Reduce Greenhouse gas emissions is not only a task for the government and big corporations. Every single citizen on earth have to bear in mind that as individuals we have a direct and active impact in the emission of this gases.
If each of us incorporated to our daily routines the following easy guidelines, we would contribute to reduce the impact of one of the world’s most critical issue, Global Warming.
- Buy energy-efficient appliances with the “Energy Star” label.
- Unplug your cell phone charger, TV and other electronics from the wall when you are not using them, because they use energy when plugged in and on standby.
- Turn off lights and other energy-sucking devices when they aren’t being used.
- Replace older light bulbs with energy-saving fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs are a little more expensive, but much more efficient – they use about a seventh of the power and last about twelve times longer.
- If you’re leaving your computer for a while, put it on stand-by. You’ll be able to restart it quickly, and it’ll take less energy than shutting it down and then restarting it.
- Turn off taps properly. Especially when brushing your teeth – every little bit helps.
- Turn down your water heater. The water heater is the second largest energy consumer in the home and using it efficiently can reduce emissions. If your house will be vacant for two or more days, you can lower the temperature of your water heater or even switch it off until you return.
- Use appliances efficiently. Running the clothes washer with a full load and using cold water (30 degrees Celsius) whenever possible can lead to big energy savings. Use detergents that clean clothes effectively in colder water.
- Use an efficient dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. The more efficient models of dishwasher use less water and power than washing dishes by hand, which uses many bowls of hot water. Only run it when it’s full.
- Buy a bike and use it. With gas prices so high, it will pay for itself. Ride it to work, to run errands, or to have fun. Everyone benefits when you ride a bike. You help conserve our limited oil resources, you are not polluting, and you are exercising.
- Walk short distances rather than drive. It may be convenient to drive, but let’s face it, it probably takes longer than walking would, and emits pollutants to boot.
- Use public transportation or carpool for long trips.
- Buy sustainable or organically-produced food. Conventional farming uses massive quantities of petrochemicals in the manufacture of artificial pesticides and fertilizers and to run farm machinery. Organic and other traditional or natural farmers use minimal fossil fuel inputs. Some even use draft animals instead of internal combustion engines.
- Avoid using plastic bags from grocery stores. The 5-cent solution has gone into action in many stores, which is charging a 5 cent fee on a plastic bag. Use reuseable bags, boxes, or just carry your items. If you need a plastic one, make sure you use it again and again!
- Buy only post-consumer recycled paper products, including toilet paper and tissues. The paper industry is the third greatest contributor to global warming emissions. Buying recycled is as important as recycling – it’s called “closed loop” recycling.