Amber and I have started thinking about ways we can help out with this crisis. Going down there to help would be kind of ironic, due to all the gas it would use. However, there are ways we can help without even leaving Mt Pleasant.
1. Cutting back on our use of oil
We use oil for everything, especially in a rural area like this. It powers our cars and provides electricity, which then heats our water. Our idea is to use less oil where possible.
First, we have bikes and healthy bodies. We can ride our bikes and only drive the car when absolutely necessary (avoiding filling up at any BP stations, of course).
We can also cut back on our use of electricity by switching to CFL bulbs. Our apartment is older, and so it has incandescents in all the sockets. We also try to keep all the lights off until we need them, and not to leave lights on in rooms we're not in.
Another option is to shop locally. We like to shop at a local grocery co-op, GreenTree, and a lot of their stock is locally made/grown/produced. This uses less fuel in transportation, and therefore uses less oil.
2. Invest in Clean Energy
The Deepwater Horizon spill is a disaster in every sense of the word, and it should make people take a second look at oil and our dependence on it. It's a highly toxic chemical that has the potential to cause immense grief and harm, and should be treated as such. If a wind turbine were to collapse in the water, would it be nearly as big a disaster as this? I think not. We're obligated, as humans, to take care of the planet we live on. Energy that doesn't damage it is the way to go. We're considering finding a way to make a donation to clean energy companies or foundations in order to further the cause of clean, renewable, NON TOXIC energy.
3. Invest in the Environment
I don't just mean a membership to the Sierra Club, although that is a good idea. A donation to the National Wildlife Federation means the wildlife in the Gulf might have more of a chance to survive, because they can fund volunteer efforts for cleanups. Donate your time and energy as well, in your area. We want to see if we can volunteer to clean up the parks along the Chippewa River here in Mt Pleasant. Above all, invest in the environment by taking the time to go outside and enjoy it.
But please, do SOMETHING. This is something that can't be ignored.