20 Simple Steps to Reduce Global Warming
provided by Environmental Defense Fund
henever you save energy or use it more efficiently you reduce the demand for gasoline, oil, coal, and natural gas. Less burning of these fossil fuels means lower emissions of carbon dioxide, the major contributor to global warming. Right now the United States releases about 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per person each year. If we can reduce energy use enough to lower greenhouse gas emissions by about 2 percent a year, in ten years we will "lose" about 7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per person.
Here are 20 simple steps that can help cut your annual emissions of carbon dioxide by thousands of pounds. The carbon dioxide reduction shown for each action is an average saving.
1. Run your dishwasher only with a full load. Use the energy-saving setting to dry the dishes. Don't use heat when drying.
2. Wash clothes in warm or cold water, not hot.
3. Turn down your water heater thermostat; 120 degrees is usually hot enough.
4. Don't overheat or overcool rooms. Adjust your thermostat (lower in winter, higher in summer).
5. Clean or replace air filters as recommended. Cleaning a dirty air conditioner filter can save 5 percent of the energy used.
6. Buy energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs for your most-used lights.
7. Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket.
8. Install low-flow shower heads to use less hot water.
9. Caulk and weather-strip around doors and windows to plug air leaks.
10. Ask your utility company for a home energy audit to find out where your home is poorly insulated or energy-inefficient.
11. Whenever possible, walk, bike, carpool or use mass transit.
12. When you buy a car, choose one that gets good gas mileage.
13. Reduce waste: Buy minimally packaged goods; choose reusable products over disposable ones; recycle.
14. If your car has an air conditioner, make sure its coolant is recycled whenever you have it serviced.
15. Insulate your walls and ceilings; this can save about 25% of home heating bills.
16. If you need to replace your windows, install the best energy-saving models.
17. Plant trees next to your home and paint your home a light color if you live in a warm climate, or a dark color in a cold climate.
18. As you replace home appliances, select the most energy-efficient models.
19. Reduce waste and promote energy-efficient measures at your school or workplace. Work in your community to set up recycling programs.
20. Be informed about environmental issues. Keep track of candidates' voting records and write or call to express concerns.
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