Conservation and the power to change lives

By acting locally we can overcome the disheartening setbacks of recent years.

I was heartened to see the editorial, “On into the spring semester.”?Acting locally should be a high priority for us all. Many of us do feel abandoned by both the Democrats and the Republicans and it is high time we begin acting in our own best interests.

I feel especially abandoned on the front of conservation of resources and environment. Here are a few simple ways to take action locally:

1. Purchase wind power to offset your energy use. It’s simple and only costs about 5 percent to 10 percent more than conventional energy. If your electricity is provided by Xcel Energy, you can ask for the 100 percent wind energy option (or use less than 100 percent if you choose). Information is provided on Xcel’s Web site. Large stores like Whole Foods Market are beginning to use this option, and you can too!

2. Reduce your “ecological footprint” ” visit My Footprint (www.myfootprint.org) to find out how. If everyone in the world lived like the average American, we would need five planets to support us! Reducing car and air travel, eating less meat and buying recycled items can conserve resources.

3. Another great Web site to research green retailers and read conservation information is the New American Dream (www.newdream.org).

4. Start reading “Affluenza,” by John De Graaf. It is easy to read and packed with shocking facts about American consumerism. One inspiring family highlighted in the book has reduced their waste to one standard-size trash can per year!

5. Shop for organic produce and locally grown food. We are lucky to have plenty of cooperatives in the Twin Cities.?Some large chains offer organic options. Organic food tastes better, does not cost much more and is better for our bodies and the environment.

6. Keep reading newspapers and don’t be afraid to volunteer for new things. We can only act locally if we act!

Thanks for the great editorial!

Sarah Zenk Blossom is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]