you could implement now: 

I. FOOD 

Reduce Food Waste 

Individually: Buy only as much food as you need; give away (ie to a food bank) excess food or compost any waste. 

In Community: Provide information on home composting and local food banks; demand weekly home and business green waste pick-up with your garbage service or a location for drop-off; make it easy for restaurants to give away excess food; patronize caterers and other businesses which have plans for responsible recycling of excess food and offer ugly produce. 

Policy: Advocate for laws like tho se in France and Italy which requires food selling markets to give away food waste to charities, as animal feed, or to composting companies. 

Eat no or Less Meat 

Individual/Household/Meeting: Please eliminate or reduce your meat consumption as much as possible. 

Policy: Support humane treatment of domestic animals. 

II. FAMILY PLANNING AND EDUCATING WOMEN AND GIRLS 

Individual/Household: Consider your family size carefully. 

Policy: Support and protect Planned Parenthood and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund; donate to the QEW population offsets fund. 

III. LAND USE, LANDSCAPING AND GARDENING 

Individual/Household/Meeting: Plant natives to support complex ecosystems including pollinators; plant edible gardens, in arid are as use drought - tolerant plants and xeriscape practices; use gray and rain water. 

Policy: Plant and protect forests and wildlands; support educational planting projects at schools. 

IV. TRANSPORTATION 

Individual/Household/Meeting: Do ride sharing, public transportation, walking, and riding bikes as much as possible; switch to electric vehicles when economically feasible. 

Policy: Support electric vehicles, mass transit, telepresence, high speed rail, electric bikes, trains and ridesharing. 

V. ENERGY 

Individual/Household/Meeting: Install solar panels; buy 100% clean and renewable electricity wherever possible OR create your own local energy aggregate; use LED bulbs. 

Policy: Support state and local legislation and initiatives enabling cities and counties to form green electricity aggregates. 

VI. MATERIALS 

Coolants continue to be identified as significant greenhouse gases, much more damaging than CO2. A recent international agr eement calls for phasing out these materials starting with developed countries in 2019. Be aware that coolants in refrigerators or air conditioners are an important concern and that appliances with new coolants are becoming available. 

Individual/Household/Meeting: While new agreements and the markets are sorting themselves out, we suggest postponing buy ing new refrigerators and other appliances using harmful refrigerants if possible. Dispose of existing appliances carefully, to a void unnecessary emissions o r leaks, at a site that will drain and store the refrigerant. 

Policy: Encourage your county or state to provide facilities to contain, store, and purify refrigerants of their harmfulness. 

Waste Disposal - Encourage your city and/or county to provide con venient community disposal sites for toxic materials such as paint, batteries, and fluorescent, and LED lights.  

VII. BUILDINGS 

Individual/Household Meeting: When building or remodeling, please use the highest standards of green energy efficiency, non - toxic design and materials. 

Policy: Support energy efficient building codes; support infill of cities.