Patrick Gonzales, a Nature Conservancy climate scientist, offers his top tips for lowering carbon emissions. The tips are ordered in the order that I would find them the easiest to do.
Recycle and use recycled products . Products made from recycled paper, glass, metal and plastic reduce carbon emissions because recycled products use less energy to manufacture than products made from completely new materials.
Inflate your tires. Cars get better gas mileage when the tires are fully inflated, so it will burn less gas and emit less carbon. Check your automobile tires monthly to ensure that the tires are fully inflated.
Turn down the heat. Heating and air conditioning account for more than half of the energy that a home uses in the United States.You can help make a difference in your overall energy use simply by turning down the heat or air conditioning when you leave the house or go to bed.
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs . These energy-efficient bulbs help fight climate change by reducing the amount of fossil fuels that utilities burn.
Travel light.Walk or bike instead of driving a car. Cars and trucks run on fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Walking or biking when you can instead of driving will save one pound of carbon for every mile you travel.
Teleconference instead of flying . For office meetings, if you can telephone or video conference, not only will save time and money, but you will also save carbon emissions.
Act globally, eat locally.Shopping at a local farmers' markets can help save the climate by reducing shipping costs of food seen with large supermarkets. Shopping locally will bring fresh, healthy food home and help save our climate.
Plant native trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and use it as their energy source, producing oxygen for us to breathe. A single tree can remove and store 700 to 7,000 pounds of carbon over its lifetime. Trees that shade a house help can reduce the energy required to run the air conditioner.
Buy renewable energy. A growing number of utilities generate electricity from renewable energy sources with solar panels, windmills and other technologies. If your utility offers renewable energy, buy it. If not, send them a message asking for clean energy.
Remember it is the small changes that we make in our everyday lives that can make a big difference.
You can find more details behind the science of this Scientist's Conservation choices at the Nature Conservancy site.