Simple Tips on How to be Green

As Albert Einstein once said, “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” Climate concerns are a Hot Button issues these days and for very good reason. Our global home (Earth) is in trouble!

Al Gore summed it up most accurately in his Academy Award winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, when he said, “the world has a fever.”  The reason? Carbon dioxide, and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and as a result, temperatures are rising rapidly. The good news is that it is possible to reverse course and it’s easier than you might think.
There are 300+ million Americans, if each one of us commits to making small changes to our current lifestyles, we CAN affect change. The problem seems to be, not that people are unwilling to try, but that they just don’t know what to do or where to begin. Here are some of the top tips on how to “be green.” 

15 Simple things you can do & how much carbon dioxide you’ll save doing them:

1. Change a light: Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFLs) will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. If every family in the U.S. made this switch, we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 90 billion pounds. You can purchase CFLs online at wwww.energyfederation.org.

2. Drive less: Walk, bike, carpool or take mass transit more often. You’ll save one pound of carbon dioxide for every mile you don’t drive! ERideShare.com, zipcar.com and flexcar.com are some websites that can help you begin. 

3. Recycle more: You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling just half of your household waste. The website www.Earth911.org can help you find recycling resources in your area.

4. Buy recycled paper products: It takes 70-90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents deforestation worldwide.

5. Buy Organic Foods as much as possible: Organic soils capture and store CO2 at much higher levels than conventional soils. If all our corn and soybeans were frown organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!

6. Support your local farmers markets: They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. You can find your local farmer’s market by visiting www.USDA.gov.

7. Check your tires: Keeping your tires properly inflated will improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Every gallon of gas saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

8. Use less hot water: It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of CO2 saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year).

9. Avoid products with a lot of packaging: You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down on your garbage by 10%.

10. Adjust your thermostat: Changing you thermostat up by just 2 degrees in the winter and down in the summer you could save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

11. Plant a tree: A single tree will absorb one ton of CO2 over its lifetime. Visit www.arborday.org for information on how you can plant a tree. 

12. Turn off electronic devices: Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you’re not using them. This will save thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

13. Become Carbon Neutral: Offset your CO2 emissions from electricity use, from heating/cooling your home, from air travel, or driving your car. You don’t have to switch power companies, modify your home or car, or change anything to participate. New Native American and Alaskan Native wind turbines and New family dairy farm methane energy projects will deliver clean, renewable energy to the grid on your behalf, displacing power that otherwise has to come from burning fossil fuels. Visit www.nativeenery.com for more information.

14. SPREAD THE WORD! Share these tips with everyone you know…and maybe even those you don’t!

15. Get Involved: Visit our resources page for more information on how you get involved, learn more and make a difference.

F.Y.I.
The average American generates about 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year from personal transportation, home energy use and from the energy used to produce all of the products and services we consume. To calculate how much CO2 you produce each year and for more information on this very important issue visit www.climatecrisis.net.