We are already starting to see some of the early effects of peak oil: more expensive gas, electricity, and food. People are starting to feel the pain. So, how can we help people deal with this? What are the changes they can make that will have the biggest impact for them?
Really, I'm asking YOU. I have my own ideas, but I'm open to new ones. To some people, these ideas are simply common sense, to others they are extremely radical. Either way, the following actions are cheap and can be fast to implement and see results, but not necessarily easy. I don't know if they would have the biggest impact - what are your thoughts?
1. Carpool, bike, or bus.
3. Cook and bake from scratch.
4. Shut off or reduce use of the A/C.
5. Make your own solar oven, and use it.
6. Stop using hot water for clothes washing, and take 3-minute showers.
7. Entertain and vacation at home.
8. Grow some food.
So how can we (as individuals, community organizations, businesses and governments) facilitate and support these 8 action items?
1. Carpool, bike, or bus.
- Make Park n' Rides (for carpooling or busing) available at convenient areas.
- Encourage your church or community centers to provide Park n' Rides.
- Start a carpool at your work.
- Promote existing carpool services.
- Designate or create bike lanes.
- Expand bus services.
- Install bike racks at your place of business.
- Make HOA or city regulations against clotheslines illegal.
- Provide cheap or free clotheslines or clothesline installations.
- Promote clotheslines as patriotic.
3. Cook and bake from scratch
- Offer cooking / baking classes
- Promote cooking /baking contests
- Cook and bake for your friends and co-workers
4. Shut off the A/C
- All govt. offices and schools set at 80 degrees, or just shut it off entirely and open windows up !
- Shade govt. offices and schools with vines or trees.
- Promote shading with handouts at nurseries in the fall and spring.
- Offer assistance with planting correctly sited trees.
- Offer solar cooking classes
- Make home-made solar ovens (cheap) and deploy them
- Feature solar cooking books/displays at libraries
- Encourage businesses to sell solar ovens
- Feature solar ovens cooking at highly visible spots
- Make solar cooked food for friends and family or group functions
6. Stop using hot water for clothes washing, and take 3-minute showers
- Hey, how much effort could this take? Get an egg timer!
7. Entertain and vacation at home
- Start a potluck with your friends
- Promote local OKC attractions like the museums, festivals, galleries, etc.
- Have a STAYcation - vacation at or near home
8. Grow some food
- This one CAN be cheap, but definitely not that easy!
- Start highly visible community gardens
- Master Gardeners - start offering classes
- Start with either easy vegetables or high-value vegetables
- Start programs at schools and institutions - make it part of the curriculum
- Grow your own garden - on the lawn
- Encourage edible landscaping
- Plant edible landscaping at schools, govt offices, prisons, any place that is publicly owned (many plants such as pecans, sage, rosemary, grapes, are easy to grow in our climate and don't require much maintenance)