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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Great Ways to Make a Difference Now to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint – Part 2

G.E.T. staff

The Green Energy Times team wants to share some ideas with you on what you can do now to help the planet and reduce your carbon footprint. We hope you learn some new ideas that you can adapt to your everyday lives. Look for more ideas in the next issue.

  1. If you drink coffee or tea every day at work, consider bringing in a ceramic mug from home rather than relying on disposable paper cups and plastic lids. They may not seem like much, but those paper cups and plastic lids add up month after month. Besides, everything tastes better in a mug.

  2. Avoid eating meat one day a week (Meatless Mondays or whenever works for you!)

  3. Buying second hand when possible. For example, buy used books or use the library when possible.

  4. Grow food on the nearest patch of land you have access to. You need sun and a way to water plants. Good soil can be built from the ground up. Use low-till or no-till organic methods. Growing your own food can reduce the carbon impact of dinner by 68% (https://cabaus.org/2015/03/20/5-ways-gardening-can-reduce-your-carbon-footprint/).

  5. Change over incandescent lightbulbs to LEDs. They use 90% less energy, while producing much less heat in your house (important in the summer). Since they also last much longer, there can be a good return on investment (https://www.tcpi.com/commercial-lighting/roi-calculator/).

  6. Get involved. Help plant trees or milkweed, pick up plastic trash, carpool to a protest or a meeting, or start a hyper-local environmental group, to learn, take strength and comfort from the company of others and take action.

  7. Drive smart. Slow down; go the speed limit or less. Brake and accelerate gently. Good driving can make a 33% difference in efficiency. DON’T IDLE. Your car gets zero mpg while idling (https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.jsp).

  8. Schedule a weekly sabbath for your car. Let it rest and recover, while you do the same. On that one day, make it a rule to travel only if you can carpool or take public transportation.

  9. Reduce the size of your lawn by planting a deep border of native plants to feed and shelter bugs and birds. Biodiversity isn’t just a pretty frill, it’s the main event here on Earth. Mow what’s left of your lawn less frequently, and let the clippings remain as mulch, to help improve soil health and carbon sequestration. If you stopped using a power mower altogether, you could cut carbon emissions by 80 pounds per year (https://www.audubon.org/news/your-yard-stealthy-fossil-fuel-guzzler-give-it-climate-makeover).

  10. Subscribe to Green America greenamerica.org for more ideas including their National Green Pages that lists sustainable businesses around the country.

Stop thinking that what you do about the climate crisis is less important than any other person, group, company, political party, or country. Change at any level is always dependent upon an individual. Be one of them. Do what you can, as soon as you can.

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