Pollution can take many forms. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the ground where we grow our food, and even the increasing noise we hear every day—all contribute to health problems and a lower quality of life. Pollution leads to depletion of the ozone layer, global warming and climate change. Air pollution is the release of chemicals and particles into the atmosphere. Water pollution includes surface runoff, leakage into groundwater, liquid spills, wastewater discharge and littering. If toxins are spilled on the ground or if an underground storage tank leaks, soil can become contaminated. Well known contaminants include herbicides and pesticides. Toxic waste is waste material, often in chemical form, which pollutes the natural environment and contaminates groundwater.
We are responsible for all these....
"Never be a part of pollution... Be a part of solution"
Things like hectic climate change, polluted air, acid rain, depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, and an increase in poverty prove that the way we use things is ineffective. Imagine this. One day you come out from your house and all you see is big puffs of black smoke and no trees! All you hear are cars and no birds! All you smell is gasoline and no flowers! What kind of life is that? All we need to do to reduce the problem is simply to be less wasteful. Here are some ideas on how to help everyone!
- Switch off anything that uses electricity. Stick to a routine of shutting off as many electrical appliances as possible when you leave a room. If it will be at least 36 hours before you use it again, unplug it. Even when an appliance is off, it may still use power. Just imagine. You will save hundreds of dollars and you could donate the money to a charity in need or buy yourself something nice.
- Power strips are convenient devices. You can plug all your appliances in one area - say, your computer, fax, printer, and modem; or your toaster, blender, and coffee maker - into a power strip. Then when you're done using all appliances, simply turn the power strip switch from "reset" to "off".
- It is important to note that cell phone and laptop chargers, as well as some other plug-in devices, continue to drain energy from your electrical circuit, even when the item being charged or utilized is no longer connected. Unplug the chargers altogether or use a power strip.
- Use renewable energy sources. In the USA around 71% of electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. Burning coal or other fuels emits green-house gases and pollution in the environment. An average home powered by a coal utility will burn 12,000 pounds of coal a year and will cause about the same amount of pollution as 2 cars. By using renewable energy as the primary power source, the reduction of pollution per household would be equivalent to that of planting 400 trees. Many electric companies offer power from renewable sources (sometimes at a slightly higher fee). Another option is to rent solar panels, as these are becoming increasingly less expensive. Contact your local energy provider for more information.
- Encourage your congressional representatives to support environmental issues and renewable energy
- Check your faucets and any other appliance that uses water straight from your source. If your faucets drip, get them fixed, or at least put a container under the drip in the meantime and use the water. To check your toilets, put a few drops of food coloring (go for a strong color) in the tank, not the bowl. Wait about ten minutes without flushing. If you see the dye in the bowl, repair your toilet.
- Turn off the water when you're not using it. As Ellen Degeneres says, "Turn off the water while brushing your teeth." Why is the water running for so long? There is no point, is there? It is okay if you forget a few times, but if you forget a lot, put a little sticky note on the wall in front of the sink, with the reminder, "Turn off the faucet. Don't waste water!" This goes for shaving, washing dishes, and even taking a shower.
- Avoid salt-based water softeners. These require excessive amounts of energy and water, and leave your local watershed's water quality impaired by excess salts. If you have hard water, use an electronic descaling device instead, such as Scalewatcher or Small Wonder.
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries. Batteries not only take up landfill space (they can't be incinerated), they can leak acid into the Earth. Even then, only use the appliance when you must. If you have the choice, plug in the device instead of using batteries.
- Install low-flow toilets in your home, or put a brick in the reservoir (the back) of your current toilet. The space the brick takes up in the bottom of the tank will permit you to use less water, but keep the toilet functioning. Also try adjusting the water level down. Many toilets have an adjustment to lower the valve float.
- Use only as much toilet paper as you need, and don't use a mile of it for one little wiping. Be reasonable. Go easy on the paper towels, too. More importantly, to protect virgin forest from being cut down unnecessarily, use paper products made from 80-100% recycled paper, preferably with a high post consumer content.
