ďThink Globally, Act Locally.Ē
ďThink Global, Act Local.Ē
Iíve seen both these versions on bumper stickers advocating a variety of
causes over the years, and have always liked the advice. And whether you
prefer the grammatically correct version, or the pithier, punchier one, the
pointís the same: Be concerned about whatís going on in the larger
world, and do what you can about it in your own neighborhood.
This slogan plays well into the American
ideal that stresses the power each of us has to make a difference. Itís a
potent, appealing notion, and itís one thatís been applied repeatedly
during our history, by individual American citizens working for everything
from civic improvement to civil rights. Itís all about one personís
ability to ignite a movement, start a crusade, change (at least a small
corner of) the world.
And in a long, hot summer filled with
debates in the halls of power in
on Big Issues such as Global Terrorism and Global Warming, itís comforting
and empowering to know that the rest of us can also make a difference, in
ways large and small.
In your home, your car, and your
neighborhood, there are ways that you can reduce energy usage, cut
emissions, and save money. Here are some relatively easy ways to apply The
Power of One, and then hope that your efforts get multiplied over and over
again on your street, in your neighborhood, in your community, in the
Commonwealth, and across the country and the globe.
IN YOUR HOME
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
These bulbs, now widely available at hardware, home- improvement, grocery
and drug stores, are a sound long-term investment and a real energy-saver.
Each compact fluorescent bulb significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions
by using less energy than a regular, incandescent bulb.
Install a low-flow showerhead. This will
conserve water generally AND save energy by using less heated water, and
thus reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Recycle. According to the Natural
Resources Council of Maine, you could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon
dioxide a year by recycling just half of your household waste.
Purchase the most energy-efficient home
appliances you can afford. Doing so will save energy immediately, and will
pay off financially over time. Look for the Energy Star label to find the
most efficient appliances, and refer to the Energy Guide label to determine
the efficiency of specific models.
IN YOUR CAR
Pump it up! Tires inflated to the proper
pressure burn less gasoline, saving money and reducing pollution.
Whatís your hurry? As Andy and Barney
said to a frantic, hot-headed business tycoon speeding through Mayberry in a
memorable episode of The Andy Griffith Show, whatís your hurry? Each mile
an hour over 60 mph that you drive costs you an extra 10 cents per gallon.
Not to mention the cost if you get a speeding ticket Ö
Jump in a pool! Good advice on a hot August
day, or year-round when youíre talking about a carpool. No matter how
fuel-efficient your vehicle is, or how many or few miles you commute, or
even what the price of gasoline is at the moment, you will save
substantially on fuel and vehicle wear-and-tear if youíll carpool to work,
school or shopping with neighbors and friends. Plus, youíll reduce the
overall amount of vehicle emissions every day you carpool.
IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Eat more locally produced food. The food
on your dinner table had to travel to reach its destination. The longer the
journey, the greater the amount of fuel needed to transport it. So consider
eating even more locally grown and locally produced foods, which will
support your local farmer, and save fuel (and reduce carbon dioxide
emissions) as well.
Act local(ly). Consider putting your
individual stamp on a local cause or civic endeavor in which you believe.
From starting a carpool, to running a recycling campaign, to helping
weatherize a senior citizenís home, you CAN make a difference. Itís all
about The Power of One.
And ultimately, like a ripple in a pond,
every good deed you perform in your community radiates outward to the larger