Regional Approaches to Taking Action on the Environment

District 5080 Green Team / Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group

Those of us who live on the US side of the border reside in a state that has a fairly well integrated power grid, which emits less carbon than power production does in most states. For this reason, one approach would be to encourage people to take individual action that takes advantage of this by:

  1. Replacing wood and gas furnaces with electric heat pumps. New technology does allow air-source heat pumps to provide sufficient heat for cold climates and does an excellent job air conditioning as well.
  2. Since heating with a heat pump does use quite a bit of electricity, a good pairing is rooftop solar. There are still some federal and state incentives for installing both of these systems.
  3. Replacing personal vehicles with Electric Vehicles, which are becoming more of an option for people who live in snowy climates, as electric 4WD cars and trucks are becoming more available and more affordable.

As an international district, we have common interests with the clubs on the other side of the border between Canada and the USA. These include:

  1. Rivers that flow across the border (Kettle River, Pend Oreille River, Osoyoos Lake and Columbia River, to name a few)
  2. Wildlife Corridors that cross the border (such as Yellowstone to Yukon)
  3. Commerce from people who cross the border to shop, stay and play
  4. Recreation opportunities across the border
  5. Fires can of course cross the border
  6. Viruses can also cross the border, and prevent people from doing so

We can develop cross-border projects that help support the health of our common waterways, help complete and widen wildlife corridors and make them safer, help coordinate disaster response, and encourage cross-border fellowship when we can actually cross the border!

Biodiversity is of interest to many people in the Pacific NW for different reasons. Birders, hunters, hikers, fisher-people, naturalists, and others appreciate the fact that we have abundant plants and wildlife, but also realize that increasing summertime temperatures, in air and water, threaten our native plants, fish and animals; that wildfire destroys habitat and threatens the lives of the animals and fish that live in burning areas; and that smoke and heat interfere with bird migration.

 This may be one of the best areas for developing projects in our region. After all, “what’s better for plants and wildlife is better for the climate.”

 Check out this article, “The Win-Wins of Climate and Biodiversity Solutions,” by Paul West from Project Drawdown:

https://www.drawdown.org/news/insights/the-win-wins-of-climate-and-biodiversity-solutions

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