What You Can DoSustainability is a community effort.
There are many ways you can save energy, conserve resources and reduce pollution. Doing these things will not only help maintain the biosphere, but save you money as well. Here are some links to useful websites with more information:
|At Home||At UAB||In Your Community|
|Energy Savers - U.S. DoE||CommuteSmart - carpooling||Battery Recycling & Disposal|
|Energy Star - EPA||Workplace Sustainability Tips||Christmas Tree Recycling - Earth911|
|Home Energy Saver - U.S. DoE||Energy Conservation Tips||General Recycling|
|Save Money & Energy - Alabama Power||Household Hazardous Waste - Hoover|
|Pollution Prevention - EPA||A Kid's Guide to Recycling|
|WaterSense - EPA||Guide to Recycling Electronics|
|Backyard Conservation - USDA||Lighting Recycling Guide|
|Resources for Upgrading Appliances|
|Greener Products - EPA|
|Toxic or Not? - Today Health|
Water Wars: The looming conflict over freshwater supplies that will compete with energy as the most important policy issue of in the 21st century
Even though it is a renewable resource, freshwater is becoming a scarce commodity in many parts of the world just like fossil fuels. If climate change results in shifting rainfall patterns and melting glaciers as predicted by many computer models, water will become an even more scarce and precious commodity in the future. Some are saying that conflicts over freshwater resources will become more important than conflicts over oil and other more traditional commodity resources and we are already seeing indications that may be true. In our region, Alabama and Florida have been fighting in court for 20 years with Georgia over water each state shares and depends upon from the Chattahoochee, Coosa and Tallapoosa watersheds (see http://waterwar.org/history.html ). In the Mideast, conflicts over water could be the spark that ignites another Arab – Israeli war (http://www.mideastnews.com/WaterWars.htm). In Asia, China seems to have designs on water originating in the Tibetan Plateau that other countries have relied upon for centuries (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42630131/ns/world_news-world_environment/).
Even Birmingham is not immune to this problem. Although our city is located in one of the rainiest temperate regions in the world, averaging over 50 inches of precipitation annually, it is also one of the largest metropolitan areas east of the Rockies that is not located near a major river or lake. Ensuring a reliable supply of freshwater into the 21st century will be a major challenge for city leaders (http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2007/06/water_supply_at_its_limit_by_2.html).So, what can you do? Well, saving water is the obvious answer. Here are a few tips you can use at home and the office: http://www.wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/index.php. Go here to find out what UAB is doing to save water: http://www.uab.edu/green/sustainability-at-uab/water.