- Organize a carpool for work or school. This way, if you take a highway with a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane, this can usually save time and money on gasoline. For bonus points, use a hybrid or other car that gets high gas mileage.
- Plan your errands to avoid going around in circles. This will use more gas and waste time. Group outings into fewer, longer trips. This minimizes both trips out and cold starts (starting an engine that has not been run lately). Cold starts are hard on your car and the environment.
- Invest in a good bicycle and helmet. Use them when your destination is within 5-10 miles of home. You can also buy pannier racks, a bike trailer, or a sturdy basket to hold items. Get in the habit of riding your bike to local areas. Plus, you will get more exercise and feel better!
- Avoid using disposable items as much as possible. Anything you use only a few times and throw away consumes resources only to spend centuries in a landfill.
- You can do this by carrying your own reusable mug, eating utensils, and cloth shopping bags with you. Keep them in your car or bike panniers.
- Avoid using plastic whenever you can; it is a poison of the earth (things like disposable plastic cups, plastic bags, nonsense plastic items you don't need). It never breaks down, and has led to the poisoning and death of numerous sea creatures. Look into ways that plastic can be recycled in your area. Some cities have programs for recycling plastic bags and other difficult to recycle types of plastic.
- Use resealable, reusable containers instead of plastic wrap or plastic bags.
- Get a hybrid. If you have been looking for a new vehicle, hybrids are becoming more and more popular. There are a wide variety of hybrids on the market from little sedans to big SUVs. They not only give off less emissions into the air, they can save you money with fewer trips to the gas station.
- Consider cloth diapers. They've come a long way from the things with pins and plastic covers that gen x-ers and ALL previous generations wore. You will save a fortune (especially if you have more than one child), keep potentially dangerous chemicals away from your baby's bottom, and do a good thing for the planet while you're at it!
- Use reusable cloth pads, or a menstrual cup. It may sound gross to reuse these kinds of things, but imagine all the pads and tampons you use in your lifetime all piled up. Can you say "EW"?
- If for some reason these are not options for you, consider using tampons and pads made of unbleached, organic cotton, and tampons without plastic applicators. These are better for your health as well as the planet.
- Trade in your dryer for a good old fashioned clothesline. It makes your clothes smell nice and fresh, and, it's environmentally friendly! If you do use a dryer, make sure to keep the vent clear.
- Switch to compact florescent light bulbs. While these cost more, they are also longer lasting than conventional light bulbs, and they use only one-quarter of the energy. They may cost more money, but last much longer.
- Coordinate with your neighbors and friends. If the local recycling depot is at some distance, make a single drop-off spot in your neighborhood, where people can bring their recyclables, then use just one car to drive them to the depot. A garage is a good place to store things until they are taken. You might have different neighbors responsible for different kinds of recyclables, such as paper, glass, metal, etc.
- Conserve water. Take shorter showers or fill the bathtub only 1/4-1/3 full. Run your dishwasher only when it is completely full. Reuse water, if at all possible by boiling it. If you wash your own car, park it on your lawn and use buckets and sponges. Use the hose to rinse. Use pool covers to reduce evaporation and keep leaves out. Try installing eco-friendly faucets, such as Grohe faucets which are equipped with low-flow fittings to reduce wasteful water consumption.
- Compost. Designate an area in your yard to put your yard waste, fruit peels, and uneaten food. Find some worms who can break the waste down and produce a very rich soil that works great with your landscaping. Keep your compost heap as far from a water source as possible, and if you can, put a couple layers of concrete blocks or bricks around your heap to avoid a mess on your lawn.
- Buy secondhand clothes, or if you have a neighbor with a child a year or so older than your child, ask if they can send their old clothes to you. You can also find many 'organic clothes' at common department stores. These clothes are made with organic cotton in a more environmentally friendly factories. They are in style nowadays.
