What Can We Do as Consumers About Climate Change?

Read the full post from the Northeast Recycling Council.

For much of my life, shopping has been a form of recreation. I learned good shopping techniques from the best, my grandmother, who was a real pro. She shopped largely for value, quality, and the brands she liked. So that’s what I have usually done. But that’s changing.

I was recently involved with writing a new NERC and NEWMOA handout, “What Can We Do as Consumers About Climate Change?” This short write-up is intended for a general audience and focuses on the climate change impacts of the stuff we consume. From what NEWMOA and NERC staff could find online, there are no other short fact sheets on this topic targeted for consumers. For me, the most powerful statements in the fact sheet emphasize that, “for most products, the greatest contributions to… greenhouse gas emissions happen during production… 42 percent of all green gases are associated with the production, transportation, and disposal of materials and products. Studies…have revealed that greenhouse gas releases from consumption are increasing even as those from the direct use of energy by consumers in their homes and for transportation are decreasing.” These simple statements are a compelling call for much greater attention to the climate change impacts of what we buy.

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