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Question of the Week: What’s the best thing you ever did to protect the environment?

2008 May 7

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Each of us – at home, at work, or at play – affects the environment in different ways and as such, we do different things to help protect it or reduce pollution.

What’s the best thing you ever did to protect the environment?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

20 Responses leave one →
  1. Matthew Kelm permalink
    May 7, 2008

    Well………………………….everyday I am chased by the shadowy non-carpoolers in a high-stakes came of cat and mouse. Thus, I make death defying jumps off of cliffs to make it to the commuter lot with eco-unfriendly helos on my tail and I spray greenhouse gas repellent in the air to make it safely to my carpool to work. :)

  2. Dayle De Arvil permalink
    May 7, 2008

    Daily I travel to work using the bus pass provided to me by Region 8.

  3. Ellen Duke permalink
    May 8, 2008

    I am an active member, and contributor, of three environmental groups which provide public support for the work of the Environmental Protection Agency.

  4. Lina Younes-EPA permalink*
    May 8, 2008

    I can think of two main things–The part that I enjoy the most–gardening and planting new trees. The second thing which might have been more beneficial–was purchasing Energy Star appliances and also all new energy-efficient windows.

    Spanish version–Creo que las dos cosas principales son–La parte que disfruto más es la jardineria y sembrar nuevos árboles. La segunda acción que quizás es la más beneficiosa para el medio ambiente es que compré mis enseres eléctricos con la etiqueta Energy Star y ahora todas las ventanas en mi hogar también son eficientes energéticamente hablando.

  5. Jeffrey - EPA permalink*
    May 8, 2008

    Took a job at the Environmental Protection Agency. :)

    But in my private life, I’d say buying energy-efficient appliances, windows, and my Prius.

  6. Lauren P. permalink
    May 8, 2008

    Changed my mindset. Making myself less materialistic has impacted virtually every aspect of my life.

  7. Marjean permalink
    May 8, 2008

    I didn’t have any children. I didn’t leave an ever-widening circle of descendants to go on sucking up resources and leaving tons of pollution and waste.

  8. Rhonda Chitwood permalink
    May 8, 2008

    The best thing I ever did was refuse to believe pool filter backwash is nonhazardous(see link).

    http://www.cdc.gov/eid/content/14/6/pdfs/07-1495.pdf

    Citizens of Trophy Club and Grapvine are desperately trying to get out word of a public health crisis in the DFW area. The City of Trophy Club is dumping over a quarter million gallons per year of wastewater containing pathogens like cryptosporidium, giardia, e coli, MRSA, etc. into a source of drinking and recreational water for area residents(see youtube video).

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=M_1qqQ8TjEs

    Pool filter backwash is a hazardous source of e coli and other pathogens. Below is a link to a documented e coli outbreak in British Columbia that was traced to dumping pool filter backwash to the storm sewer; exactly what Trophy Club is doing. The manufacturer of the pool chemical(diatomaceous earth) found
    on the streets of Trophy Club thinks it causes cancer(see material safety data sheet link). The Trophy Club City Manager refuses to respond to these allegations of a public health nuisance.

    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/05vol31/dr3112ea.html
    http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/d1288.htm

    Trophy Club expressly allows, by city ordinance, the backwashing of pre-2005 pools into the streets, storm drains and creeks that drain into Grapevine Lake. This illicit discharge is not even quantified in Trophy Club’s current Stormwater Management Plan submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for permit coverage.

    Citizens who use Grapevine Lake and who do not want to drink or swim in wastewater from the City of Trophy Club only have one opportunity to comment on this. The City of Trophy Club is trying to sneak this through before anyone finds out. Comments from affected parties can be sent to the address below
    requesting a public meeting where this can be properly reviewed.

    Attn: Ms. LaDonna Castañuela, TCEQ Office of the Chief Clerk MC 105,
    PO Box 13087
    Austin, TX 78711-3087
    Re: City of Trophy Club, TX – General Permit TXR040080, Phase II MS4
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/trophyclubstormwater

  9. Scott permalink
    May 9, 2008

    I’ve made the slogan “reduce, reuse, recycle” a personal goal. For example, I have only had two cars in 22 years, I’ve minimized my use of those ubiquitous plastic grocery bags, and I go out of my way to find a recycle bin when tossing out a glass or plastic bottle. I encourage others to do the same.

  10. EnviroCellular permalink
    May 10, 2008

    If any Groups here in the US are interested in recycleing cellphones and using them to raise funds I can help. http://www.EnviroCellular.com

  11. Anne permalink
    May 12, 2008

    I make a conscious effort to consume less and to think about how my actions, however large or small, affect the environment. Just being conscious of the environment and helping others to realize their affect on the environment is a great way to help the environment.

  12. Tim Davis permalink
    May 13, 2008

    Every day I walk or bike a mile to the bus, take the bus in to work, and reverse the process when coming home. :)

  13. Quinn permalink
    May 14, 2008

    About 4 yeas ago I started avidly recycling @ home. I can not believe the reduction in pure waste! It is only absolutely necessary to take my trash out (to be picked up) once a month! If everyone did so, grabage trucks could start running less often, reducing fuel use and emissions.
    Not only that, but I have a four-year-old in who’m i’m trying to instill these practices and mind-sets. Her generation (and each to follow) is our future. If they learn how to conserve and preserve now, they can keep passing it on!

  14. May 14, 2008

    The best thing I ever did for the environment is have one child (instead of 2 or 6 or…). Ever see the Doonesbury comic about the 3rd child chastising a man for drinking from a styrofoam cup? While I’d never tell a kid that s/he is bad for the enviroment simply by existing, when one does the math, the impact of producing more than a replacement population is mind-boggling.

  15. Heidi permalink
    May 19, 2008

    I would have to say the ONE best thing I have ever done for the environment was to have no children. According to some of the recent population data models, if the world continues to reproduce at its current rate the planets natural resources will not be able to sustain the high rate of human population. We will basically “use up” everything necessay for most life to survive. This is a pretty sad forecast.

  16. June 28, 2008

    I set my dishwasher to “DELAY START” so that it will run in the middle of the night. Most electric power is generated by nuclear energy in non peak times, so by running late night, I am not using coal fired (polluting) resources.
    I do the same for washing clothes.
    I organize a route when running errands. Plan ahead so that you go in only one direction. And I do not go on a Saturday / Sunday when traffic is the worst.
    At the grocery store, or mall, I park where I can “pull thru” and not have to back up to get out of a parking space. This minimizes the gas used to back up, and start ahead again.

  17. Title 24 permalink
    January 2, 2009

    I cant think of more than just one thing I try to do for the planet
    use reusable canvas bags when I shop at the grocery store
    ride my bike to work
    only eat vegetarian fed animals
    made my house 50% over standard Title 24 compliance for greater energy efficiency http://www.nrgcompliance.com if you dont know what title 24 is

  18. Alex Jonis permalink
    December 14, 2009

    Buying a house near the center of town where I can walk to the grocery store. Started a business where I can work from home at least 4 days a week is probably the best thing I did for the environment.

    Alex

  19. ZipBox Media permalink
    April 26, 2010

    I wish I could say that I did more than recycle…

    —-
    Johanna Lasserton

  20. Liz permalink
    April 28, 2010

    Hands down it’s not reproducing or at least having very few children. My husband and I decided to have none. We do many other things (compost, replaced the lawn, recycle, etc, etc) but it’s all a drop in the bucket compared to not adding to the population.

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