Practical ways to reduce carbon footprint
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: 500 Simple Ways to Save Energy, Resources, and Money by Joanna YarrowHow to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint is the world citizens guide to pushing back the advance of global warming. This colorful handbook offers 500 practical, easily achievable ideas that conserve energy, prevent pollution, and save money. Did you know that unplugging appliances and cell phone chargers when not in use can reduce electricity billsby 10 percent? Or that recycling just one glass bottle saves enough power to run a computer for 30 minutes? Whether the subject is jet travel, dishwashing, or any of the 50 topics in the book, surprising statistics and innovative graphics will inspire action and demonstrate that simple habits can lead to big results.
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The easiest way to make a big difference is to go by train or not take as many flights. Cows and sheep emit large quantities of methane , a powerful global warming gas. Poorly insulated housing requires large quantities of energy to heat. If you have properly insulated the loft and filled the cavity wall, the most important action you can take is to draught-proof the house, something you can do yourself. Those with solid brick or stone walls will also benefit from adding insulation , but the financial benefits are unlikely to cover the cost of doing the work, over time. Your fuel use may fall by a third or more, repaying the cost in lower fuel bills. If car travel is vital, think about leasing an electric vehicle when your existing car comes to the end of its life.
Here are top twenty ways we can reduce our carbon footprint based on research by Union of Concerned Scientists and the groundbreaking climate solutions book Drawdown. Other top actions are also listed - from supporting climate reducing organizations to organizing community efforts to reduce our collective carbon footprint. The first two are the most effective ways to make a big impact in just minutes - the bottom line is that as many of us as possible need to become carbon neutral and these steps accomplish that goal.
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Why it Matters
Recycling and using public transit are all fine and good if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, but to truly make a difference you should have fewer children. Many commonly promoted options, such as washing clothes in cold water or swapping incandescent bulbs for light-emitting diodes, have only a moderate impact see chart, below , the team reports today in Environmental Research Letters. But four lifestyle choices had a major impact : Become a vegetarian, forego air travel, ditch your car, and—most significantly—have fewer children. Emissions generated by eating meat result, in large part, from the large amounts of energy needed to grow, harvest, and process feed crops. Getting rid of their car would reduce emissions by kilograms, or 2.