- Stop Some of Your Junk Mail. If you get several catalogs which you do not need, then call one company each day or each week and ask for them to stop sending this to you. This will save trees, and will use less oil, as something you do not need will not have to be made and transported to you. There is sometimes more paper in the local newspaper that you would use in 2 months. Remember to recycle the old newspapers, or the ones that you do not need anymore.
- Get skylights. These windows go on your ceiling to provide more light, reducing the electric light you use. Some types can even transfer sunlight into electricity.
- Join your local chapter of www.freecycle.org. These groups offer unwanted or unneeded household "stuff" for free to each other, usually through a Yahoo! Group. Keep your unwanted "stuff" out of the landfill and in the hands of someone who will actually USE it. You will make someone happy, and the earth happier too! Craigslist.org is another useful resource for buying, selling, and giving away used items locally.
- Don't use pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals. Pesticides kill hundreds of birds and other animals per year. If you have unwanted weeds, pull or hoe them out yourself, clip them down, plant a ground cover in their place, or use mulch to control weeds and limit evaporation.
- If you are a gardener, check out permaculture, integrative pest management, polycropping, and other techniques that reduce or eliminate the need for chemical inputs.
- Reuse glass bottles. Buy a glass bottle and use it for a long time! It will not rot or go bad like a plastic bottle will. You could decrease the amount of water bottles in the garbage dumps if you use 1 glass bottle instead of 30 plastic water bottles per week. Glass bottles are also healthy! Plastic is not. All different types of chemicals get released into your water from the plastic, and even more if you squeeze it!
- Turn useless junk into something fun and cute, or fresh and funky! Jewelery! You can take a look around wikiHow and find tons of articles about how to make different things.
- Stop reading newspapers if you can look up the news on your computer, it takes up less energy than cutting down the trees, making the paper, and transporting it to your house.
- Brew tea using bulk leaves rather than disposable tea bags. You can buy teas of all sorts in bulk, more affordably than buying boxes of tea bags. Then brew using a mesh strainer, filter, teapot, carafe, or french press.
- Buy or make a few reusable fabric bags, and bring them with you whenever you go shopping. Or, reuse your old plastic bags. Just imagine all of the plastic bags in the world added up. Isn't that a lot of garbage?
- Recycle old plastic bags. There are a lot of things which you can do with old plastic bags. Don't throw them away! They will come in handy! You can reuse them when shopping. Check out how to recycle old plastic bags.
- Ask for any leftover meat when you go to your meat shop. If the meat is OK to feed to dogs, feed that to your dog instead. Maybe even your cat! They may even give it to you for free. You will also save money by not having to buy dog/cat food. Also, at some super markets, they also give dog bones free with any purchase.
- Reuse clothing, and find something snazzy to do with it. You can reinvent wearable pieces or donate them to charity. You could use an old t-shirt as housekeeping rags, make mop tie out of them, or sew patches onto things. Be creative! Did you know you can make construction paper out of denim jeans?!
- Start a neighborhood clean-up that will clean up the neighborhood, every week or so. Get the whole neighborhood involved! Try and get the community involved with the projects, and even do a public park clean up - this is everyone's home.
- Recycle all you can. In many countries, recycling is taken seriously. They have one trash can for bags, one for glass, one for cans, one for boxes, one for plastic, one for paper, even one for decomposed food. Try disciplining yourself to recycling the necessities we use when done.
- Put timers on lamps that will turn off lamps at the same time on a daily basis. Timers like these can be found in hardware stores and they can be plugged into your lamp.
- Buy less stuff. If you don't need it, don't buy it. Besides saving money and not cluttering up your house, not buying things in the first place means never using the resources (materials, energy, labor) necessary to create it. Could you borrow something, get it used, or simply do without it?
- Close doors after you leave a room. When you leave the house, or even when you have dinner downstairs, try to close the door to all the rooms you don't normally use or need. Doing this often will save a lot of excess heating that is needed to make your home warm. Something simple anyone can do:)
- Limit your shower water. Use less water when showering and don't take longer than fifteen minutes. There are also devices there days that can limit the amount of heated water used per shower, such as Grohe faucets, equipped with low-flow fittings.
