The goal is to bring global warming under control by curtailing the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping “greenhouse” gases into the atmosphere.
We can contribute to this global cause with personal actions. Our individual efforts are especially significant in countries like the US and Canada, where individuals release over 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per person every year.
We can help immediately by becoming more energy efficient. Reducing our use of oil, gasoline and coal also sets an example for others to follow.
REDUCE ELECTRICITY USAGE AROUND THE HOME
The largest source of greenhouse gases is electric power generation. The average home actually contributes more to global warming than the average car. This is because much of the energy we use in our homes comes from power plants which burn fossil fuel to power our electric products.
- Switch to energy-efficient lighting
- Improve the efficiency of home appliances
- Buy energy-efficient appliances when shopping for a new appliance
- Reduce energy needed for heating
- Reduce energy needed for cooling
IMPROVE VEHICLE FUEL-EFFICIENCY
The second largest source of greenhouse gases is transportation. Motor vehicles are responsible for about a third of all carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. and Canada.
- Practice fuel-efficient driving
- Buy a fuel-efficient car
- Recycle air conditioner coolant
- Drive less
CONSERVE ENERGY IN THE HOME AND YARD
Yard maintenance contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions. Per hour of operation, a power lawn mower emits 10-12 times as much hydrocarbon as a typical auto. A weed eater emits 21 times more and a leaf blower 34 times more.
- Reduce lawn size
- Recycle whenever possible
- Eat locally produced food
- Eat vegetarian meals
- Paint your home a light color if you live in a warm climate, or a dark color in a cold climate.
- Choose clean energy options
- Buy clean energy certificates and carbon offsets
A “carbon offset” is an emission reduction credit which can be purchased by individuals, businesses and governments to reduce their net greenhouse gas emissions.
While it may be difficult to adopt some of these suggestions, any amount of energy saved is significant. Even small changes are worthwhile, as they spark our awareness. As we become more aware of the importance of saving energy, we find ways of saving where possible.
Making energy conservation a part of our daily awareness is essential to the goal of reducing global warming.