Get A Grip On Your Carbon Emissions
verb. The act of mitigating (“offsetting”) greenhouse gas emissions. A well-known example is the purchase of carbon offsets tocompensate for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by personal air travel.
Global warming is influenced by the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels to provide the energy and services we use every day. We burn fossil fuels for electricity (from coal and gas) in our homes and businesses, our cars, flights and to create the food, clothes and other things we buy and consume every day.
Carbon offsets enable individuals and businesses to reduce the CO2 emissions they are responsible for by offsetting, reducing or displacing the CO2 in another place, usually where it is more economical to do so. Carbon offsets typically include renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. As more and more people are concerned about global warming and seeking to reduce their climate impact, carbon offsets, along with personal carbon reductions, play an important part in the solution to global warming.
Check List For Personal Carbon Reduction:
Avoid heavily packaged products and aluminum containers. Recycle all packaging you can, and carry and use cloth grocery bags.
Be sure you’re recycling at home and buy recycled paper products. It takes 70 to 90 percent less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.
Become an environmental activist. Help us to lobby for more renewable energy and a reduced dependence on fossil fuel energy sources.
Buy carbon offsets for your home, car, and airline travel.
Buy fresh foods instead of frozen. Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.
Buy organic foods as much as possible. Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!
Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases. Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models.
Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner. Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Fly less or buy carbon offsets. For a family of 4, a round-trip transatlantic flight creates as much greenhouse gas as driving for a year. Consider buying carbon offsets for the flights you must make.
Get a home energy audit and insulate and weatherize your home. Consider remodeling your home to take full advantage of its passive solar heat and light potential.
Install a programmable thermostat. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.
Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer. This adjustment will save you money and about 2,000 pounds ofcarbon dioxide a year.
Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load.
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%.
Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible.
Keep your car tuned up and your tires inflated to their top setting. Also…
• Don’t load your vehicle with any more weight than you absolutely need!
• Avoid jackrabbit starts and abrupt stops…. smooth out your driving, maintaining an even speed whenever possible.
• Drive slower; above 50 mph most cars become increasingly fuelish.
• Only a 30 second warm-up for your engine is necessary to protect your engine, and you only need this when the car has been sitting for more than 3 hours.
• When possible try and group your errands together to use the car most efficiently. Is there a way you can plan your vehicletrips so as to avoid the times during the day when traffic is higher?
Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl). This simple switch will save about 300pounds of carbon dioxide a year per bulb.
Seek out and support local farmers markets, buy locally grown and produced foods, and grow your own food. The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Consuming local food will save fuel and keep money in your community.
Set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and wrap it in an insulation blanket if appropriate for your make of heater.
Stop junk mail. Google “stop junk mail” for businesses that can help.
Support Green Businesses! You can even find some businesses that are carbon neutral.
Switch to green power whenever possible.
Try telecommuting from home a few days per week or month.
Turn off electric appliances you’re not using and unplug electronics from the wall when you’re not using them. Many devices use electricity even when off.
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.
Use less hot water. Install a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and wash your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.
When it is time for a new car, choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle that can meet your needs. Don’t buy a less efficient vehicle to meet the requirements of an activity you seldom practice. It is better to rent a truck a couple times a year, than drive one each day.
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