- Don't use too much fertilizer. Do you know what happens to all the fertilizer that is washed off lawns and gardens? Some way or another, it ends up in a body of water. Stop this indirect pollution! Organic fertilizer is better than chemical fertilizer. So next time you buy fertilizer, buy organic or even make your own!
- Don't use electronic exercise machines. Instead of using treadmills and similar, use a bicycle or a unicycle maybe. Walking and push-ups work as well.
- Plant a tree in your neighborhood or near your home; They suck up harmful CO2 gases. If you can't plant one, try potted plants.
- When you're not too dirty, plug up the shower and use the remaining water to clean your dog.
- Crank it up! At many electronic stores, they sell flashlights or radios powered by cranks. They're a tad expensive, but they'll soon pay for themselves, as they don't need batteries!
- Turn it off Buy a power strip, and plug your TV, computer, lights, etc. into it. At night, when you're not using them, turn off the power strip, because even an appliance that is off sucks up energy if there's nothing stopping it. Not only does it save electricity, it shaves money off your electric bill.
- Use Canvas To Conserve. Using canvas bags help the environment because plastic bags take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Also,using canvas bags is a very cheap way to help out planet.
- Create a frog pond in your backyard. Frog populations are dwindling, If you create a habitat for them in your backyard, they may breed there, which will help because their breeding areas are disappearing.
- Eat less meat. The production of meat is one of the most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, including global climate change. Meat production is highly resource intensive and inefficient. Meatless Monday is a national non-profit public health campaign that encourages people to give up meat one day a week. Attempting vegetarianism or veganism is definitely one of the best things you can do for the environment and also for your health. Check out the site for some meatless recipes.
- Never eat fast food. Many fast food restaurants have grazing lands for beef cattle where rain forest used to be. Not only does eating from these places cut down the rain forest, it uses CO2 to ship the cows, or whats left of them, up in to wherever the restaurant is.
- Load up that washing machine If you need to do laundry, try to wash as much clothes as possible in it. It saves water, electricity, and time to wash those clothes.
- Try organic fresh fruits and vegetables. Generally things with the fewest ingredients on the label are the safest bet.
- If you can't ride a bike or don't own one, try to walk to places as much as possible, but if you need transportation, see if you can use mass transit (like a train, bus, or subway). Since more people use them (so less people are using cars), less fossil fuels are being released.
- Generally, don't waste anything (this does not mean eating every left-over you find; you can pack it in containers and put it in the refrigerator or freezer). If you know of some poor people, they could appreciate this a lot and look up to you for it. Help your neighbors! And, if you are sure you don't want it anymore or that your fridge/freezer is full, try putting it outside of your house, or somewhere close to starving animals. They would be more than happy to gobble it up. For example, bread from your breakfast that you just can't eat anymore - break it down and leave it outside for the birds.
- Although recycling is great, it's even better to conserve. That means reusing paper as much as possible, or refilling your water bottle instead of buying a new one, and so on.
- If you are just getting a soda, or something else that does not require a bag (or if you're just not going to use it), don't take one. Otherwise, use scrap fabric to sew a 'Bag Bunny' to hold plastic bags to be reused.
- When grocery shopping, bring your own bag(s) (cloth ones are the best kind). Some places even give slight discounts for you bringing in your own bag. Some shops also make you pay for those plastic bags, so you'll be saving money as well as do good deeds!
- The next time you order a beverage, bring your own mug (or buy one of theirs). Not only will you save 15 cents, but you will also help by not wasting cups.
- Spread the word! Start a club at school, a fund raiser, or anything else that would help make people aware of the environment.
- When it comes to saving the planet's water, don't be boring! You're more likely to use something if you like it, so buy a colorful water bottle or decorate your glass bottle with pretty glass paint!
- Ask your local Waste Management Service if you could help out. Maybe you could make fliers and put them around town, to make people aware of the earth. Start a day where you and the town will pick up garbage.
