Digital empowerment was not a method that I was as familiar with so I was eager to join this training offered by World Pulse. I wanted learn what it was and how I could use it to connect with other women about shared concerns. I chose the environmental topic group because it was an area I wanted to learn more about from women all over the world.

At the time of the training the COP21, Paris Climate Conference, was convening. Unfortunately the media coverage that COP21 received in the United States really was minimal compared to the coverage of violence and terrorism also occurring. Although I recognize that violence is a significant threat to the well-being of people, especially women, so is climate change. This lack of focus on climate change by the United States feels especially troublesome since we are one of the highest global greenhouse gas emitters per capita in the world!

I do not feel like there are strong social messages (or policies) urging Americans to reduce their carbon footprint. If you look a little deeper you can find environmental organizations encouraging Americans to focus on their food, transportation and energy choices as daily personal ways to reduce their carbon footprint. But those messages are really the only messages that I see being promoted in the United States.

I decided to really look at how I am making these life choices. I try to think about what I can do to lower my environmental impact but it is easy to feel limited by financial and time constraints imposed by American Culture. However, the COP21 was a serious reminder to the devastation that countries around the world (including mine) are already facing.

I was moved to really look at my individual choices about food, transportation and energy.  The choice that I am really trying to look at is my energy consumption. Although I live in a city that has moderate temperatures I live in an old house that is energy intensive. I could update it and work towards having it utilize solar or other renewable energy sources, which is a viable option for more than half the year. I have felt like I couldn’t afford to make these changes. After spending the time following the COP21 and really reflecting on my values I am leaving this training committed to make the changes necessary to convert my household energy use to more renewable resources. The cost to humans around the world is too great not to.

However, I recognize that individual changes can only take us so far. I know that industrial, social and global policies have to change as well. I am leaving this training hoping to learn more from the women in the environmental topic group about what actions they are taking individually, locally and nationally.  I hope that you will share your resources, actions, innovations and policies that you believe will improve the global climate for generations to come.

Thank you World Pulse.

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How great that you have found WorldPulse and jumped in by joining this Environmental group, together with the training offered us. Your message resonated, as I live in a similar country which has very active environmental movements, but which also does not strongly enough speak to what we can do as individuals. Your decision to do more toward energy conservation in your home is a great step. You have inspired me to look more closely at what I can do, as well. Having recently moved from farming (where every decision is earth based) back to a city, I am taking stock of how to remain aware in such a diffent life style.

Good luck with your plans, and thanks for an inspirational article.

Tam

Welcome to Environment group!  We appreciate your decision in joining. Climate Change is one of the issues that is keeping us unified in this group and with the bright solutions you and other women bring we can make a first step towards encouraging people be more aware of how they save the energy, how they change their habits into being an example to others. Individual change in this matter is very important.

If you could write a  follow up story with how you cope in improving your living in the house and the effort it takes - it would be a useful solution in our group!

Again, welcome! you will have a great time working with us, all while bringing inspiration to all those concerned about environment.

 

With best wishes, Victoria

WorldPulse Community Champion

Environment Group

 

Hi bgebstadt,

Your post resonated with me as well. The questions on your mind are shared by so many others here in the U.S., but not well respresented at all in our national media. It's often quite confusing for an individual to try to determine how they can make the biggest impact. Do we make a bigger dent in our carbon footprint by driving less, or by eating less meat? By living in smaller homes, or by having more energy-efficient housing? Determining how to act can be so complex! And then, once a goal is determined, putting it into action can also be challening.

I applaud your efforts to make your home more energy efficient! What a great step! I'm so glad you shared it here to inspire others.

Are you familiar with the Transition Network? They might have a chapter in your city, and their website has some great information. It could be a helpful resource for you! https://www.transitionnetwork.org/

I hope you'll keep us posted on these efforts. Best wishes!

 

Sarah