Lessening Our Environmental Impact: A Response to the Reduction of Our National Monuments

"If only the rocks could talk. If only the sandstones could sing, imagine the stories they'd tell, of dinosaurs, mammoth hunters and the "ancient ones" known as the Anasazi. All roamed southern Utah over the eons, long before Native Americans struggled to hold their land against Mormon settlers, modern life and now, Donald Trump. Trump, by signing two presidential proclamations on Monday, shrunk the size of Bears Ears National Monument by more than 80% and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by roughly 45%, fundamentally reshaping the two large national monuments."
- Bill Weir, CNN

This devastating move on the federal level was not only to our National Parks System, protected lands and preservation of history, but to our spirit as nation, as a people united. How to we persevere?  It starts at home.

Everyday we can decide to lessen our impact on the environment.  It is our duty as stewards of the earth to educate, implement and maintain good environmental practices in our homes and communities.  Here are a few great practices dedicated to decreasing your carbon footprint that we encourage you to adopt and share with friends, family and neighbors.

Recycle everything you can.

We all know about cans, bottles, cartons, and paper, but do you know how easy it to peel the plastic out of a pasta box, so you can recycle the cardboard? Tissue boxes too.  How about peeling the metal off the saran wrap or tin foil box and recycling both the blade and box!  Look at what you are throwing in the garbage and ask yourself, can part or all of this be recycled?

Use reusable bags anytime you shop.

Bring your own bags - not just to the grocery store, but to every store!  Even Macy's won't balk at you asking them to put an item in your reusable bag!  How about the wine store - does your one bottle really need a bag?

Use home appliances responsibly.

Set your dishwasher to run in the overnight instead of peak hours, and dryer balls instead of fabric softener or try drying your clothes on a clothesline. Reduce paper towel usage with dish towels and super shammies, and unplug appliances like your toaster and coffee maker when they're not in use.

Buy only in-season produce and eat fewer processed foods.

We shouldn't be eating strawberries in January! And although cheeseburgers are delicious, it takes 441 gallons of water to make 1lb of boneless beef, 382 gallons of water to make 1lb of cheese and 240 gallons to make 1 loaf of bread!  Check out this seasonal food guide to see what fruits and vegetables are in-season.

Do you have your own ideas for lessening your environmental impact? Please send us your practices and experiences so that we can share them as well!

RaisingVoicesUSA Admin