- If possible, drink your tap water! You'll have more cash in your pocket and reduce the chances of a factory creating more unnecessary bottles, meaning less energy as well as resources used up.
- If you don't have time and space for clothes that you no longer need, donate them to charity! Every time you do, you make a lonely soul a grateful spirit, as well as motivate others to do good!
- If you have a Facebook profile add the Greenbook application to it. The longer you're on Facebook, the more carbon dioxide you help to reduce.
- Before you recycle something, like an aluminum can, it's best to wash it out first. Did you know that one aluminum can can be recycled 10 times?
- Before recycling aluminum cans, take off the tabs and save them. There are many hospitals that will accept them and use them to make medical equipment.
- Make sure that any meat that you feed to your animal is OK for them to eat. Don't give them dangerous food that could make them sick.
- Organic food is usually more expensive than "regular food".
Things You'll Need
- Compost holder/place
- Reusable shopping bags
- How to Make a Difference
- How to Pick up Litter
- How to Reduce Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- How to Stop Greenhouse Gases/Global Warming
- How to Most Cost Effectively Help Slow Global Warming
- How to Create Urban Rainforests
- How to Save the Environment at Home
- How to Recycle
- How to Be an Earthy Girl
- How to Create an Eco Friendly House
- How to Purify Water
- How to Celebrate Earth Day
- How to Take Action to Reduce Global Warming
- How to Create Urban Rainforests
- How to Be Environmentally Correct
- How to Be More Green As a Teenager
- How to Become an Environmentalist
- How to Be a Kid Environmentalist
- How to Be Green
- How to Be Environmentally Correct
Sources and Citations
- Wikia About Global Warming Topics
- eco-friendly choices helping turn good intentions into everyday actions
- Power Of One - energy efficiency website
- Information about solar panels
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Help Save the Environment. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
The future is not somewhere we are going. It is something we are creating. Every day we do things that make some futures more probable and others less likely. Global warming already disrupts millions of lives daily in the forms of destructive weather patterns and loss of habitat. What is already happening is only the tip of the melting iceberg, for it is our children and grandchildren who may suffer most from the effects of global warming. Hundreds of millions of people may be exposed to famine, water shortages, extreme weather conditions and a 20 - 30% loss of animal and plant species if we do not reduce the rate of global warming and reduce GHG emissions. On the other hand, having warmer winters means longer growing seasons in temperate and subarctic climes, sometimes allowing an additional crop to be planted and harvested each year, or simply making the existing crops more productive. This article outlines some ways that you can act to help prevent the Earth from warming further. While humankind has the ability to destroy the planet, we can also help protect and sustain it. Reducing your carbon and greenhouse gas emissions will not only make your personal living space more sustainable but it will also save you money in both the short- and long-term. Global warming is occurring more rapidly than it was originally expected to -- only forty years ago, the big worry was global cooling. Even if you remain a cynic, however, and disagree with the consensus of scientists, you will benefit from reduced pollution, a more healthful lifestyle and increased savings from enacting these simple activities that will not reduce the quality of your life.
- Get educated. Educate yourself about global warming. The more facts that you have, as to what mainstream science says about it, the more you can persuade others to make simple yet effective changes in daily behavior. Energy-saving techniques either are initially expensive (for example, solar power) or take extra time (for example, recycling), so many people need to be convinced that their efforts matter. Always keep in mind that you are aiming to demonstrate the benefits of these activities and highlight how each person can play a vital role in helping to reduce global warming. Remember that "civil society does not respond at all well to moralistic scolding." Use education to enlighten, not frighten.
- Vote and influence your government with telephone calls, e-mails, letters and meetings with those who represent you in government. Learn as much as possible about the policies that you advocate before doing so; solving one problem often creates others. For example, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs has increased the hazard of mercury contamination in homes and landfills. Fluorescent light bulbs are still preferable to incandescent bulbs (see below), but one must be careful to recycle them and to not break them, if not mercury would be released. The push to grow corn for ethanol has contributed to higher food prices while saving little energy, if any at all.
