Post Scheduled for: 04/28/2016 10:00 AM (PST)
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Take a look at the list below to learn more about how you can help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and create a better tomorrow for yourself and future generations.
1 Change lights and look for the Efficiency Endorsement Label
Replace your most frequently used light fixtures or light bulbs with ones that have an energy efficiency endorsement label such as Energy Star, Procel, Conpet or Fide (depending on your country). Energy efficient products will help the environment while saving around $70 a year on energy bills. For example, Energy Star lighting provides bright, warm light that lasts about 10 to 50 times longer than standard lighting, while generating about 75% less heat and using about 75% less energy. Over their lifetime, energy efficient products reduce greenhouse gas emissions considerably, so next time you purchase new light fixtures or bulbs, make sure you look for these labels.
2 Drive Smart
To improve your fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, go easy on the brake and gas pedal - avoid hard accelerations and reduce idling time (no more than 30 seconds). Unload unnecessary items in your trunk to reduce excess weight and if you have a removable roof rack and are not using it, remove it. Use cruise control when available and operate selectable four-wheel drive vehicles in two-wheel drive when road conditions permit doing so. Get regular tune-ups, follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and use the recommended grade of motor oil - a well-maintained car is more fuel-efficient and more reliable, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and is much safer. If you are looking for a new car, make sure you check the new generation of electric vehicles. Also, leaving your car at home just two days a week can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by an average of two tons per year. For more information, take a look at these tips for driving more efficiently.
3 Heat and cool smartly
Heating and cooling accounts for almost half your energy bill - about $1,000 a year! There is a lot you can do to drive down this cost. Simple steps like changing air filters regularly, properly using a programmable thermostat and having your heating and cooling equipment maintained annually by a licensed contractor can save energy and increase comfort, while helping the environment. Additionally, you can save energy by reducing air leaks and stopping drafts in your home using caulk, weather stripping and insulation to seal your home’s thermal envelope (boundary between the living space and the outside). Adding more insulation to your attic is also useful in blocking out heat in the summer and cold in the winter. A knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs and significantly enhance home comfort with comprehensive sealing and insulating measures.
4 Eat wisely
Buying organic and locally grown foods is a great way to help the environment and your community. You can also look into growing your own food, which can be a fun activity for you and your family that’ll keep you active. Eating less meat is another great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The production of meat increases emissions in a number of ways, including contributing to the deforestation of our planet to provide pastureland for livestock, which reduces carbon absorption. So opt for local, organic and mostly vegetarian items the next time you’re out buying groceries.
5 Reduce, reuse, recycle
Reducing, reusing and recycling helps to conserve energy, prevent pollution and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Consider the following tips to implement these three energy efficient behaviors. Buy durable goods with long lifespans to reduce waste. Donate used items like clothing, books or electronics to your local thrift shops, libraries or hospitals to be reused. If there is a recycling program in your community, take advantage of it and start recycling items at home. Compost your food and yard waste to reduce emissions by reducing your landfill contribution. There are many opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle and you can navigate through the EPA’s site to learn more about the benefits of utilizing these opportunities.
6 Use water efficiently
It takes lots of energy to pump, treat and heat water, so using your water efficiently can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are simple ways you can use water more efficiently at home like turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and fixing leaky toilets. You can also look into using products with the WaterSense label, which are designed to use water more efficiently and save you money. Setting your water temperature to the recommended level and washing your clothes in cold water is another beneficial habit that can reduce emissions. See the EPA’s WaterSense guide for more water saving tips.
7 Be green in your yard
Composting yard waste decreases the amount of garbage sent to landfills and choosing plants that are best suited for your climate decreases water needs. Both of these practices reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The National Wildlife Federation provides tips on how to improve your lawn or garden while also helping the environment.
8 Purchase or produce green power
Green power is environmentally friendly electricity that is generated from renewable energy sources such as the wind and the sun and can be used to power your home. You can buy green power or generate your own green power through some modifications in your home like installing solar panels or a small wind electric system. Green power can increase clean energy supply and is not so surprisingly (considering the trend of this post) another greenhouse gas emissions reducer. There are a number of steps you can take to create a greener home, so make it your goal for 2016!
9 Calculate your household’s carbon footprint
Use the Household Carbon Footprint Calculator to estimate your greenhouse gas emissions resulting from your energy use, transportation and waste disposal. This online tool helps you understand where your emissions come from and identify ways to reduce them.
10 Spread the word
You can help promote climate change initiatives by signing petitions on sites like Change.org. You can also join us at the Warming World Coalition to help distribute posts like this on a weekly basis to spread the word about climate change!
Most recent climate change news
April 27, 2016 Many More Republicans Now Believe in Climate Change
The number of conservative voters who believe in climate change has almost doubled in the past two years, according to a new poll that attributes the rise in part to a lessening hostility toward the issue by Republican leaders.
April 27, 2016 Climate Change Action Emerges As Winning Wedge Issue In 2016
A new public opinion survey finds that Americans across political lines, except conservative Republicans, would support a presidential candidate who strongly supports taking action to reduce global warming
April 27, 2016 Half of U.S. Conservatives Say Climate Change Is Real
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz reject global warming, while more Republicans see it as a threat. The percentage of conservative Republicans who consider global warming a threat shot up 19 points in two years
April 26, 2016 Denmark is planning to tax meat in the fight against climate change
Denmark is considering proposals to introduce a tax on red meat, after a government think tank came to the conclusion that climate change is an ethical problem.
April 25, 2016 Tea Could Be in Jeopardy From Climate Change, Study Says
Climate change is putting a crimp on the future viability of many of our favorite foods — and now a new study says that tea could face significant impacts from shifting seasonal patterns.
Company or Project of the week
The Plastic for Change project is changing lives by creating the world's first fair trade system for urban waste pickers. Support their Indiegogo Campaign.
Is your company or project making a difference to act on climate change? We want to feature you here in future roundups. Please reach out to us on twitter.
Shout out of the week