I was so appalled at John Balentine’s Dec. 6 article sarcastically making fun of Gov. Janet Mills’ efforts to return Maine to sensible land use planning, particularly in the area of energy. (“Help Gov. Janet save the planet.”)

Maine had one of the first state climate action plans in the 1990s, and the current Democratic administration has restored a planning department, called the Office of the Future, led by former speaker of the house Hannah Pingree.

Yes, we can save the planet for our children and other living creatures, because we are willing to change our lifestyles now that we know how much damage driving fossil fuel vehicles and heating homes with oil causes. We can be comfortable and use the benefits of modern technology while being energy-efficient and rapidly converting our electric generation to solar and wind, as well as conserving energy in our homes and travel.

Here are easy things you can do to make the world less unbearable for your children and grandchildren. Consider zonal heating in your house, heating rooms only before you are going to use them, and heating selectively the spaces you use most. Tighten up the air loss in your home by sealing windows and doors and insulating your attic better and your sill joists in the basement.

Even better, get an energy audit, which will tell you the most cost-effective improvements you can make to lower your heating bills. Some of these strategies may include: adding window inserts or replacing old, leaky windows; adding attic insulation; or buying a heat pump with a $1,500 rebate from Efficiency Maine (www.efficiencymaine.com). If your water heater breaks, use the EM $750 rebate to buy a heat pump water heater, which heats your water as well as dries out your basement.

The second-biggest users of fossil fuels are our cars. Commuters can use their smartphones to carpool with a neighbor or coworker. I drive a gas-powered car as little as possible and give rides to new refugees and friends without cars. I have moved to town so I can walk, bike, or snowshoe to events and stores. If you can afford an electric car, be sure to pay $5 to $8 for all green electricity to power it. I’ll be working to get my new town, Topsham, to consider partnering with Brunswick on extending bus routes at least to the main downtown streets of Topsham. Please urge your state representative to support funding for restarting a commuter train between Lewiston and Portland.

John Balentine, in his Dec. 6 column, has some good ideas to have business conferences online, using Skype. I do this with Maine Sierra Club twice a month and find it saves driving time, gas and is a very efficient way to do business. Limit your air travel to essential trips, and either vacation near home or take a boat, bus or train.

One of the benefits for people ride buses, or carpool and take trains, which are the most efficient way to travel, is they can do something else while traveling – even enjoy talking with their fellow riders. It costs much less to take a bus from Brunswick to Portland, both in gas, wear on your car and parking fees – if you can even find a place to park.

We can unclog our highways and reduce air pollution, thus improving both human health and ecosystem health, on which fisheries, forests and farms depend.

Nancy B. Chandler is a retired farmer, gardener and educator from Topsham.