Rules to Live By

In the spirit of the new year, I crafted a few environmental “Rules to Live By”. Like environmental resolutions for the planet, these are environmental goals that I would love to see reached in the US – or even worldwide.

  • Recycling incentives do exactly what the name suggests and give people an incentive to save plastic bottles and eventually return them to the store. As it stands, Hawaii, Maine, New York, and other select states refund 5 cents for each item that is returned to a recycling center. I hope to see recycling incentives for everyone in the future.
photo of pile of ripped carton
Photo by Luka Siemionov on

  • In 2019, it would be a great stride for the US government to track and stop the buying and selling of endangered or threatened species online. It’s all too easy to find websites that sell threatened species as pets. Of course, there are exceptions. In the case of axolotls where habitat destruction prevails, captive breeding has actually increased the population size in the pet trade so restoration efforts may one day be possible. It would be neat to have a special FBI animal division though, wouldn’t it?
  • Environmental conservation efforts should accompany any new construction projects. A great example of this would be to require companies to build wildlife bridges for animals to safely cross busy highways every time a road is reconstructed. Traveling then becomes safer for both humans and animals.
wildlife bridge
Image from Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, found on Goodnet.
  • The US could implement a carbon tax that holds businesses accountable for their carbon footprint. This idea has been proposed by US government officials and scientists in the past. Countries such as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland currently have carbon taxes in place for fossil fuel producers. Australia tried to enforce a carbon tax but repealed it due to protests over energy cost increases. A carefully crafted proposal could reduce emissions and help mitigate climate change.
  • Prolonged subsidization of solar power and electric vehicles would ensure affordable renewable energy in the long run. In the UK, solar subsidies were cut in 2016 and according to The Guardian are going to disappear completely by March of this year.
alternative energy building clouds energy
Photo by Pixabay on
  • Statewide plastic bag bans are only in place in California and Hawaii. Widening the scope of the ban would show that the US is serious about ending plastic pollution.

How are you doing on your resolutions for the new year? Stay motivated! Sincerely, Jess 🙂

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