Taking Action

Taking The First Steps Toward Building A More Sustainable World

Spirit of the Gulf Coast was born out of a desire to understand what was happening along the Gulf coast and to share these stories with friends, family, co-workers, etc. in the hopes that a productive dialogue on oil dependence could unfold. Like it or not, we live in a society that is currently dependent on oil, but there are steps we can all take to reduce our consumption in our daily lives that will reduce the stress on the system.

The devastation in the Gulf of Mexico brings with it the opportunity to stand up and demand change in industry and politics, but also the opportunity for each person to make conscious choices throughout the day that reflect their personal values.

Here are some simple ideas for taking action right away:

  • Get a reusable water bottle and use it daily instead of buying bottled water
  • Take your own refillable mug to your favorite coffee shop
  • Bring your own bags to the supermarket instead of taking plastic or paper bags each time
  • Avoid disposables where possible (plastic cups, plates, utensils, etc. are mostly petroleum based)
  • Eat one vegetarian meal a week for a month (or go totally veggie if you’re really fired up)
  • Take the 7-day Plastic Challenge
  • If you drive, commit to taking one less trip per week via car
  • Bike or walk on short trips instead of driving
  • Carpool once a month to work, school, church, etc. (bonus points for once/week)
  • Properly inflate the tires on your car to maximize fuel efficiency
  • Drive 5mph slower on the highway
  • Telecommute 1 day/week at your job if possible
  • Vote with your wallet – make every purchase decision count

    Long Term Actions:

    • Consider buying an electric car a hybrid, or better yet a diesel hybrid
    • Take passenger rail when available instead of flying
    • Take public transit (it’s even fun!)
    • Buy a used diesel and burn local biodiesel in it, or even straight vegetable oil
    • Consider installing energy efficient technology in your home (solar panels, ENERGY STAR appliances, on-demand water heater, etc.)
    • Install better insulation to reduce heating and cooling costs
    • Grow your own food or invest in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
    • Move closer to work and/or along a public transit route


    Public Policy:

    • Research the issues. Oil dependence has been discussed for decades. Plenty to read out there.
    • Get to know your elected officials and know where they stand on energy policy
    • Show up to public hearings at the City, State, and National Level and let your voice be heard
    • Support energy efficiency and conservation programs that reduce the need for finite fossil fuels
    • Vote in National, State, and Local elections, not just the Presidential elections


    Engaging Others:

    • Post your thoughts in comments on news articles or blog entries mentioning energy and oil
    • Write your own blog entries and submit them to popular sites you frequent
    • Post links to relevant materials on Facebook, Twitter, etc. – invite your friends to participate in the conversation
    • Speak up – the more people get engaged, the faster we will see action in business and government!