We must walk more gently on the Earth.
Households in the United States emit an average of 21.5 metric tons of carbon per year – almost 5 times the global average. Our goal for planetary health should be closer to 3 metric tons per household.
If every person did all we can to change our own habits to confront the climate crisis, we’d make about 30 – 40% of the progress needed. That’s a BIG deal!
Talk about it!
According to Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist and evangelical Christian, the most important thing we can do is to talk about why the climate crisis matters to us. She explains: “ When I speak to people, it’s not a case of needing new values … It is a very rare human being who does not already have a key value or part of their identity that connects directly to concern over changing climate.” Learn more from Dr. Hayhoe: GlobalWeirdingSeries.com
Save energy and shift to clean power.
Take the County’s Green Homes Challenge to save energy at home: FrederickGreenChallenge.org Then, shift your home to cleaner power:
● Support wind energy through your energy bills by calling your electric company, or choosing a supplier that offers 100% green-e certified wind credits, such as Groundswell, through IPLdmv.org/cleanenergy
● Subscribe to a community solar project. Two companies with projects in the Potomac Edison territory are Common Energy (www.commonenergy.us) and Neighborhood Sun (NeighborhoodSun.solar/ipl)
● A group of homeowners across Frederick, Hagerstown, and Morgantown are coming together to form a solar purchasing group through Solar United Neighbors (SUN). SUN will guide the group through the process and each homeowner will sign their own contract with the winning installer.
Click “Join our co-op” and enter you address to see if your home is a good fit: bit.ly/fredericksolar
Change food habits.
● Make sure you use the food you buy. As much as 40% of the food purchased in the United States ends up in landfills.
● Eat a plant-rich diet. Animal agriculture as it is typically practiced in the United States is an enormous producer of climate pollution, harms soil, and is a catalyst for massive deforestation around the world.
● If you must eat meat, limit consumption to a few servings a week, and buy meat from farmers
● using regenerative practices that rebuild soil.
● Compost fruit and vegetable scraps and waste. Backyard compost bins or piles keep waste out of landfills, where it turns into methane gas, 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Or, arrange for home, church, and business pick-up from Key City Compost, www.KeyCityCompost.com
Limit fossil-fueled driving and reduce or eliminate airline travel.
Bike, walk, carpool, and use public transportation.
Airline travel produces high levels of climate pollution. Seek alternatives, such as car or train travel.
When you must fly, purchase carbon offsets, which reduce climate pollution by one ton for each ton your travel caused. You can choose how your carbon offset fee is used. Some credible carbon offset sources: offset.ClimateNeutralNow.org, NativeEnergy.com
Manage your land to draw down carbon.
Healthy soil and trees draw carbon from the atmosphere. Limit the size of your lawn – or eliminate mowed grass completely!
Allow your landscape to welcome nature back in by avoiding chemical fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides or herbicides – these destroy soil health, weaken plants, and harm people and ecosystems.
Plant deep-rooted native perennials, especially those that attract pollinators. Plant native shrubs and trees, which can be purchased from the Maryland State Nursery for $1.00 each:
Nursery.DNR.Maryland.gov . Find out more: BringingNatureHome.net, nwf.org/NativePlantFinder.
Put your money where your heart is.
Divest from fossil fuels: GoFossilFree.org, GreenAmerica.org/GetaBetterBank
All of our faith traditions call us to care for our neighbors by working to repair our damaged climate.
● The Multi-faith Alliance of Climate Stewards of Frederick County, or MACS (MACSFrederick.org), is a group of about a dozen neighboring congregations, acting locally on our moral duty to future generations by protecting the Earth and its inhabitants from harmful impacts of climate change.
Sign up to join us by sending a blank email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
● Working together with statewide partners Interfaith Power & Light (IPLdmv.org) and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (InterfaithChesapeake.org), MACS has hosted education events, planted trees, and is advocating for local policy that reduces pollution and sequesters carbon.
Raise your voice in support of strong climate policy in our county, state, and nation.
Finally, commit today to always vote in every election with the climate in mind: turbovote.org
We must walk more gently on the Earth.