Everything we do can have a ripple effect. On my bus route, there was a rider who would pick up litter around his stop while waiting for the bus and throw it in the trash. I noticed this and started giving him a squirt of hand sanitizer after he got on. And then other riders noticed. When he started getting on at a different stop and other riders saw he wasn’t there, they started picking up the litter. It’s just saying, “I’m going to take that extra step.” It affects people in a positive way. You see others wanting to do the same. It’s a great way to live life.
Why is it important to take climate action?
I do it for the future. I have three kids and I want to be part of the solution. I want to show my kids that it’s not difficult to take that extra step. Once you make it part of your routine, it’s easy.
Sustainability Spotlight, March 5, 2023
Newsletter published by the City of Iowa: City Climate Action and Outreach Division
Ken Gratlin, a bus driver in Iowa City, Iowa, answers three questions about responding to our climate crisis.
How does your family take climate action?
We really focus on getting out and moving more, like walking to school as a family, when we can, rather than driving there. I talk to my family about things like how important it is that the greasy circle in the bottom of a pizza box doesn’t go in the recycling bin. And then the neighbors see us separating it out, and we talk about it, and now they know to separate it too.
We also have been working to buy a lot of our foods fresh from local farms and do things like can our own tomatoes so we can eat local all year. And we are hoping to get a community garden plot this year.
What can others do to take climate action?