- Choose vegetarian or vegan meals. Livestock are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation is. This is due to the large amounts of petroleum used in creating ammonium nitrate fertilizer (for the corn that they are fed) plus the cost of shipping that corn to the cattle and then shipping the cattle to slaughter and grocery. If one eats meat it should always be from a local source. Choosing vegetarian foods also drastically reduces agricultural water consumption and land use, and favorably impacts biodiversity. Vegetarian diets have been shown to promote good health and in most developed countries, eliminating meat from one's diet is as easy as making responsible choices at stores and restaurants. Other factors such as the means of production and distance that food travels are also factors in the total impact of our food choices.
- Recycle more by using recycling bins, composting, etc. Encourage neighbors, supervisors, colleagues, and businesses to do likewise (15-25% of people do not recycle).
- Use compact fluorescent bulbs. Replace three frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and save 300 lbs. of carbon dioxide and US$60 per year. A standard compact fluorescent bulb will save around one third of a tonne of greenhouse gas, along with the cost of six or more incandescent globes. Consider using even more, and give them as gifts to family and friends. Donate a set to a local charity to refit their office with compact fluorescent lights. Remember that CFL bulbs do contain small amounts of toxic mercury. Therefore, proper disposal (recycling) is necessary to prevent any additional landfill contamination. You can also start looking into LED lightbulbs which have started to crop up recently -- they are even more efficient!
- Fill the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher only with a full load. Save 100 lbs. of carbon dioxide and US$40 per year, or do them by hand with minimal water.
- Use recycled paper. Make sure that your printer paper is 100% post consumer recycled paper. Save 5 lbs. of carbon dioxide per ream of paper. Decide whether something is really worth printing out. Leave a signature at the bottom of your e-mails reminding the reader to think twice before printing the e-mail. Make the most of scrap paper for shopping lists, notes, scrapbooks, telephone messages, taking notes in class, etc. Recycle your paper only when it has been thoroughly used up!
- Buy locally made and locally grown products. Buy locally to reduce the energy required to transport your goods. The consumable products that we all purchase represent more than half of the average family's carbon footprint! If you successfully encourage neighbors to do this, store owners will be encouraged to stock local goods. Shop at farmers' markets.
- Count your carbon. Keep track of your carbon consumption as a way of tracking your progress.
- There is a logo called Carbon Counted that companies can put on their products to communicate their carbon footprint. Products that have a low Carbon Counted footprint number give consumers a means by which to influence and reward companies that reduce emissions in the creation of their products.
- Use a carbon calculator. These counters enable you to calculate your personal impact by adding up the carbon emissions from your activities. There are counters available for many countries; use your local search engine for results. An international calculator is provided by the World Resources Institute.
- Support producers of renewable energy. Help spur the renewable energy market by participating in it. In the UK you can get 100% renewable electricity by switching to a company such as Ecotricity or Good Energy Ltd. Alternatively, you can buy wind certificates, green tags and stock in renewable energy companies. Many of these companies are new and small, and the stock is low in price. While many are high-risk, they may present an opportunity to help the company move beyond the initial stages of uncertainty and to enhance the viability of important, upcoming market niches. These companies may offer opportunities for great returns if they prove profitable; just be sure to do your homework first, as you would when investing in anything.
- Buy minimally packaged goods. Less packaging could reduce your garbage significantly, saving 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide and $1,000 per year. If you consider a certain products' packaging to be excessive, mail it to the company with your challenge to the company to reduce its packaging; include suggestions on how if you have ideas. Also tell companies that Wal-Mart thinks that reduced packaging is not only a good idea but also very achievable; this is likely to set the standard for many businesses in the future.
- Insulate anything that uses energy to stay a different temperature from its environment.
- Keep your water heater insulated to save up to 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and US$40 per year. Avoid using units fitted with continuous pilot lights, and you will save AUD$40 and 200 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions yearly. Also use less hot water. For example, if the shower is too cold, turn down the cold water instead of turning up the hot water.
