Friday, March 09, 2012
REDUCE YOUR IMPACT AT HOME
Most emissions from homes are from the fossil fuels burned to generate electricity and heat. By using energy more efficiently at home, you can reduce your emissions and lower your energy bills by more than 30%. In addition, since agriculture is responsible for about a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, you can reduce your emissions simply by watching what you eat. Here’s how.
Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. If every family in the U.S. made the switch, we’d reduce carbon dioxide by more than 90 billion pounds!
Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer
Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment.
Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead and washing your clothes in cold or warm water instead of hot.
Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.
Turn off electronic devices you’re not using
Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you’re not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Unplug electronics from the wall when you’re not using them
Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, cell phone chargers and televisions use energy. In fact, the energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working accounts for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption and spews 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year!
Only run your dishwasher when there’s a full load and use the energy-saving setting
You can save 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
Be sure you’re recycling at home
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates.
Buy recycled paper products
It takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.
Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%.
Switch to green power
In many areas, you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. The Green Power Network is a good place to start to figure out what’s available in your area.
Buy locally grown and produced foods
The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.
Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.
Avoid heavily packaged products
You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10%.
REDUCE YOUR IMPACT WHILE ON THE MOVE
Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking public transport wherever possible
Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year!
Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates
Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. eRideShare.com runs a free national service connecting commuters and travelers.
Keep your car tuned up
Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.
Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated
Proper inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!
Try car sharing
Need a car but don’t want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance.
Try telecommuting from home
Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week.
Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly.