Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Answer is You!

Climate change is definitely a subject that is front and center, and with good reason. I just read a report that May was the third warmest on record for the World (in the past 180 years) and I have glanced at my own area's June #'s with the same result. We are definitely getting hotter.

In Southern California, we have the added issue of the least amount of rainfall since they began recording 150 years ago. The combination makes for extremely dry vegetation in the local mountains with a wild fire season that will be tough. Warming global temperatures are also being blamed for the severe weather patterns that are occurring, at least here in North America. We have witnessed Hurricane Sandy, the incredible strength and multitude of tornadoes, and flooding in so many places including our neighbors to the North. Calgary is under water and the Stampede is threatened with cancellation. The list of severe weather conditions goes on and on.

So, while the politicians play with the issue, we really need to start doing what we can. Many think this problem is overwhelming, and often ask themselves, what can I do that will really make a difference? You are much more powerful than you know. One huge way that we can help the problem is with our buying decisions. You vote everyday with your pocketbook. Every time you buy something you are consuming energy, the energy that was needed to make that product. When you buy American-made products, you know that there have been very stringent guidelines on how that product was made and the pollution that was produced. When you buy products from other countries, we do not know how much pollution was produced and what kind of environmental protection those manufacturers have in place. And, how many of us buy products on a whim? Moving forward, we really need to buy only what we need. That will be a hard one. But...the choice is ours.  

I also looked at several lists for other ideas on what we can do to make a difference; drive less, walk or bicycle more, recycle, buy energy efficient cars and light bulbs, buy locally grown groceries, travel by plane less (air travel is a huge amount of carbon footprint), eat less meat and dairy (cows make tons of methane gas), and the list goes on.

As a corporate citizen, these issues have been on the top of my mind for many years. derma e® has been recycling when it wasn't fashionable. When the company was small, I personally took all our scrap paper, etc., to the local recycling facility. Now we have large bins for all our recyclable waste. derma e® uses recyclable packaging. We have been buying wind energy certificates for years to offset all our electrical use in our distribution center and manufacturing facility. The manufacturing facility is unique in that our boiler (used to warm our kettles to compound the products) is also electric while most labs have a gas boiler. We also have policies in place to turn off all electrical equipment when not in use and we have installed sensor switches to turn off lights when someone is not in the room.

This may seem like an overwhelming challenge but even the most obvious eco-friendly actions can make a difference. One of my favorite quotes is truly applicable here, "You must be the change you want to see in the world." Mahatma Ghandi.

Yours in health,
Dr. Linda Miles, D.O.M.


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