- Be energy wise and insulate your entire home to keep down the heating and cooling costs. If your insulation is old or inefficient, do yourself a favor and replace it; not only will it reduce your output of emissions but it will also reduce your energy bills considerably. Consider the attic, crawlspaces, basement, walls and ceiling. If you have awkward spaces, be aware that cellulose or fiberglass insulation can be blown in by a professional contractor.
- Weather strip your home. Caulk and weather strip your doorways, windows and air conditioners. Save 1,700 lbs. of carbon dioxide and US$274 per year. You will discover that the costs of caulking are far outweighed by savings in fuel costs and increased comfort level.
- Replace old appliances and reduce reliance on them.
- Inefficient appliances (such as refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners) waste energy. Save hundreds of pounds of carbon dioxide and hundreds of dollars per year by replacing them (and having your old appliance recycled or disposed of properly). Many countries have "energy star" ratings on new appliances that allow you to assess the energy usage of the appliance. Check online before you go shopping to save time or at least check the seals on your fridge or freezer and replace them if they show signs of wear.
- While you're at it, reassess appliances that you really do not need to use, such as plug-in air fresheners. Try opening the windows instead (and throwing out that rotting fruit bowl) and replace with natural air freshener alternatives. Other items include the many so-called time-saving devices in your kitchen.
- Use a push mower to mow the lawn. Use your muscles instead of fossil fuels and get some strength-building exercise. Save 80 lbs of carbon dioxide per year.
- Unplug unused electronics. Even when electronic devices are turned off, they use energy. Save over 1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide and US$256 per year by unplugging them or switching them off at the wall using a power surge-protector (sometimes called a power center). Get into the habit of switching the power off before you go to bed.
- Grow fast growing plants. Plants like bamboo grow faster and produce 35% more oxygen than trees like oak or birch, and require fewer chemicals and care. Make sure that the plants are appropriate for your area; prefer native over introduced species and do not plant problem species. Bamboo, for example, can be very invasive in most of the US.
- Use public transportation. Taking the bus, the train, the subway or other forms of public transportation lessens the load on the roads and reduces one's individual greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1600 pounds per year. Taking public transport removes the stress of long road commutes and gives you a great opportunity to read, think, and relax. You also save on parking money and time wasted looking for parking spaces.
- Ride a bicycle. Taking the bike instead of the car is a very simple solution. However, if you experience such problems as lack of suitable bike paths, having to deal with congested traffic or hilly terrain, you are faced with a few challenges. They are, however, challenges that you as an individual can overcome with a little determination.
- Ask your local government to make (more) bike trails in your area and to make sure that bicyclists are kept safe from traffic in the same way that pedestrians are afforded this right. Get the local community behind you - a few neighbors, the street, or the whole suburb!
- If you have hilly terrain, there are solutions as well. Build up your strength with shorter trips, find alternate routes, or take a bus part way (many municipal buses have bike racks on the front that you can use).
- Use your vehicle as a tool against global warming. If you can't live without a car, then use it in a way that minimizes global impact.
- Buy a hybrid car. The average driver could save 16,000 lbs. of CO2 and $3,750 per year driving a hybrid. Plug-in hybrids can save even more and one day may be able to give cash back.
- Buy a fuel efficient car. Save up to 20,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year using a more fuel efficient car - that's a savings of AUD$10,000 over a car's lifetime. Buying fuel efficient cars also encourage companies to continue making and improving them owing to increased demand.
- Practice green driving. Save gas and lower stress levels by being a considerate driver. Improve fuel efficiency by removing unused external objects such as roof racks, turning off your engine instead of idling for long periods of time (over 1 minute), and removing loads from the trunk/boot that are not necessary.
- Keep your car tires adequately inflated. Under-inflated tires can reduce fuel economy by up to 3% and are subject to increased wear and tear. Check them monthly. Save 250 lbs. of carbon dioxide and US$840 per year. A good gift is a tire air-pressure gauge as it not only saves money but makes driving safer. 
