Want to help control or reduce global warming and sea level rise?
10 THINGS YOU CAN DO
1. Rethink your carSell the SUV and choose cleaner, more efficient vehicles. Reduce your driving: one gallon of gas burned creates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. Keeping your tires inflated properly can improve gas mileage by more than 3 per cent. Fuel up on ethanol and diesel if you can.
2. Recycle more
Save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling just half of your household waste. Even more, you can save an additional 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide and cut down 10 per cent on your garbage by avoiding products with a lot of packaging. Look for products made from recycled materials and created with renewable energy, to help you save money and reduce pollution.
3. Reduce home energy consumption
Buy efficient appliances with the Energy Star label (175 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions saved per year if every U.S. household did this). Replace light bulbs with low-voltage compact fluorescents, which use 60 per cent less energy than regular bulbs (saving 90 billion pounds of carbon dioxide per year if every family in the U.S. made the switch). Proper insulation can save 25 per cent of your home heating bill and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year; weather-stripping and caulking can save another 1,700 pounds. Buy renewable energy, like wind and solar, from your power company.
4. Cut use of home heat
Almost half the energy in our homes goes to heating and cooling. Reduce energy used to heat water: install a low flow showerhead, saving 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Wash clothes in cold or warm water, saving 500 pounds a year. Move the thermostat down two degrees in winter, up 2 degrees in summer, saving up to 2,000 pounds a year. Use clean filters on your furnace and air conditioner, saving 350 pounds.
5. Turn off electronic devices
Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer and unplugging hair dryers, cell phone chargers, TVs, etc. when not in use will save thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working spews 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year.
6. Revise your food sources
Buy locally grown foods and save the huge fuel used to bring the average meal in the U.S. 1,200 miles from farm to plate. Buy fresh foods instead of frozen, which takes 10 times more energy to produce. Support local farmers markets, which reduce by a fifth the energy to transport food to you. Buy organic foods as much as possible, since organic soils store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than conventional soils (if the US grew all corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere). Eat less meat, because cows emit major amounts of methane – the second most significant greenhouse gas.
7. Plant and save trees
A single tree absorbs one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Trees counteract car fumes, produce oxygen, and reduce home energy use by providing cooling shade relief in summer and moderating wind effects. A single tree brings environmental benefits over 50 years estimated at $162,250 (NJ State Forestry Service). Deforestation now accounts for about 20 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
8. Encourage better corporate practices
Let companies you work for and buy from know you want their products to be energy efficient and ecologically sound. Get builders to adopt energy efficiency and solar power in their construction. Support food producers, paper manufacturers, loggers and others who practice sustainable farming and forestry.
9. Reach out to others
Use your vote and influence as a citizen to elect responsive leaders. Help them organize the town for energy efficiency. Nationally, encourage an efficient energy policy, major conservation initiatives, diversion from fossil fuels, producing crops to make into ethanol and other biofuels, and development, domestic use and export of energy technology based on renewable energy sources.
10. Keep learning more, conserving more, communicating more.............