Global warming is a pressing problem that if not solved soon could leave everyone on this planet in the most dire of circumstances. However, you don’t have to be a scientist with a miracle solution or a rich philanthropist with countless resources to help. All it takes is a few simple lifestyle changes, a sense of responsibility, and a positive caring attitude.
Here are some small easy things you can do to contribute to the effort against global warming. Bit of a warning, though: a few of these suggestions demand that you exert some effort; others might call for spending a bit of money. Nonetheless, the rewards for applying these ideas in your daily life will definitely be for the benefit of everyone and can even save you considerable amounts of cash in the future.
1. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs/tubes instead of the regular incandescent ones. Although CLFs are more expensive than incandescents, they give off the same amount of life, have a longer rated life and use less power.
2. Put in a programmable thermostat in your home. These guys can be programmed to adjust the temperature according to different times of the day thus reducing the heating and cooling losses of a building and thereby saving precious energy.
3. Wash or change dirty filters on your air conditioners and furnace. Doing this regularly saves a large amount of carbon dioxide every year.
4. Choose your purchases wisely. Make sure that the appliances you buy are energy efficient. To do this, look for the Energy Star label. An appliance with this label has met strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy. Buy also organic and recycled products.
5. Turn off appliances instead of setting them on standby. Appliances on standby mode still consume a lot of energy.
6. Do not place your freezers and refrigerators in hot places or next to hot appliances. Doing this causes them to use more energy and emit more CO2 than if they were standing on their own.
7. If your refrigerator and freezers are old, see to it that they are defrosted regularly. Better yet, if you can afford it buy more energy-efficient newer models.
8. Do not air your house for more than a few minutes. Make sure that windows and doors are closed during cold months so that heat does not escape as the energy to keep your home warm produces a lot of emissions.
9. Audit your homes to see what areas are energy inefficient then have your walls and ceilings properly insulated and weatherized accordingly. Audits come free with some utilities and it’ll save you money as well as reduce C02 emissions.
9. Make sure your pots are covered while cooking. Using steamers and pressure cookers are better as they save a lot more energy.
10. Use the washing machine and the dishwasher only when you have a load that can fill them. If you really need to use them right away, use the economy setting and do not set the temperature too high.
11. Instead of bathing, take showers. Use low flow shower heads in place of power showers. They do the same thing and are less expensive.
12. Do not use so much hot water as heating water consumes a lot of energy. Using cold or warm water for washing clothes saves 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
13. Hang your clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer. Using a clothesline for even just six months a year can save at least 700 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
14. Make use of a reusable shopping bag. Disposable shopping bags contributes to pollution and releases CO2 and methane into the atmosphere.
15. Plant more trees. Houses shaded by trees are cooler and can thereby make less use of their air conditioning units. Trees of course also absorb and help lessen the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
16. Use wind, solar and other renewable sources of energy. You can even earn money by selling the energy you don’t use and, in some places, avail of refunds awarded by the government to those who use clean energy sources.
17. Purchase locally-produced and fresh food. Fresh food take 10 time less energy to produce than frozen ones while buying from the local farmer’s market enables you to save fuel and contribute to your community.
18. Consume less meat especially beef. Cows produce a lot of methane because of their diet and digestive system. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that affects the degradation of the ozone layer.
20. Instead of driving to work everyday, try walking, biking, carpooling or commuting. Less driving means less carbon dioxide emissions from your car.
21. Remove empty roof racks from your car. Because of the wind resistance and added weight it generates, roof racks can increase your fuel usage and carbon dioxide emissions.
22. Schedule regular tune-ups for your car. A maintained and efficiently running car emits less CO2 and uses fuel effectively.
23. Reduce the number of flights you take every year. Airplanes and jets gives off a lot of emissions so reducing flying trips helps a lot.
24. Be pro-active. Be an example to your community and encourage them to take action. Support or join environmental groups. You can even help by voting for environmentally-aware politicians and laws that promote conservation.
By following even just a few of these suggestions you can be certain that you’re already doing the planet a lot of good. Remember, every little thing you do helps.