To the Editor:

Climate change and sustainability are important issues at the local, state, and national level. More leaders need to act on this. Thank you, Exeter Select Board members and our new town Sustainability Committee, for taking these issues seriously. Hiring a professional sustainability coordinator for our community will allow more projects to get done quickly and efficiently. Exeter will continue to lead on investing in more clean energy projects, replacing single-use plastics with less harmful materials (like paper and other biodegradable options), and ceasing the use of styrofoam.

With so many presidential candidates passing through New Hampshire and engaging in multiple debates, I hope we can hear the candidates talk more about their plans to combat climate change and reduce our carbon footprint. Families can also do their part to reduce their carbon footprint, even by not wasting food, eating more plant-based foods, driving hybrid-electric vehicles, and improving our recycling and composting efforts.

Many folks complain about the cost of improving our environment, or even just the cost of replacing plastic bags at local grocery stores. But those people don’t include the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted to support gas and oil every year, while these kinds of toxic chemicals continue to pollute our air and water leading to expensive health problems. Our waters are so clogged with plastic bags and bottles, that people are ingesting microplastics every week. The nation's leading medical organizations are urging political candidates "to recognize climate change as a health emergency." It will require everyone – state and local leaders, businesses, residents, and schools – to work on these problems together for a cleaner and brighter future.

Kate Tustin