25 Easy Ways that Normal People Can Help Fight Global Warming
I hear all of the time about big business, rich people, scientists, and government going "green", but what about the rest of us, the average person living paycheck to paycheck who can't afford to go green? Can any one person or household make a difference? The answer is yes. It may not be much of a difference, but if each person did a little, we could all do a lot. Here's a list of 25 things that can be done in your house,your yard, transportation, your work place, and even in what you eat! I grouped these by what season, or benefits.
In the house: Homes are responsible for more than 16% of greenhouse gases.
1,2,3 Seal all the cracks around your doors and windows, use double paned glass in your windows, and keep plenty of blankets around in the Winter. This helps to keep the heat inside, your bills down, and uses less electricity.
4,5,6 Get awnings to block the sunlight from hitting your windows directly, open a window instead of having the AC on full blast when you can, and get a clothesline. Doing these things in the Summer will also keep you bills down and use less energy.
7,8,9,10 Turn down the thermostat in your water heater, use dishwasher only when there are many dishes to do, do bigger loads of clothes, and get lower-flow shower heads. These will use less water, keep your machines lasting longer, lower your bills, and use less energy. And be honest, do you really need your water so hot that you burn yourself every time you take a shower or wash your hands?
11,12,13,14 Change all of your light bulbs to fluorescent bulbs, use Energy Star appliances, insulate your water heater (or get a new one), and turn off all of your appliances that you are not using. A 26 watt Fluorescent bulb equals a 100 watt regular bulb, Energy Star appliances can use as much as 30% less energy than regular appliances, water heaters leak heat when they are old and can be more wasteful, and the most common appliances to leave on when you are not using them are TVs and computers.
15 The bigger the house, the more energy that it needs to use to keep you comfortable. Try to live in a smaller house if it is convenient. A smaller house uses less construction equipment to build it(less vehicles spewing carbon dioxide), and uses less energy once it's built.
In the yard: There are a few ways that you can use you yard to cut green house gases as well.
16,17,18 Plant your fence. Using bushes has been around for a long time, they eat up carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, which is better for us all. Rake your lawn, don't use a gas guzzling leaf blower. And make a compost pile so you don't have to buy fertilizer-which is made with some horrible chemicals, shipped to the distributor, shipped to a store, and then you have to go to the store and pick it up. All of this moving around produces a ton of carbon dioxide.
Reducing emissions from transportation: Transportation accounts for 30% of all carbon dioxide emissions.
19 Ride the bus. Every year, public transportation saves 1.4 billion gallons of gas and 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.
20 Walk or ride your bike when you can. You can also get much needed exercise this way!
21 Carpool. If you ride to work with one other person, you reduce yours and that person's emissions by 50%, you and 2 other people reduces your emissions by 66.6%, and you and 3 other people reduce emissions by 75%. That's a huge impact right there!
22 Keep your car in shape. If you have a recent tune-up, good, aired up tires, and a fresh air filter, you can make your car 17% or more efficient.
Miscellaneous ways to be green:
23 Recycle your paper and use only 100% recycled paper. Less than half of all paper is recycled. This uses many trees, which means that there are less plants as a whole to take the carbon dioxide out of the air and replace it with fresh oxygen. Making recycled paper also uses less than half of the energy of paper making from trees.
24 Bring your own bags with you to the grocery store. There are 500,000,000,000 (500 billion) bags made a year, less than 3% get recycled.
This is the weirdest one.
25 Between the methane produced by the cattle, shipping the cattle to the butcher, the actual butchering of cattle, and shipping the meat to the store for you to pick up, meat production accounts for more greenhouse gases than homes do. I'm a major meat-eater myself, but this was too big not to put into this list. For each person that converts to vegetarianism, there is the same amount of green house gasses kept out of the atmosphere in a year's time as trading 1.5 regular cars for 1.5 hybrid cars! That's pretty big, isn't it?
These are the best ways for the normal person to to slow down global warming.
I would like to thank Time Magazine for the facts including: percentages and statistics