Global Warming is a hot topic and one of the more controversial issues today. You have the likes of Al Gore promoting and lobbying governments, businesses and even ordinary citizens to change and some governments and businesses trying to undermine the effects of global warming pitting it against economic sustainability. The facts can’t be ignored. Whatever the controversy, the planet is getting warmer and changes in the polar caps and other regions have changed over the past few decades. But what can we, the ordinary citizens of planet earth, do in our daily lives to help fight global warming?
One of the biggest sources of global warming pollutants is coal burning power plants used to generate electricity. So as ordinary citizens what can we do? Reduce the amount of electricity we use.
Turn off room lights and unplug appliances, cell phone and other chargers when not in use.
Use compact fluorescent bulbs which use less electricity and last longer.
Weatherize your home and save by controlling the temperature. The gaps around windows and doors allow warm air to escape and your home then requires more energy to heat. Sealing windows with putty and using a rubber board at the foot of the door helps to seal in the warm air during winter.
Use appliances efficiently. Do full loads and shorter cycles with both the dishwasher and washing machine. Selecting the cold wash setting when washing and rinsing clothes will reduce energy needed to warm the water in the warm wash setting. Use air drying i.e. a clothes line to dry clothes whenever possible. Do not preheat or open oven doors when baking or cooking unnecessarily.
Beside simple steps like turning off room lights and unplugging appliances when they are not in use, we can buy and use more energy efficient appliances. More energy efficient appliances are now being manufactured. These have the Energy star label which according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) uses at least 15% less energy than the federal requirement. Although they may cost a little more at the off set they will save more energy and more money in the long run.
We can also use renewable sources of energy like wind or the sun by using solar powered appliances where possible. The Green-e’s Pick Your Power website has a guide to green energy options for America.
Another source of greenhouse gases is carbon monoxide, your car! So to produce less, walk more, cycle, use lift clubs/carpools to go to work or public transport. This has the added advantage of saving you petrol/diesel!
As citizens of planet earth we all have a responsibility to do our bit to care for this planet we call home. It may seem like a little, but if all the millions of people around the world did their bit it would add up to a lot. Every little counts, so let’s save the world together. For more energy saving information see www.nrdc.org