Environment

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The initial actions by the Trump administration make it quite clear that their intentions are at great odds with the previous administration.

Trump's outgoing EPA transition team head, Myron Ebell, stated three fairly tangible actions in particular: withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, defund UN-based climate initiatives and undo President Obama's climate action plan.

It's apparent that the new administration has strong ties to the oil and gas industries, and as such has greatly downplayed the current science and global indicators. This is ironic as the glut of oil and lower costs for wind and solar have created an economic reality that supports moving away from fossil fuels.

Actions such as the renewed vigor to build the Keystone KL Pipeline as a sign of boosting jobs, albeit for a very small number and very short time, demonstrate the administration’s blind eye policy towards environmental concerns in the interest of short term gains and campaign promises.

It’s also no surprise that environmental concern language has been all but removed from the White House public website; the energy policy page states that “President Trump will refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water.”

This all goes hand in hand with the “America First” agenda, which seeks short term gains for friends of the administration to the long-term detriment on the broader global community.  That also means the American community.  What affects the environment affects us all.

Actions

Volunteer with a stream cleanup, planting trees or removing invasive plants.

Pick up litter for 30 minutes and ask your neighbors to join you.

Recycle everything you possibly can (that isn’t a candidate for reuse). Check Recycle Spot for instructions and the what and where. And start composting too!

Conserve and protect water – Lean how. And never ever flush medications down the toilet, or pour them down the drain. Store them in a secure place until you are able to drop them off at a drug take back event.

Encourage your workplace to adopt environmental policies relating to recycling, energy and water use, buying local and greener products.

Eat less meat – plant based diets are easier on the climate. And eat local by patronizing farmer’s markets, and restaurants and grocery stores that source local food. Closer food means a lower climate footprint.

Lower your fuel consumption – take the bus, ride a bike, walk, drive an electric car.

Bee Friendly – Plant a variety of bee friendly flowers in your yard, don’t use any pesticides, buy real local honey, and don’t exterminate bees – hire a beekeeper to move them instead.

Save Birds – Do you or your neighbors have outdoor cats? Buy them beautiful collar covers to help protect songbird populations.

Support and promote community gardens. Help start a community garden particularly in a low-income area.

Plant native plants and encourage other to do the same. Patronize stores that sell natives.

Learn about wildlife in your area and make your property a welcoming place for them. Feed the birds, appreciate opossums (they kill ticks and eat mice), don’t use pesticides and consider replacing some or all of your turf grass.

Support and promote green spaces in new construction and renovations.

Install solar panels. Find out of your home is a good candidate.

Investigate environmental concerns with techniques from the nonprofit Public Lab.

Eliminate as many synthetic chemicals as possible from your life including buying organic food, and choosing natural body care, cleaning and gardening products. Check Environmental Working Group for inspiration.

Commit to buy less and when you do, buy used, buy recycled and buy local.

Subscribe to the Sustainability Action Network newsletter of weekly environmental events and actions.

Local Organizations

350Kansas City  – preserving a livable climate

Blue River Watershed Association – engaging citizens in protecting the Blue River

Bridging the Gap – building a sustainable Kansas City through environmental education and volunteer action

Cultivate Kansas City – growing foods, farms and community

Greenability Magazine – Green news and a great calendar of events in Kansas City.

Heartland Conservation Alliance – conserves, protects and restores natural areas in the KC region

Kansas City Community Gardens – helping low income residents grow food

Metropolitan Energy Center – regional energy partnerships

Missouri Coalition for the Environment – advocating for clean water, clean air, clean energy, and a healthy environment

Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation – funding for conservation projects in Missouri

Missouri Prairie Foundation – conserving native prairies and grasslands

Sierra Club – Kansas CityKansas and Missouri – protecting the planet

Sustainability Action Network – focus on issues involving the economic and social impacts of energy and resource depletion, climate disruption, and economic globalization

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