On feeling helpless…

In considering the immensity of environmental issues, one often feels overwhelmed or helpless.

This is from the Conservation Committee:

Discussions with the public, kids of all ages, about the oil spill seem to have a common theme, “I feel helpless.” Feeling empowered in the middle of a disaster is critical, so the Conservation Committee wanted to share ideas with NMEA that you can in turn share with anyone expressing feelings of helplessness!

Direct:
1) If you live near or can get to a Gulf area, or a government or non-profit organization’s office that is helping respond to the oil spill, volunteer your time to help out.

2) If you can afford to, donate money and/or resources to your favorite non-profit that is helping to respond.

Indirect & just as important:

3) REDUCE is the most important “R” in conservation. Reduce your use of oil. Ultimately this can help prevent a spill in the future with less of it in demand being drilled, dug, pumped and transported!

a. Walking, biking, mass-transit, carpooling…

b. Buy local whenever possible, so products do not have to be shipped as far, especially for refrigerated or frozen products that cost more energy to ship. If you need to branch out for your favorites, buy regional and at the very least try to buy products from your Homeland.

c. Reduce your use of plastics & Styrofoam – not only does this help with another big concern we all seem to share, but plastics (and Styrofoam) use oil product in their manufacture.

d. Use less electricity as most power plants still use some oil among other resources to produce energy, saves you $ too!

e. Purchase low energy-use products whenever you can, saves you $ too!

f. Try to avoid buying products, such as some cosmetics, that use “petrolatum” or other byproducts of oil.

g. Invest in renewable energy and/or low energy-use products.

4) Scientists are starting to share concerns over more intensified climactic reaction as a result of the spill, such as more frequent and intense hurricanes. Most of our actions still will have some kind of carbon foot-print, but there are many organizations that offer the service of carbon off-setting you can invest in, including this one created by two NMEA members! http://www.wildcarbon.com (Feel free to share others you know of.)

5) Learn More… real power lies in education. Below is a collection of links to help you find out current events at the Gulf, organizations working on the front lines, and the stories and images to keep you informed.

OR&R Deepwater Horizon page (main NOAA page)

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/deepwaterhorizon/

NOS Deepwater Horizon page

Thank You Ocean Podcasts

Deepwater Horizon Response page

Waterkeeper Alliance

The Ocean Conservancy

Audubon Society

International Bird Rescue

National Geographic images of spill

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