Combat climate change: 10 tips and solutions for day to day
What to eat, where to buy, how to get to work are all small personal decisions that we take daily but collectively contribute to global warming.
In the United States, we produce more gas emissions that trap heat per person than the vast majority of countries in the world. For example, the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the use of fuel reach almost 16 tons per person per year.
If we try to visualize the form that all this carbon dioxide would take in solid form, we would be talking about almost three African elephants, per person, per year. That is, a family of four produces the equivalent of 12 elephants of carbon dioxide per year.
The United States is a special case: it quadruples the per capita emissions of countries with similar living standards such as France or Japan; this comparison suggests that it is possible to make decisions in our daily lives that contribute to reducing emissions and mitigating global warming, without sacrificing the comfort of modern life. It is a matter of choosing efficient products in energy saving and understanding which are the daily activities that generate the most emissions.
And the personal decisions we can make to combat climate change also help save money.
These are ten ideas to combat climate change, and at the same time help pocket:
- The car that drives: the most important personal decision for the planet.
When you buy your next car, choose the most efficient, that is, the one that consumes the least amount of fuel for each mile traveled. Each gallon of gas that you consume represents 25 pounds of gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. Driving cars with less gas mileage, or running without gasoline (like electric vehicles ), not only helps combat global warming but also save you thousands of dollars in gasoline over the life of your vehicle. For example, changing your 20-mile / gallon truck to one that consumes 40 miles / gallon will save you 4,500 gallons of gas over the life of your car, or a little over $ 11,000, if we use 2017 gas prices. .
- Make your home more waterproof.
Even in homes with relatively few air leaks, they are responsible for wasting 15 to 25% of the heat generated by our heating, or in the same proportion as our homes earn during the summer. If you pay $ 1,100 a year to heat or cool your home, you could be losing $ 275 per year. Take advantage of energy audits offered by many energy supply companies. It will help you identify and reduce the air leaks that cost you the most.
Buy and USE a programmable thermostat.
This can reduce 15% of the emissions associated with heating and cooling your home, and could save you $ 180 per year. During the summer, it is ideal to program the thermostat at a temperature of 78F (25 ° C) during the hours you are at home, and at 85F (29 ° C) when you are out of it.
Eat less meat, especially beef.
Our food is responsible for a large part of our emissions. And reducing the consumption of meat, especially beef, will help reduce your emissions significantly. The emissions associated with one pound of meat are 18 times greater than the emissions associated with one pound of pasta. A family of four that decides to cut their meat consumption by half could avoid around three tons of emissions per year. Learn more about the effects of meat consumption (in English).
Use multitomes with power off button in your home and office.
These multitomes (also known as multi-plugs, slippers or power strips) will help you reduce the “phantom loads”, saving you money on your electricity bill. Leaving your laser printer on when you’re not using it could be costing you $ 130 per year. Learn more about smart tools to save energy (in English) .
Replace your refrigerator and your air conditioner, especially if they are older than 5 years.
The new ones are doubly efficient or more. In the case of refrigerators, if they are old, it is cheaper to buy a new one than to pay the electricity bill; in just three years the savings in energy costs of the new refrigerators could cover the total value of what they cost at the time of purchase. Look for the “Energy Star” seal when you buy your new refrigerator or any other appliance, especially freezers, heaters, air conditioners and water heaters, which are the ones that consume the most energy. These products may cost a bit more initially, but energy and money savings can cover the cost of the initial investment in just a couple of years.
Buy an electricity monitor.
Identify which appliances in your home are the largest “energy grabbers,” which will save you hundreds of dollars annually.You can buy an electricity monitor at any hardware store or even possibly borrow it at your local public library.
Change the bulbs.
LED bulbs light the same and consume 85 percent less electricity. This could represent more than $ 100 annually per family.
Wash clothes with cold water.
It is just as clean with today’s detergents. But washing clothes with hot water spends five times the amount of energy, and produces five times more emissions. Only this change could save you $ 100 a year.
Buy less things.
Reduce, re-use and recycle. It is not only to reduce pollution. This strategy will reduce their emissions and help combat global warming.
And two more …
Tell your representatives in local and federal government that you are concerned about global warming.
Spread the word.
If all people in the United States reduced 20 percent of their emissions, we could close one out of every three coal plants in the country; It would be a great step to combat the worst consequences of climate change.