The routine decisions that shape our days — what to have for dinner, where to shop, how to get to work — may seem small, but collectively they have a big effect on global warming.
- The car you drive: the most important personal climate decision. When you buy your next car, look for the one with the best fuel economy in its class.
- Make your house more air tight. Even in reasonably tight homes, air leaks may account for 15 to 25 percent of the heat our furnaces generate in winter or that our homes gain in summer. Free home energy audits offered by many utilities, can help you identify (and reduce) the most significant air leaks.
- Buy and USE a programmable thermostat. This can reduce your heating and cooling emissions by 15 percent and save you $180 a year.
- Eat Locally produced and Organic foods. Approximately 13% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. comes from the production and transport of food. Transporting food requires fuel and many fertilizers are fossil fuel-based.
- Use power strips in your home office and home entertainment center. These will curb “phantom loads” and save a surprising amount on your electric bill.
- Upgrade your refrigerator and air conditioner, especially if they are more than five years old. New ones are twice as efficient or more.
- Get an electricity monitor. Identify where the energy hogs are in your home, which can help you save hundreds of dollars annually.
- Change those light bulbs. New ones are twice as efficient or more.
- Wash clothes in cold water. They get just as clean with today’s detergents. but hot water washes use five times the energy—and create five times the emissions.
- Buy less stuff. Reduce, re-use, and recycle
- Let policy makers know you are concerned about global warming.
- Spread the word.
*Excerpted from Union of Concerned Scientists website and Carbon Offsets to Alleviate Poverty website.