Top Ten Things you can do to improve Marylandís environment in 2007

Learn about it.  As in so many other areas of life, behavioral change simply does not occur without education, so becoming informed about environmental issues and then teaching others are crucial first steps to take.

  1. Educate yourself about environmental issues, how they affect you, and how they will affect your children.
    Probably the single most important first step you can take is to learn about environmental issues in your region, because if you are like most people, you will want to take actions to correct problems after you learn about their consequences. As you learn, consider making ďLeave No TraceĒ one of your life goals so that future generations will have a better environment than the one your parents gave to you.

  2. Begin to educate others.
    As you learn about and take action on issues, extend what you have learned to others so they too can take action. Remember many of our most pressing environmental problems are the result of lots of small individual actions, and thatís the way they need to be fixed. Beyond that, take your kids fishing, hiking or get them involved in some other outdoor activity so they will learn to love and respect our natural resources as you do.  

Energy conservationó These are probably some of the most effective actions you can take. Youíll save money, reduce the need for more power plants, and be a responsible steward all at the same time.

  1. Conserve energy at home. 
    Turn down the thermostat a bit (itís healthier for you anyway), cut your shower time down, make a habit out of turning off lights when not in use, keep electrically powered equipment (including computers) off when not in use, and pay attention to energy ratings when buying appliances. Also, look for opportunities to replace light bulbs with high efficiency versions, and use only the amount of light that you need.

  2. Conserve energy as you travel.
    Carpool or take public transportation whenever you can, and combine trips where possible to save time and energy. Consider upgrading to a high mileage vehicle such as a hybrid gas electric model. And look for ways to use heart-healthy transportation every time you can - it will benefit both you and your childrenís environment.

  3. Conserve energy at work or at school.
    Actively look for ways to save your company or school money as well as reduce their environmental footprint. For example, commercial facilities are often grossly over lighted - suggesting a 1/3 reduction in lighting could result in big annual environmental and economic savings with very little difference in your work environment. Whenever possible, encourage more telecommuting by employees. It is more productive for the bottom line and also has big benefits for the environment while reducing highway congestion.

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Itís the law

  1. Obey environmental regulations and natural resources laws, at work, at home, and at play.
    The vast majority of rules and regulations pertaining to natural resources are based on good science and need to be obeyed. Without compliance, we face unchecked pollution, unrestricted overharvest of fish and game, and greatly reduced quality of life. If you see someone breaking the law, report them. 

The need for green

  1. Support land protection initiatives.
    Itís a fact protection is far more effective than restoration and consequently far easier on the taxpayer. Elected officials need to know this, and be reminded that we arenít making land anymore.

  2. Choose green energy sources.
    One of the most pressing and potentially severe environmental and foreign policy problems we face is the burning of fossil fuels. An important step in converting to alternative, renewable energy sources is to demonstrate public interest in conversion. One small but important step in this process is for individuals to willingly select green energy suppliers for their electricity needs.  

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Waste not, want notÖ

  1. Reduce, reuse and recycle.
    Buy minimally packaged goods, goods with recycled content, and goods that are reusable. Separate food compost and any recyclable materials from your trash, and look for other opportunities to reduce what goes to the landfill as waste. Remember, in nature nothing is wasted, so why should we be any different.

Keep in touchÖ

  1. Become an active voice for the environment.
    It is the nature of our political process that most elected officials focus their energies where they perceive their constituents have the greatest concerns. The fact is a relatively small number of citizens can have a powerful influence on political actions by making their voices heard. Be that voice for the environment, as well as for your grandchildren's environment.

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ďAll things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man...
the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.Ē
  - Chief Seattle

This page Updated on January 16, 2007