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Climate Action

It Takes A Community

Climate Action
It takes a Community

HEALTHY OPTIONS

The choices we make every day like where to buy our food and goods make up a 31.7% of Philipstown’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). 

FACT

Choosing healthy options supports healthy people, the economy and the environment. When we shop locally, more of that money stays in the community, but it also means lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Here’s how to get started making healthy choices:

  1. Buy Local, buy used or buy nothing

  2. Eat mostly a plant-based diet and buy sustainably raised meat

  3. Decrease food waste and compost your plant-only food waste

  4. Repair, recycle or donate items

  5. Get healthy! 

  6. Make your finances healthy too

Make good choices for your well-being

1. BUY LOCAL, BUY USED, OR BUY NOTHING

There's an old saying, the cheapest good is the one you never buy.

Or, put another way, the most environmentally friendly product is the one you never buy. There is a hierarchy when it comes to purchasing: the first is buy nothing. And there are many ways to do that:  borrow from the Butterfield Library, search for items on a facebook group, or repair a broken item instead of replacing it(see below). When you need to buy something, if you can, you should purchase used goods. Philipstown has a lot of vintage and gently used clothing for sale, as well as antiques and furniture. And lastly, if you buy new, try to buy locally and buy things that will last. Purchasing goods locally has a number of emissions-related benefits, besides the best benefit of all—supporting our main street businesses—the emissions related to transportation are significantly reduced and residents can walk, bike or drive reduced miles to purchase goods at local stores.

2. EAT MOSTLY A PLANT-BASED DIET AND BUY SUSTAINABLY RAISED MEAT

A typical meat-centric western diet comes with a steep price tag: one-fifth of global emissions.

Plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. According to a 2016 study, business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet and 63 percent for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk, and eggs. The issue at hand is not just quantity of meat consumed, but quality. Most animals are raised in Confined Agriculture Feeding Operation (CAFO) also known as a factory farm. In the US almost 97% of beef is finished on grain in feedlots. This type of farming has many impacts on the environment, a large amount of agricultural land is used to grow corn and soy for animal feed in a very carbon intensive way, not to mention the concentrated waste from the animals sits in lagoon and releases methane instead of being a fertilizer that enriches the land. Managed grazing on the other hand, can be part of the climate solution. Properly-managed livestock can be a net positive for grassland ecosystems, carbon drawdown, and wildlife habitat.  Author Michael Pollan said it best, “Eat {good} food, not too much, mostly plants.” Other ideas and resources for healthy food choices:

  • Start a Climate Victory Garden: Grow your own fruits and veggies.

  • Cold Spring Farmers’ Market: Every Saturday at Boscobel, in Cold Spring

  • Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Get delicious fresh food while supporting a local farm.

  • Buy Certified Grass-fed or pasture raised meat at Glynwood and Marbled Meat Shop

3. DECREASE FOOD WASTE AND COMPOST FOOD WASTE

According to Project Drawdown over ⅓ of all food produced is never eaten.

In New York State the numbers are worse, 40% of food goes uneaten and yet over 2.5 million residents do not have enough to eat. The wasted food goes to landfills where it decomposes and releases methane, a more potent Greenhouse Gas.  According to NYSERDA, the wasted food also costs nearly 40 million dollars annually. Applying climate smart solutions to food waste would drastically reduce emissions and would reap social and economic benefits. The next step after reducing your food waste is to compost inedible food and food scraps.  

4. REPAIR, RECYCLE OR DONATE

The extraction of natural resources, the production, transportation and disposal of goods, and the provision of services account for an estimated 29% of 2006 US GHG emissions.

We need to get better at repairing and mending our broken stuff. TheAuthor of Fixation, Sandra Goldmark, puts it best: “Have good stuff (not too much), mostly reclaimed. Care for it. Pass it on.

  • Find a repair cafe and fix before you toss. 

  • Junk Luggers: Eco Friendly Junk Removal

  • Donate clothes, books, furniture, tools, etc. Goodwill, Vietnam Veterans, Big Brother Big Sister, Green Drop, Salvation Army. Or, join a facebook group like Philipstown Free Stuff and Beacon, NY Buy, Sell, Trade, Loan, Giveaway.

5. GET HEALTHY

Did you know that the largest emitter of GHGs in the service industry is from the health industry?

This includes doctor and hospital services, pharmaceutical production and services, health insurance providers and more. So the more we manage our own health, prevent disease and maximize our well-being, the less health services we will have to consume. And that means fewer carbon emissions! 

  • Get healthy! Quit smoking tobacco, increase your physical activity, eat a more nutritious and healthier diet, manage our chronic health conditions.

  • Encourage others to get healthy, too! Take action with your family and friends. 

6. MAKE YOUR FINANCES HEALTHY TOO

Making sure our money, stocks and savings are put to climate-friendly use is another step to making healthy choices.

Did you know that fossil fuel projects would not exist without the backing of large insurance companies and loans from banks? 

  • Move your money and banking to a local credit union - e.g., Hudson Valley Credit Union - that keeps money in our region and local community. 

  • Join the campaign to Stop The Money Pipeline to learn more about holding financial backers of climate change accountable 

  • Divest from funds and stocks that are invested into the fossil fuel industry or other polluting or heavy-carbon-emitting industries.

  • Invest in socially- and environmentally-responsible funds and stocks.

It’s time to take action! For more information and advice on how to make healthier choices that also reduce your GHG emissions, contact Climate Smart Philipstown Healthy Choices Committee: climatesmartphilipstown.org, csphilipstown@gmail.com