To the Editor,

Many of us are concerned about pressing environmental challenges like pollution, plastic waste, loss of wildlife and biodiversity, and climate change, but feel unsure where to begin. The key is simply to start. Take one action, then another. And always keep in mind that progress is more important than perfection.  

This month, lets take action to care for the planet and ensure that future generations have what they need to thrive.  

Here are five Earth Month actions to get you started:  

• Rethink Transportation. Transportation has a huge impact on air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, so if you can, drive less. For example, over the past couple of decades fewer students walk and bike to school, relying more on individual vehicles. This trend has made school drop-off areas more of a concern for children’s exposure to air pollution. Walk or bike to school or work a few days a week if your commute makes that possible.   

• Reduce Waste. Reduce waste to slow the depletion of natural resources. Switch to refillable and reusable products, avoiding plastic whenever possible. For example, many cleaning products are available as concentrates or tablets that you use with refillable containers to reduce waste. Adopting a “secondhand first” lifestyle is also planet-friendly, as buying used reduces the environmental impact of production and extends the life of existing goods. Composting is another high-impact action that reduces methane emissions from food waste sitting in landfills and helps build healthy soil.   

• Support Local Food. Buying local food reduces the distance your food travels, which can reduce its environmental impact. Consider signing up for a Community Support Agriculture (CSA) share from a local farmer, find a local source for beef or other meat, or head to your local farmers market for weekly shopping. Buying from local food producers also keeps money in your community and encourages cooking and eating whole foods.   

• Weatherize Your Home. Saving energy and reducing climate impacts can be as easy as replacing weatherstripping or adding insulation to your home. Weatherizing your home saves money by reducing energy costs, helps the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and makes your home more comfortable by preventing drafts and making your air conditioning more effective.   

• Bring Nature into Your Yard. Pollinator numbers have been in decline for decades, but they’re critical for food production and the health of our environment. Many decorative bushes and flowers available at garden centers are imported from other areas of the world and aren’t useful to our native pollinators and wildlife, such as songbirds. Planting native plants, leaving some areas of leaf litter, minimizing chemical use, and mowing less frequently help the planet and bring the beauty of nature into your yard.   

If you want to do more, our region’s Climate Action Plan serves as a roadmap to a more sustainable future. Packed with practical strategies and actionable steps, it offers a clear path to make a difference right now. Explore the plan at and join us in turning this Earth Month into one for action.

Whether you’re taking the first step or have taken many steps to live lighter on the planet, by working together, we can build resilient communities and preserve the natural wonders we cherish for generations to come. What will you do today to build a resilient and thriving future in your community?

Cedar Walters, 

West Central Initiative Climate Officer