Liz Durkee’s Environmental Checklist

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How to decrease your greenhouse gas emissions (in no particular order).

To: Bluedot Living

From: Liz Durkee, climate planner at the Martha’s Vineyard Commission

Make informed decisions and act on them

  • When you need a new car, buy an electric vehicle
  • When your heating system needs replacement, install solar or air-source heat pumps
  • Call Cape Light Compact and schedule an energy audit; follow up on the recommendations (800-797-6699) 
  • Plant trees (unless you live near a forest where wildfire is a hazard); trees absorb carbon, provide shade, help control soil erosion, act as windscreens, lower your heating and cooling costs, add value to your home, and some even produce food
  • Buy energy-efficient appliances
  • Divest from fossil fuels
  • Join Vineyard Power 
  • Visit the Island Climate Action Network website to learn more about reducing your carbon footprint and helping the Island adapt to climate impacts
  • Buy less plastic; plastic is made from fossil fuels
  • Buy local products; they don’t require fossil fuel for transport
  • Cut down on eating meat; processing and transport use fossil fuel
  • Vote for candidates committed to renewable energy
  • Use your car less — walk, bike, use public transportation
  • Take fewer baths and shorter showers — it takes energy to heat water
  • Reduce your amount of air travel; planes use incredible amounts of fossil fuel
  • Buy products with little packaging
  • Compost your leaves and food waste 
  • Replace regular light bulbs with LED bulbs
  • Recycle
  • Purchase fewer disposable products
  • Maintain your car
  • Don’t buy fast fashion — buy quality clothing that will last, and secondhand clothing (recycle)
  • Buy less stuff!

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Elizabeth Durkee
Liz Durkee is the first climate change planner for the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, the Island’s regional planning agency. During her 26 years as Oak Bluffs’ conservation agent, she immersed herself in climate change education, and combined it with her environmental protection experience to help prepare for the impacts of a warming planet. “I protect wildlife habitat and conserve water with a small, nonirrigated lawn.”

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