Take action on the Bay Area's behalf -- and your own. Here are some ways you can reduce the environmental impacts of our growing population.
- Reduce your personal energy and water consumption. Buy energy-efficient lightbulbs and appliances (look for the Energy Star label). Turn off nonessential lights and appliances, and set thermostats lower in cold weather and higher in warm. Take shorter showers, turn off the water while you brush your teeth and shave, run washing machines and dishwashers only when they're full, and install low-flush toilets and low-flow faucets.
- Reduce waste by buying products with less packaging, reusing items, and recycling.
- Limit your use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals, such as paint thinners and varnish removers, and always dispose of them properly -- never down the sink or in the street; call (800) CLEANUP to learn about safe disposal. Use natural cleaning products, such as vinegar and baking soda. Buy organic products to support farmers who do not use pesticides.
- Support government and other actions to limit sprawl and promote smart growth, such as zoning initiatives, responsible community planning, and improved transit service.
- Consider the environmental impacts of population growth when making family planning decisions, and support organizations that are working on population issues on a global scale.
- You'll find lots more Bay Area green-living tips in our Green Gate Green Guides. And to keep informed and take action on the latest issues affecting the Bay Area and the rest of California, join NRDC's California Activist Network.