Try Using Local Strategies

Many of us get discouraged at the failure of our national governments to act on sustainable development issues like global warming, but sometimes leaders at local levels already are taking action. For example, some leaders of cities/ states/ regions are beginning to make a real difference in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of waiting for the UN or for your national governments, some of you might find an opportunity to meet with/ write a letter to an official of your city, state, or region…or write a letter to your local paper.  Ask some of these questions:

  • How does our city/state/region make good use of materials? (e.g. promote reuse or recycling, ban plastic bags etc.)
  • How are buildings designed for energy efficiency? (e.g. LEEDS certification?)
  • What are the criteria for new building construction?
  • Where does our city get its energy? What portion of its electricity is from renewable energy?
  • What plans do we have to reduce dependence on fossil fuels? To reduce greenhouse gases?
  • How efficient is public transportation? Do we use any hybrid buses?
  • How do we promote other forms of transportation, like bicycles or walking?
  • Does the city have target dates to reduce energy consumption?
  • Where do we get our water, and what are we doing to protect it?