We can no longer accept environmental degradation as the price of progress. With over 8 billion people habituating the earth, it is more important that we control our over consumption of goods and services, reduce, repair, reuse and recycle everything. We need to lower greenhouse gas emissions by stopping the global use of fossil fuels and our total dependency on automobiles.
Whether one lives in Hunan, China, Sidney, Australia or Pend Oreille County, Washington every citizen must do his/her part to protect our environment from further destruction. It would be so easy and actually exciting for Pend Oreille County to become more environmentally friendly. The possibilities are endless and we can start here:
- First, we need to formally announce that there is an environmental crisis in the world and that we, the residents of Pend Oreille County, can and will do our part in helping curb it.
- People can educate themselves through local policies and programs to understand the local and worldwide consequences of this environmental crises.
- We should never encourage massive polluting, urbanized industrial facilities to be sited in our rural county. We should strongly encourage small environmentally-friendly businesses and entrepreneurships that support water and energy conservation, use renewable resources, and recycle.
- We need to shop locally as much as possible, plant gardens and eat locally grown produce purchased at the Farmers’ Markets.
- We have to stop using single use plastic and encourage businesses to eliminate plastic shopping bags.
- We need to promote recycling of everything, no matter what it is, including the composting of organic materials. There should be no such thing as garbage – everything should be utilized or properly recycled. And it should be recycled as close to home as possible. Pend Oreille County needs to be more diligent in recycling all its collected waste.
- We should develop the habit of conserving water, driving less and walking more, consuming less energy, buying recycled products, joining environmental groups to combat air pollution, creating less waste, planting more trees and much more.
A smart community clusters businesses and homes together, construct well planned out bike and walking trails that lead to the front door of places of businesses. We shouldn’t be sprawling out businesses and homes that require more intensive motorized transportation and the expansion of infrastructure outside of the core area. It is costly and it covers over valuable productive forest and agricultural land.
Being environmentally friendly simply means having a lifestyle that is better for the environment. It’s all about taking small steps so as to make this planet a better place for our communities and for generations to come. Pend Oreille County is not so large nor population so
small that we are not capable of doing our part in protecting our environment.