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Monday, 9 January 2012

10 Steps to Reduce Your Carbon Emissions 10%

Here are ten ideas to reduce your carbon footprint

#1> Learn Read up about carbon emissions and the environmental impact of the choices you make--big and small--in living, eating, and transportation. Use a carbon footprint calculator. Here's are some websites you can check out if want to learn more: ACT on CO2, 10:10 UK, and Earth Hour.

#2> Save energy. Saving energy is all about conserving (using less) and being more efficient (using what you use better). You can conserve energy by turning off the lights when you're not in the room. You can be more efficient by buying compact-fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that create the same amount of light with less energy. The same principle applies to the big stuff, too. The Energystar website provides lots of good information for household energy efficiency.

#3> Reuse and Recycle When you buy things, purchase items with less packaging or packaging that can be recycled. If you are lucky enough to have curbside recycling, use it--otherwise, learn where the nearest recycling center is and make a habit of taking your recyclables there--to make it even easier, talk to your neighbors about combining trips.

#4> Drive Less Drive less and save more. Plan ahead to combine trips. If you live somewhere that public transportation is an option, give it a try.

#5> Enlist Help Reach out to family, friends, and co-workers. Reducing our carbon footprint is a community effort. Talk with other members of your household about how to reduce your emissions. Talk with your friends about ways to share resources. If you are a member of an organization--a church or civic organization--discuss ways it can save money on energy bills and other non-renewable resources it uses.

#6> Eat less meat. Eating less meat is both good for you and for the planet. Switching to a plant based diet for even one day a week will make a difference. If you need some helping getting started, here a helpful guide.

#7> Grow your own fruits and vegetables. When you grown your own food you'll enjoy fresh, high quality food. You can also grow varieties you won't find in a supermarket and you'll know exactly what the food has or has not been exposed to.
There are many guides on how to grown your own fruits and vegetables. You can start small, team up with your neighbors, or--for city dwellers--even start with a view potted herbs. Growing food in your own neighborhood cuts carbon emissions considerably compared to food shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to your door.

#8> Buy local food. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and shop at farmer's markets.

#9> Fly Less. Yes, this is a hard one, but consider:
Planes get a respectable 43 passenger miles per gallon (pMPG), but they cause 1.9 times as much climate change per gallon of fuel burned, by virtue of their being up in the sky. So when we consider climate change, the plane's efficiency is more like 22.6 pMPG. That's worse than most cars. And if there are two people traveling in the car instead of flying, then the pMPG of the car is doubled, while the plane is stuck at 22.6 pMPG, because we're already figured the plane's pMPG on a per-seat basis. The only time that flying is better than driving for a given trip is if there's only one person in the car, and/or we're assuming a very low-mileage car.
If may be unavoidable to fly sometimes, but if you're considering you next vacation option, you might think twice and decide for the spot that is driving distance away.

#10> Kick the plastic habit: bottles and bags. I'm going to finish with one of the easier ones. Stop buying bottled water and start taking your own bags to the store. Plastic water bottles are really bad for the environment. There are many alternatives. Plastic bags are equally bad for the environment. Make it a habit to use reusable bags.

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