- Change your air filter. Check your car's air filter monthly. Save 800 pounds of carbon dioxide and US$130 per year.  Cleaning your air filter improves your mileage and reduces pollution because it makes it easier for your car to take in air and maintain a proper fuel/air mixture.
- Use Refills. Try using refills instead of buying new jars or bottles each time. This reduces your consumption and is usually cheaper, too.
- Even if we as humans are not fundamentally creating global warming, these steps will help reduce many types of pollution and waste and help ensure that clean air and water will remain for future generations.
- Companies can take immediate action to help with this effort by virtualizing their workforces to reduce, or even eliminate, their employees' commute and help reduce automobile pollution.
- Try to use more tap water and less bottled water. Doing so will reduce the energy costs of bottling and transporting water.
- Take responsibility for your office's energy use. Many offices leave air conditioners, computers and lights running all night. Work with responsible parties in your company to turn off these devices or use power-saving features when possible.
- Try to consume fewer products to help conserve resources and control waste. Rent movies and video games instead of buying them, or buy them used, or at a garage sale. Check out books in the library or buy them used, or at a garage sale.
- Planting trees balances carbon emissions and pollution. There are organizations that will help you offset your carbon footprint.
- It is true that some scientists do not believe that global warming is caused by human activities or that it is even happening, but conserving energy and resources is good “insurance” for the climate.
- How to Find Reliable Information on Climate Change
- How to Challenge People About Global Warming Theories
- How to Help Save the Environment
- How to Create Urban Rainforests
- How to Save the Planet Earth
- How to Recycle in Your Apartment
Sources and Citations
- Carbon calculators:
- ↑ Professor Ian Lowe, (2005), A Big Fix: Radical Solutions for Australia's Environmental Crisis ISBN 1-86395-126-1
- ↑ The Guardian, Houghton J, Global warming is now a weapon of mass destruction. Sir John Houghton, a co-chair of the IPCC Working Group and climate specialist, discusses such catastrophes as heat waves, floods, droughts and storm surges already impacting us heavily.
- ↑ StopGlobalWarming.org
- ↑ IPCC, Fourth Progress Report, Conclusions of Working Group 2, 2007
- ↑ Global warming’s silver lining could be longer growing season, by Gwyn Mellinger, The Lawrence Journal-World, January 10, 2007
- ↑ ARCTIC HARVEST: Global Warming a Boon for Greenland's Farmers, by Gerald Traufetter, SPIEGEL Magazine, 08/30/2006
- ↑ Global warming, by Wikipedia
- ↑ Taking action to prevent Global Warming
- ↑ Robertson,R, A Brighter Shade of Green: Rebooting Environmentalism for the 21st Century, in the magazine What is Enlightenment, October - December 2007
- ↑ Livestock impacts on the environment
- ↑ American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets
- ↑ Department of Climate Change (Australia), Global Warming - Cool It
- ↑ About.com on Environment
- ↑ Good Humans Guidelines
- ↑ Seattle Times, Watson, T, Buy local, and community may reap benefits
- ↑ Carbon Counted
- ↑ WRI, Safe Climate Calculator
- ↑ Wal-Mart, Global Change: Wal-Mart Pledges Packaging Reduction
- ↑ Department of Climate Change (Australia), Global Warming: Cool It
- ↑ Dauncey, G and Mazza, P, (2001) Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change, ISBN 978-0-86571-421-2
- ↑ Natural Resources Canada, Tips on Saving Energy in Your Home
- ↑ US EPA, On the Road: Climate Change - What You Can Do
- ↑ Department of Climate Change (Australia), Global Warming - Cool It
- ↑ US EPA, On the Road: Climate Change - What You Can Do
- ↑ US EPA, On the Road: Climate Change - What You Can Do
- ↑ Fox News
- ↑ Taking Action to Stop Global Warming
- ↑ IPCC W-GI, "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities."
- ↑ CBC story on David Suzuki, Buying bottled water is wrong, says Suzuki.
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